Various Notes (1)

From The Teachings of Muhyiddīn Ibn 'Arabi

Exposition by H. Corbin, W.C. Chittick; ed. by OmarKN

1. Creation

The Creation is essentially the revelation of the Divine Being, first to Himself, a luminescence occurring within Him; it is a theophany (tajallī iláhī ).
NB: No notion of creatio ex nihilo ! This is a profoundly divisive idea. CI185

Creation is essentially a theophany (tajallī ). As such, it is an act of the divine imaginative power: this divine creative imagination is essentially a theophanic Imagination CI182, and prayer is a theophany par excellence. CI183

tajallī : SPK216ff, CI91

2. Khayál

Man's Active Imagination is merely the organ of the absolute theophanic Imagination (takhayyul mutlaq ). Thus Creation is Epiphany (tajallī ), that is, a passage from the state of occultation or potency to the luminous, manifest, revealed state; as such it is an act of the divine, primodial Imagination. CI187

Human beings have this power of Imagination, not in the profane sense of 'phantasy,' but as the Active Imagination (quwwat al-khayál ).

(Veils, opaque or increasingly transparent. CI187)

3. The New Creation

The same theophanic Imagination of the Creator who has revealed the worlds, renews the Creation from moment to moment.

The entire universe of worlds is at once He and not-He (huwa lá huwa ). The God manifested in forms is at once Himself and other than Himself, for since He is manifested, He is the limited, [but] which has no limit, the visible, [but] which cannot be seen. This manifestation is neither perceptible nor verifiable by the sensory faculties; discursive reason rejects it. It is perceptible only by the Active Imagination (hadrat al-khayál ) at times when it dominates man's sense perceptions, in dreams or better still in the waking state. CI188/189

4. Crossing Over From Rational Interpretation

Crossing over from rational (from the outward and obvious) to ”metaphorical” (or inward and hidden) interpretation, is called by the Shaykh i'tibár fi'l-bátin ; i.e. crossing over to (or taking heed of) the nonmanifest and hidden dimension of an issue. SPK262

This 'method' opens up our comprehension to the hidden significance (i'tibár ) of human actions and events in the manifest world and also of Sharia rulings, whose function it is to bring human beings into harmony with wujūd in its full deployment. SPK262



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