Monday, April 24, 2006

The End of Reason

Description of Shawni's "The End of Reason".

Download it here

Shawni's Letter to His Critics:

After businessmen stole a portion of my work The End of Reason and published it against my wishes, I was castigated for putting words into the devil’s mouth and accused of acting as the devil’s advocate and partisan. My critics denounced me and abused my name and accused me of terrible faults. For a time I bore this patiently, and remembered that “However often others have called harsh words down upon me, I give thanks to God that they do not know the worst of it.” An ignorant few continued their campaign of vilification and at last I drained the cup of patience and rose to defend the work against which a few fanatics had tipped their swords. Against the advice of those older and more wise, I disseminated the following statement:

“I have offered you wine and you have become drunk. I have given you the sword of faith, and you have cut yourself upon it. I have offered you water for your baptism, and you are in danger of drowning. Yet you accuse me.

"The Philistines tore out Samson’s eyes because they were blind themselves. Did this cure their blindness? Pharaoh could not free himself, though the Hebrews were his slaves. How could enslaving them set Pharaoh free? While Joseph waited in the well, his brothers were bondsman to their crime. From whom could they purchase freedom?

"The meaning of these words is this. If I have made the devil seem eloquent, that does not make me the devil or his apostle or his friend. If you have believed his lies, that does not make me a liar. If you have been driven from the field of faithfulness then you have never fought under God’s banner. Yet some accuse me of wrongdoing nevertheless. If the devil’s racket has shaken you, why denounce me? What do you know of my faith when your own is so frail that a few pretty words make you an infidel? O accusers, accuse yourselves! I am neither saint nor devil. I am a man like you.

"I have written that book as a mirror. If you are offended, see what has offended you. Do not denounce me for your ugliness, your faithlessness, your harlotry.

"I have given you a gift that you may peer into your own heart. See what you enshrine there. If you fault me, be ashamed and repent for your own sake. Your curses rebound upon you and your slander does you no credit.

"If the music I have played pleases you, then pray for this impoverished one. Yet if in your hand you hold a dirham for my cup, expend it instead in the way of charity for another. Our Friend has paid me already and my coffers burst with the coin of His mercy. Such praise that you bestow upon me feeds only my pride; such payment to me that you make I will waste; such faith in me that you keep I will betray. When the Kaaba is in sight, leave the donkey behind. I am neither saint nor devil. I am a man like you.”

1 comment:

Edward Ott said...

wow that was a nice piece of writing i think i am even more fired up to read the book.