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The Inadequacy of Reason

For Achieving True Understanding

Muhyi al-Din Ibn ʿArabi

Interpreted by W C Chittick

Part 1

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Trying to know things in terms of other things is like trying to pinpoint a wave in the ocean. In itself, the shore of Necessity cannot be known, because none knows God but God. Nor can anyone know the shore of absolute nothingness, because there is nothing there to be known. This helps explain Ibn ‘Arabi’s radical agnosticism concerning knowledge of things without reference to divine instruction.

“It is impossible for anything other than God to gain knowledge of the cosmos, of the human being himself, or of the self of anything by itself.”
F. III 557.4

True knowledge, in other words, belongs to God alone, and human knowledge can be reliable only inasmuch as it partakes of divine knowledge.

As the Qur’an puts it,

{ They encompass nothing of His knowledge save as He wills. }

Ibn ʿArabi, Heir to the Prophets; W C Chittick

"In any case, what Westerners call civilization, the others would call barbarity, because it is precisely lacking in the essential, that is to say, a principle of a higher order."
René Guénon, East And West, 1924

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صلّى الله على سيّدنا محمّد و على آله و صحبه و سلّم

The blessings and peace of Allah on the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions, ( sallAllahu `aleihi wa sallam ) .



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