- The Wine of Wisdom : The Life, Poetry and Philosophy of Omar Khayyam
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- The Wine of Wisdom: The Life, Poetry and Philosophy of Omar Khayyam by Mehdi Aminrazavi
- The Wine of Wisdom: The Life, Poetry and Philosophy of Omar Khayyam
The Wine of Wisdom : The Life, Poetry and Philosophy of Omar Khayyam
These repetitions were redundant and could be simply omitted. He is trying to prove Khayyam was a devoted Muslim. Jan 08, Brandon rated it liked it. This is a very comprehensive Biography on Omar Khayyam, one of my favorite poets. I found Khayyam by mistake.
One day while I was bored, I went to the Iliad Bookstore in North Hollywood one of the best used book stores I've been to, go there now. I was getting lost in their poetry section, and foun This is a very comprehensive Biography on Omar Khayyam, one of my favorite poets. I was getting lost in their poetry section, and found Omar Khayyam's "Rubaiyat.
I started reading it, and it seemed so familiar, like when you meet someone you know you've met before, but can't quite decide where or when. Eventually, after a few more pages, it clicked, the poem was used for the lyrics in Dorothy Ashby's album! That night I decided to cook a fine meal with Ashby's album in the background, and then for desert, finished off a bottle of wine, and read the Rubaiyat out-loud to myself.
I shared this story with my friend who originally shared Ashby's album with me, and the next week he gave me "The Wine of Wisdom. It's not so much intellectually boring, as overly apologetic and endlessly repetitive. The main thesis seems to be: Omar Khayyam was alive so long ago we don't know what he actually wrote, who he actually was, or what his belief actually were. Nevertheless, Aminrazavi throughly unravels the mystery of Khayyam and provides pertinent backstory to the politics and religion of Khayyam's time.
Since there is no history of Islam in public school, I had no reference to Khayyam's words during my first readings. The more I read "The Wine of Wisdom", the more appreciation I have for Khayyam as an intellectual in his time and his challenging words. May 13, Martin Kimeldorf rated it it was amazing Shelves: I am a simple man, whereas the author is a learned scholar and philosopher. That explains why I had to read the book 3 times to soak up all the juice. Aminrazavi provides a detailed and comprehensive biography of Khayyam and his greatest translator FitzGerald.
This work represents years of research and deep thought. I have a more generous interpretation of the use of the wine symbology than the author. I give the author high marks for covering the rise of the Omarian clubs in the ss and all the global adulation that followed this poem, even before we had a facebook or amazon or goodreads.
He also points out how the fascists, probitionists, and fundamentals attacked unfairly Omar as the thinker-drinker.
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Similarly I enjoyed reading about all the great writers and leaders who took inspiration and solace in the Persian poem was inspiring. Jun 09, David Gross rated it really liked it Shelves: A fascinating, wide-ranging, yet flawed look at Omar's and Edward's Rubaiyat. Mehdi Aminrazavi is mostly concerned with the philosophy of Omar Khayyam -- that is to say, of the philosophy of the "Khayyamian school of thought," as it's uncertain which or if any of the Rubaiyat can be accurately attributed to the historical person Omar Khayyam.
If the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam have captivated you, you will find much to appreciate in this book. Aminrazavi looks at what can be known of the life and A fascinating, wide-ranging, yet flawed look at Omar's and Edward's Rubaiyat. Aminrazavi looks at what can be known of the life and works of Khayyam, which includes some of his philosophical treatises which Aminrazavi puts into the intellectual context of that period in Persian thought, and also his advanced mathematical work.
Aminrazavi also examines the Rubaiyat both as an original corpus of difficult-to-determine origin that settles awkwardly into a space defined by orthodox schools of thought, and the Rubaiyat as they were translated into the Euro-American context and the "Omar Khayyam Cult" that followed.
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The book is unfortunately poorly edited -- marred with typographical and grammatical errors and with difficult-to-parse passages. But if you are patient with these, you will find plenty here to expand your appreciation and understanding of the Rubaiyat. Seniha rated it it was amazing Jan 12, Douglas rated it it was amazing Mar 13, Sadra Shahab rated it it was amazing Sep 19, Mahdi Taheri rated it liked it Jan 07, Nima rated it it was amazing Jul 24, Roman Payne rated it really liked it Nov 19, Shelley Dowhanik-Baron rated it liked it Jan 09, Heydar rated it really liked it Dec 14, Peaceful peace rated it it was ok Feb 24, Jonnie rated it liked it Dec 28, Mohammed Toure rated it really liked it Jun 23, Jeremy rated it really liked it Jun 10, Qudsia rated it it was amazing Dec 01, Anusha rated it it was amazing Jul 19, Maryam rated it it was amazing Sep 04, Suman Marasini rated it it was amazing Aug 18, Dean rated it liked it Dec 02, Senthil rated it it was ok Dec 29, Whence do we come and whither do we go.
The inconsistency between a seemingly senseless existence and a complex and orderly world leads to existential and philosophical doubt and bewilderment. Lack of certainty with regard to religious truth leaves the individual in an epistemologically suspended state where one has to live in the here and now irrespective of the question of truth. Since neither truth nor certitude is at hand Do not waste your life in doubt for a fairyland O let us not refuse the goblet of wine For, sober or drunken, in ignorance we stand translation by the author.
Behind the curtain none has found his way None came to know the secret as we could say And each repeats the dirge his fancy taught Which has no sense-but never ends the lay Whinfield , In contrast, in his philosophical writings we see him argue for the incorporeality of the soul, which paves the path for the existence of life after death. The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: On a universal or cosmic level, our birth is determined in the sense that we had no choice in this matter.
Ontologically speaking, our essence and our place on the overall hierarchy of beings appears also to be predetermined. However, the third category of determinism, socio-political determinism, is manmade and thus changeable. At first they brought me perplexed in this way Amazement still enhances day by day We all alike are tasked to go but Oh!
Why are we brought and sent? This none can say. The mystical allusions to wine pertain to a type of intoxication which stands opposed to discursive thought.
The Wine of Wisdom: The Life, Poetry and Philosophy of Omar Khayyam by Mehdi Aminrazavi
The esoteric use of wine and drinking, which has a long history in Persian Sufi literature, refers to the state of ecstasy in which one is intoxicated with Divine love. While Khayyam was not a Sufi in the traditional sense of the word, he includes the mystical use of wine among his allusions. Khirad wisdom is the type of wisdom that brings about a rapprochement between the poetic and discursive modes of thought, one that sees the fundamental irony in what appears to be a senseless human existence within an orderly and complex physical universe.
For Khayyam the mathematician-astronomer, the universe cannot be the result of a random chance; on the other hand, Khayyam the poet fails to find any purpose for human existence in this orderly universe. As Spring and Fall make their appointed turn, The leaves of life one aft another turn; Drink wine and brood not—as the Sage has said: Some of his mathematics relates in passing to philosophical matters in particular, reasoning from postulates and definitions , but his most significant work deals with issues internal to mathematics and in particular the boundary between geometry and algebra.
Khayyam seems to have been attracted to cubic equations originally through his consideration of the following geometric problem: Solving algebraic problems using geometric tools was not new; in the case of quadratic equations methods like this date back at least as far as the Greeks and probably to the Babylonians. Since negative numbers had not yet been conceived, Muslim mathematicians needed to solve several different types of quadratic equations: For cubics, there are fourteen distinction types of equation to be solved.
In the Algebra , Khayyam sets out to deal systematically with all fourteen types of cubic equations. He solves each one in sequence again through the use of intersecting conic sections. In an algebra where powers of x corresponded to geometrical dimensions, the solution of cubic equations was the apex of the discipline. Nevertheless, even here Khayyam was able to advance algebra by considering its unknowns as dimension-free abstractions of continuous quantities. Although he does not handle this topic perfectly, his effort nevertheless stood out from previous efforts.
A geometric solution to a cubic equation may seem peculiar to modern eyes, but the study of cubic equations and indeed much of medieval algebra was motivated by geometric problems. Khayyam was nevertheless explicitly aware that the arithmetic problem of the cubic remained to be solved.
The Wine of Wisdom: The Life, Poetry and Philosophy of Omar Khayyam
He never produced such a solution; nor did anyone else until Gerolamo Cardano in the mid th century. The process of reasoning from postulates and definitions has been basic to mathematics at least since the time of Euclid. Islamic geometers were well versed in this art, but also spent some effort examining the logical foundations of the method.
This statement is equivalent to several more easily understood assertions, such as: It has been known since the 19 th century that there are non-Euclidean geometries that violate these properties; indeed, it is not yet known whether the space in which we live satisfies them. Rather, he replaces it with two statements, which he attributes to Aristotle, that are both simpler and more self-evident: Khayyam believed his approach to be an improvement on that of his predecessor Ibn al-Haytham because his method does not rely on the concept of motion, which should be excluded from geometry.
Book II of Explanation of the Difficulties in the Postulates of Euclid takes up the question of the proper definition of ratio. This is an obscure topic to the modern reader, but it was fundamental to Greek and medieval mathematics. If the quantities joined in a ratio are whole numbers, then the definition of their ratio poses no difficulty.
If the quantities are geometric magnitudes, the situation is more complex because the two line segments might be incommensurable in modern terms, their ratio corresponds to an irrational number. There is little wonder that Khayyam and others were unhappy with this definition, for while it is clearly true, it does not get at the heart of what it means for ratios to be equal.
The Euclidean algorithm is an iterative process that is used to find the greatest common divisor of a pair of numbers. It may be applied equally well to find the greatest common measure of two geometric magnitudes, but the algorithm will never terminate if the ratio between the two magnitudes is irrational. Part of the explanation might be simply that the Euclidean algorithm applied to geometric quantities was much more familiar to medieval mathematicians than to us.
Thus Islamic mathematicians could continue to use ratio theorems from the Elements without having to prove them again according to the anthyphairetic definition. During this process he sets an arbitrary fixed magnitude to serve as a unit, to which he relates all other magnitudes of the same kind.
This allows Khayyam to incorporate both numbers and geometric magnitudes within the same system. This step was one of the most significant changes of conception to occur between ancient Greek and modern mathematics. We know that Khayyam wrote a treatise, now lost, called Problems of Arithmetic involving the determination of n -th roots Youschkevitch and Rosenfeld In his Algebra Khayyam writes that methods for calculating square and cube roots come from India, and that he has extended them to the determination of roots of any order.
Khayyam moved to Isfahan in to help establish a new observatory under the patronage of Malikshah, the Seljuk sultan, and his vizier, Nizam al-Mulk. Several treatises on other scientific topics are also attributed to Khayyam: All of his texts seem to have been taken seriously. It was not until the 19 th century, however, that the Western world and literary circles discovered Umar Khayyam in all his richness. Amazed by their profundity, he shared them with Edward FitzGerald, who took an immediate interest and published the first edition of his own translation in Rossetti shared with Edward FitzGerald and their mutual admiration of Khayyam cannot be ignored.
The movement also drew the attention of T. For Khayyam, there are two discourses, each of which pertains to one dimension of human existence: Philosophically, Khayyam was the last Peripatetic in the Persian speaking world before philosophical thinking eclipsed the Eastern part of the Islamic world for several centuries. Khayyam defended rationalism against the rise of orthodoxy and made an attempt to revive the spirit of rationalism which was so prevalent in the first four centuries in Islam.
Poetically, Khayyam represents a voice of protest against what he regards to be a fundamentally unjust world. Many people found in him a voice they needed to hear, and centuries after he had died his works became a venue for those who were experiencing the same trials and tribulations as Khayyam had. Al-Farabi Arabic and Islamic Philosophy, special topics in: Of knowledge naught remained I did not know, Of secrets, scarcely any, high or low; All day and night for three score and twelve years, I pondered, just to learn that naught I know.
The Formative Period 2. Khayyam the Mathematician and Scientist 4. Khayyam in the West 5. The Philosophical Works and Thoughts of Umar Khayyam Khayyam wrote little, but his works—some fourteen treatises identified to date—were remarkable. His philosophical works which have been edited and published recently are: While these are standard Aristotelian questions, for Khayyam they have a wider range of philosophical implications, especially with regard to the following topics: The existence of God, His attributes and knowledge Gradation of being and the problem of multiplicity Eschatology Theodicy Determinism and free will Subjects and predicates Existence and essence 2.
Khayyam expresses this when he says: A summary of his reasons is as follows: Existence cannot be added to essence; otherwise an infinite succession will follow. Existence is not added to essence; otherwise essence should have existed prior to existence, and this is absurd.