Encouraged by a genius-level reader, we have spent some time trying to learn more about the Muslim Falsafah, Mulla Sadra. Confession: Sadra was a mere aside we popped while trying to close out the ontological argument yesterday. In fact, we’d sort of confused him with a guy named “Sabra” (note the backwards “d,” otherwise known as a “b”), but no matter. The more we looked, the less we found, until we were spun into a vortex of wisdom so pure we’re not sure which way we’re pointing anymore.
Net net: This Mulla Sadra cat knows how to meow.
Michael Crichton once said he did his best writing when his wife was calling him into dinner. (Though a bro of righteous talent, the late Dr. Crichton had female issues; so four out of five of his wives say.) Same with us here at TGPDN: we stumble on the Truth as we are about to exit the plain. Or do we?
Sadra is scandalously underknown. I dug into my analog Library of Truth and found a brief, glowing mention in Karen Armstrong’s best-selling A History of God. She says Sadra was a student of Iran’s Suhrawardi school of Islamist Falsafah, which had a deep respect for the subjective components of thought.
“Many Muslims today [says Armstrong] regard him as the most profound of all the Islamic thinkers.” (p261)
Wow. Not even “one of” but “the most.” Push in Christians for Muslims in that sentence and who would we put? Augustine? Kierkegaard? Nobody fits.
Writing in 1994, Armstrong points out that Sadra “is only just becoming known in the west.” Not so fast. Yesterday, the only work by Sadra on offer at B&N is something called “The Elixir of the Gnostics,” which I happen to know is not his most famous work (that would be “The Throne of God” or “Asfar”). There are a couple books about Sadra, the best-selling of which does not have a single customer review.
We were at first encouraged to locate a site for what appeared to be a non-profit academic foundation dedicated to the great man himself. However, after poking around, we discovered the incredible, amazing fact we are revealing here for the very first time that this website, sponsored by government-authorized Iranian academics, is unbelievably [CENSORED BY IRANIAN GOVERNMENT PRAISE ALLAH]
Still, from these and a few other sources, I think I’ve been able to piece together a beautiful boombox of insight, one that reconciles Anselm and Augustine with Kant and even Aristotle by way of Islam. What else would you expect from “the most profound”?