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Document Details :
Title: Wine and Mystical Speculation
Subtitle: The Poetics of Intoxicated Love and Sober Reflection in the Poetry of Umar Ibn al-Farid
Author(s): KUENY, Kathryn
Journal: ARAM Periodical
Volume: 17 Date: 2005
The obvious parallels between mysticism and intoxication have long been acknowledged by scholars of religion, including William James, who writes:
Sobriety diminishes, discriminates, and says no; drunkenness expands, unifies, and says yes. It is in fact the great exciter of the Yes function in man. It brings its votary from the chill periphery of things to the radiant core. It makes him for the moment one with truth.
James goes on to say that while the depth of truth is revealed through the state of intoxication, sobriety leaves one with the distant memory of having engaged a profound state beyond what is readily apparent. Intoxication, in that it brings about the awareness of another realm existing outside the dimension of normal consciousness, would provide an obvious analogue to the Sufi, who claims to have experienced such an ideal state in which the self is abolished and all is indistinguishable from the divine.