Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Satanic Verses

My Satanic Verses
by Scott Bradley


I have spoken before of the satanic verses. For some reason, even before Rushdie, they have been an object of curiosity for me. As best as I have been able to determine, these verses made a momentary appearance in the Koran before being expunged. Apparently, they sanctioned the worship of some goddesses as a concession to a certain tribe or city in order to gain their support during the initial wars of conquest by Islam. Instead of being inspired by the Archangel Gabriel, as was generally the case, Mohammed was inadvertently fed some thoughts by Satan. These things happen.

And they happen to me, as well, though I do not subscribe to a 'spiritual' interpretation of them. Rather they are inspired by 'darker' forces within me, things that I do not want to think or feel, but do just the same. And so I have a special file labeled 'unpublished posts' in which I put those posts deemed unfit for public airing. It contains, at the moment, only three.

It is no easy thing for me to put them there, for I think them well-written and expressive of things I really want to say. But I have been trying to learn to let content and impact on the reader take precedence over the word-power I imagine myself to have created. This sounds easy and obvious enough, but I have often sent letters about which an inner voice has warned me to reconsider sending, only to have them come back to bite me in reciprocated negativity. So, I try and follow the rule: If there is doubt, put it in drafts.

There is also another consideration which I try and keep in mind, however, and that is honesty. If I don't occasionally reveal my 'issues', then I am misrepresenting myself to you. So, I do not always expunge 'pray for plague' heresies or my judgmental feelings toward other, primarily religious, points of view. In other words, I try and keep the hypocrisy quotient tolerably low.

And when I do expose my failures to be as I wish I were, it is a great help to hear my imaginary sage, Zhouzi, say, “So, what? Who are you trying to impress? There are no conditions to meet, Grasshopper.”

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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