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In the Name of God بسم الله
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eThErEaL

Pseudo Mysticism

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No one abolishes the secondary causes except him who is ignorant that God has put them there. No one affirms the secondary causes except a great learned Master, a man of courtesy in knowledge of God." -ibn al-arabi {Sufi Path of Knowledge, Ibn al-arabi and the metaphysics of imagination, Chittick, pg 177]

By secondary he means the things God created. The pseudo mystics think they can know God. They consider the things in the cosmos to be a barrier in the way of them and God. so they aim to abolish the creation (secondary causes). The fact of the matter is that God can only be known through the veil of the cosmos. God speaks to us through a veil always!

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If God always speaks through a veil doesn't that mean we recieve a distorted sense of his nature or his message?

Unless by veil you mean unique to human understanding, something like limiting tje infinite to finite thereby never knowing the true essence outside

of our perceptions.

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You follow the authority of reflection

in spite of its incapacity,

and you have not been illumined

for an instant by the light of God.

Glory be to Him whose Essence

is concealed from the eye,

but manifest among His creatures

through their attributes!

-Ibn al-Arabi, SPK, pg182

In Himself (His Essence) God is Concealed (Batin). But insofar as He is Manifest (Zahir) He is Manifest through the veils of creation (the attributes of creation).

Edited by eThErEaL

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If God always speaks through a veil doesn't that mean we recieve a distorted sense of his nature or his message?

Unless by veil you mean unique to human understanding, something like limiting tje infinite to finite thereby never knowing the true essence outside

of our perceptions.

He requires that there be no competition (muzaahama). What i mean is as follows: Since God is named the Manifest and the Nonmanifest, he negated competition, since the Manifest does not compete with the Nonmanifest, nor does the Nonmanifest compete with the Manifest. Competition would take place if there were two manifests, or two nonmanifests. So he is the Manifest with respect to the loci of manifestation, while He is Nonmanifest with respect to His He-ness (huwiyyah). Hence the loci of manifestation are plural in respect of their entities, but not in respect of the Manifest within them. Therefore Unity lies in their manifestation, while plurality lies in their entities. The Real requires from those who are described by the attribute of professing His Unity that they profess His Unity in respect of His He-ness. Though the loci of manifestation are plural, the Manifest is not plural. They should not see anything unless He is the sees and the seer. They should not seek anything unless He is the seeker, the seeking, and the sought. They should not hear anything unless He is the hearer, the hearing, and the heard. Hence there is no competition, so there is no dispute.

Hence the person witnesses in the very Being of the Real the properties of the immutable entities. [He sees] that Being becomes manifest only in accordance with their properties. Then limits (hudood) become manifest and the levels of the entities become distinguished in the Being of the Real. It is said, "angels, spheres, elements, productions, genera, species, individuals." But the Entity of Being is One, while the properties are diverse in accordance with the diversity of the immutable entities, which are the "others" without doubt, though in immutability, not in existence.

In case you are wondering what "immutable entities" are.. this is the term refered to the entities insofar as they dont exist. Insofar as the entities dont exist, they are eternal! they are eternal because these immuatble entities are also referred to as God's Eternal KNowledge. God knows the creation not the momemnt he created it (or bestowed it existence) but rather God knows the creation eternally (irrespective of whetehr or not he bestows it existence). In fact the true nature of entities is not that they have existence, but rather that they dont have existence. This is God's knowledge. God knows things as they truly are (i.e. He knows the things to be nonexistent in themselves).

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If God always speaks through a veil doesn't that mean we recieve a distorted sense of his nature or his message?

Distorting might too narrow or rather too limiting a word here. The Divine un-veils Itself to human beings(as I'm sure you know) by means of symbolism and signs. This veiling we speak of in essence is really just a cloud, a Cloud of Unknowing if you like. Human beings are able to unravel this cloud by means of revelation, prayer, intellection and art (by means of the poetic). Which leads us to the below quote...

Unless by veil you mean unique to human understanding, something like limiting tje infinite to finite thereby never knowing the true essence outside

of our perceptions.

My understanding limited as it may be, suggests that the Infinite can never "limit" Itself to the finite even in the most miniscule of fashions. For to do so would imply the Almighty ceases to be almighty. As has been said, the only thing God cannot do is cease to be God. Your right to hint that one can never know "the true Essence outside our perceptions." Even the Prophets A.S. and the Imams A.S. saw through a cloud, albeit a cloud more clear and flavorful than we shall ever perceive. At best as can I see, man, incuding the most gifted and blessed of us are limited to the grace of intimations. Man and man alone is 'limited' in the comos, yet we are unique nonetheless. The beast or animal if you like stand before the creator in a different light, for they pray and know in their own way that He Alone knows. As the late Frithjof Schuon r.a. wrote "The great ambiguity of the human phenomenon resides in the fact that man is divine without being God.". In this lays also our great perplexity i.e. veil, in which is our quest and our gaol is to "Know ThySelf".

I'd like to end with a few passages intemated from the soul of Shaykh 'Isa Nur al-Din Ahmad al-Shadhili al-Darqawi al-'Alawi al-Maryami (Frithjof Schuon) r.a.:

"The soul of the fragmented creature is a hallucination; his image of the world is constricted and darkened. In man everything is broken, diminished confused. Every one of his sentiments is a breach and an inconsistency, because he cannot prevent himself from knowing; each of his thoughts is an impotent, blind groping for reality, and his act of will is meaningless and mocks him, so long as it is his. But if this act of will is directed against his own erring, it is already no longer his own. The spiritual man does what all men do, only he knows what he is doing. No man can do anything but what all men do; whoever imagines that he can do differently is simply deluding himslef-and in fact doing the same as everyone. Most people do not know what they are doing, for they confuse symbol with reality, and therein know neither one nor the other. All are seeking the lost Eden; no man can do otherwise. Formerly, people thought and acted-now they dream and err. Only he who is sure attains certitude, only he who sees attains the light, only the wise man attains Knowledge, only the powerful man attains to strength. All would be sure, seeing wise and strong is they knew they were these things; for only the positive, the whole, is real. Reality is the primordial miracle; whoever lay dying and saw Reality would arise as if newborn. Whoever had knowledge of Reality could destroy the universe and create it anew; but he would not do so. The Divine must come over man like death, as a power that seizes possession of him; were it not so, death would take even the Divine from man."

"Some people will say that science has long since shown the inconsistency of Revelations, Which arise -as they would argue- from our inveterate nostalgia as timid and unsatisfied earthlings. In a context such as that of this book, there is no need to reply yet again to such a thesis, but let us nevertheless take the opportunity to add one more image to those already given elsewhere. Imagine a radiant summer sky and imagine simple folk who gaze at it, projecting into it their dream of the hereafter ; now suppose that it were possible to transport these simple folk into the dark and freezing abyss of the galaxies and nebulae with it’s overwhelming silence. In this abyss all too many would lose their faith, and this is precisely what happens as a result of modern science, both to the learned and to the victims of popularization. What most men do not know –and if they could know it, why should they be called on to believe it(?) is that this blue sky, though illusory as an optical error and belied by the vision of interplanetary space, is nonetheless an adequate reflection of the Heaven of the Angels and the Blesses and that therefore, despite everything, it is this blue mirage, flecked with silver clouds, which is right and will have the last say; to be astonished at this amounts to admitting that it is by chance that we are here on earth and see the sky as we do. Of course the black abyss of the galaxies also reflects something, but the symbolism is then shifted and is no longer a question of the Heaven of the Angels; it is then – to remain faithful to our point of departure – doubtless first a question of the terrors of the divine mysteries, in which any man is lost who seeks to violate them by means of his fallible reason and without adequate motive; in a positive sense, it is the ‘scientia sacra’ which transcends the faith of the simple and is, ‘Deo juvante’ , accessible to the pure Intellect; but it is also a question, according to the immediate symbolism of appearances, of the abysses of universal manifestation , of this samsara whose limits indefinitely elude our ordinary experience. Finally, extra-terrestrial space likewise reflects death, as has already been pointed out above; it is a projection outside our earthly security into dizzying void and unimaginable strangeness; this is something with can be understood in a spiritual sense since we must “die before we die”. What we would chiefly emphasize here is the error of believing that by mere fact of it’s objective content science possesses the power and the right to destroy myths and religions and that it is thus some kind of higher experience, which kills gods and beliefs; in reality it is human incapacity to understand unexpected phenomena and to resolve certain seeing antinomies, which is smothering the truth and dehumanizing the world."

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