Artificial Intelligence vs Higher Intelligence. Part 1: Homunculus & Tawkin

“I am the Stone” – Imam Ali (as)

Homunculus – Human Will vs Higher Intelligence

The idea of the Homunculus, a tiny artifically created human,  goes back to Egypt, Greek and Roman Antiquity and Aristotle. His theories of reproduction lead his followers to believe in the possibility of creating tiny humans without sexual intercourse between men and women. Artistotle attributed to male semen the role of creating form and life and to the female womb to provide the vessel. Thus, in Aristotle’s theory the major share of reproduction was due to the agency of the male semen. For Aristotle and his followers it seemed reasonable, that any kind of fertile vessel could replace the female womb to create new humans. Further it would also avoid the creation of more females, as the conception of females, according to Aristotle, was an accidental result of a surplus in purtrefied matter of the female womb. Too much menstrual blood (purtrefied matter) – in his theory – creates inferior female babies.Continue reading

Flowers & Bees

Be like the Bees – On the Natural Care of Bees

“The believer is like a bee, feeds upon the goodness, relieves a burden of goodness (honey), lands upon a branch softly so as not to break it and when falling into the water does not pollute it.” ~ Saying by Mohammed (as)

"The Messenger of Allah said: “By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the believer is like a bee which eats that which is pure and wholesome and lays that which is pure and wholesome. When it lands on something it does not break or ruin it.”

The bee only eats from flowers which are tayyib (pure and wholesome). It is not attracted to repulsive things, unlike other insects. Likewise the believer only eats that which is pure and wholesome.

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Birds in the Sun, by Roya Azal

Esoteric Quarterly & Art Work for Hoger Institut, Belgium

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.” ~ Dschalāl ad-Dīn ar-Rūmī

Autumn (2017) – I am the featured artist for Esoteric Quarterly, an independent, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the trans-disciplinary investigation of the esoteric spiritual tradition. Thank you! Continue reading

Emma Clark: The Art of the Islamic Garden, Book Review

"Books are the gardens of scholars." ~ Ali ibn Talib (as)

It is Autumn, 2017. This past summer I exhibited some art work in a garden in Berlin as part of an art festival and studied the culture and history of the Islamic garden. The Berlin garden was pretty yet somewhat chaotic (so Berlin!) and I longed for the calm composition, clarity and artistic refinement of the real thing.

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Yearning

Al Matin, Holy Magic Mother Fire – المتين

المتين – The Eternal, 54th name

“If they turn away, then know that Allah is your Befriender – a Transcendent Patron, a Transcendent Helper!” ~ Holy Quran, 8:40

Days pass, I pray and I awake slowly from this strange numb dream. While diving to the bottoms of the bottomless seas to recover Inji, the Pearl, I see demons, jinns, confusion, shapeshifters, screams within screams, hardened faces.Continue reading

Sacred Dwellings: Celestial Gardens and Garden Artistry in Islam

"O Marvel! A garden amidst the flames." ~Ibn Arabi, Tarjuman al-Ashwaq

"We are unaware of our own manifestation in this garden, the narcissus does not see it's own spring with it's own eyes.” ~ Mir Dard

When do we really see and take in the delicate beauty of a flower, the majesty and care of trees, the ever changing colors, forms and appearances of a bloom?

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Christrose

The Christmas Rose: Cancer-Treatments & Antidote Medicine in Islamic Healing

"The word "Toxin" (...) has a Persian Shamanic root ("taxsa" means "poisoned arrow"). The art and science of "the anti-dote against the poison" has a highly honored, special place in the Islamic healing arts."

The Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger, Black hellebore or Snow Flower, in Asia: Helleborus orientalis) is an evergreen perennial flowering plant that blooms in winter. It is considered a special plant with high mystical powers. According to European folk tales, the Christmas rose protects love, and is a symbol for a long and happy live. It was used as an aid against various illnesses since antiquity in Europe. It was also used since then as a repellent against malice and envy, and planted before door steps and stables. Like many protective talismanic plants it is very poisonous and highly ambigious.

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Crocus Carpet

The Infinite, Algorithms and The Disorderly Arabesque

“The Arabesque (…) transfigures the object of nature it decorates (…) into a weightless, transparent, floating pattern extending infinitely in all directions (…) the object of nature has become under the Arabesque treatment a window onto the infinite.”

During my work on this blog, while researching, reading and writing about Islamic philosophy and arts I have come of course very early unto the Arabesque. The Arabesque pattern – sometimes foliate but commonly geometrically structured patterns of different shapes and coloring, known from Islamic decorative arts but also from music – has captured my interest.Continue reading

Two Blue Peonies, Art by Roya Azal

The Peonie: Queen of Islamic Floral Art

"During the night the Peonie spends medicine and healing, during the day the beautiful “Rose with no thorns” is protected by a jealous bird."

The Peonie (Paeonia officinalis) is known in phytology lore as “Fuga Demonica” – a repellent against bad energies and demons. It is a medical rose that came back to medieval Europe via the Islamic world from China (who imported it - via Arab, Persian and Syrian traders - originally from ancient Greece). The Peonie is a very stately flowering bush with large, lush dark pink, purple and rose tinted blooms. She is a wonderful floral gift for women.

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Peonie in Arabesque by Roya Azal

From Radical Atom, to Dancing Atom

“O God of all gods, come to the aid of the people of Light, give the victory to the people of Light, and guide the light unto the Light!” ~ Shihābuddīn Yaḥyā Sohravardī (a.s)

After a short illness Armin Medosch, an Austrian net artist and activist has died on the 23rd of February 2017. I first met Armin in Munich and later I met him again in London, when I myself was working in media and the arts and went through all the madness and light-heartedness that was the early digital age. In Germany he was a collegue of mine at the Munich media lab and worked as editor at the German online magazin telepolis, the first of it’s kind, at an age when Online Magazins were entirely unheard of (the mid to late 90s).Continue reading