Iran... or Persia?

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Mon, 28 May 2007 12:02:02 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Peter Lamborn Wilson at nthposition - in case you're tempted to believe the war-mongers' tripe about Iran, look at it from the perspective of a spiritual seeker. Persia is a very different place than the western-created Iran. And so was Afghanistan, before the Russians ruined it, and the Amerikans laid it to waste. [grabbe]

The Consulate, a concrete box in a dreary new suburb of Quetta, appeared to be empty except for me and the Consul, a small sour man in a suit, who seemed to have nothing to do except make life difficult for me personally. He was quizzing me about why he shouldn't simply issue me a 14-day transit visa rather than the standard tourist three-month visa I wanted. He seemed to suspect me of something. Recently I'd been sort of thrown out of India and also Afghanistan. Clearly the Consul took me for a wealthless vagabond, which was rather perspicacious of him. "Why do you want to visit my country?" he kept asking.

I felt too tired to make anything up, so I said, "Well, you see, I'm interested in sufism..."

"Sufism!? Do you know what is sufism?"

"I know enough to know that I want to know more. Some sufis I met in India told me to go to Iran. So..."

The Consul metamorphosed before my eyes into a different person: all at once he became a cultivated and poetic soul unfairly and inexplicably consigned to his empty concrete box in Baluchistan. He unbent. He beamed. "This is fantastic! You must let me give you the maximum possible visa." He began fumbling for seals and stamps. "One year with extensions. Yes?"

"Well... but..."

"You must remain in my country until you have learned everything. Please, promise me!"

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