"Henry Corbin's works are the best guide to the visionary tradition...Corbin, like Scholem and Jonas, is remembered as a scholar of genius. He was uniquely equipped not only to recover Iranian Sufism for the West, but also to defend the principal Western traditions of esoteric spirituality."--From the introduction by Harold Bloom Ibn 'Arabi (1165-1240) was one of the great mystics of all time. Through the richness of his personal experience and the constructive power of his intellect, he made a unique contribution to Shi'ite Sufism. In this book, which features a powerful new preface by Harold Bloom, Henry Corbin brings us to the very core of this movement with a penetrating analysis of Ibn 'Arabi's life and doctrines. Corbin begins with a kind of spiritual topography of the twelfth century, emphasizing the differences between exoteric and esoteric forms of Islam. He also relates Islamic mysticism to mystical thought in the West. The remainder of the book is devoted to two complementary essays: on "Sympathy and Theosophy" and "Creative Imagination and Creative Prayer." A section of notes and appendices includes original translations of numerous Su fi treatises.
Harold Bloom's preface links Sufi mysticism with Shakespeare's visionary dramas and high tragedies, such as The Tempest and Hamlet. These works, he writes, intermix the empirical world with a transcendent element. Bloom shows us that this Shakespearean cosmos is analogous to Corbin's "Imaginal Realm" of the Sufis, the place of soul or souls.
List of PlatesPrefaceIntroductionBetween Andalusia and Iran: A Brief Spiritual Topography3The Curve and Symbols of Ibn 'Arabi's Life38At Averroes' Funeral38The Pilgrim to the Orient46The Disciple of Khidr53His Maturity and the Completion of His Work68The Situation of Esoterism77Divine Passion and Compassion105The Prayer of the Heliotrope105The "Pathetic God"112Of Unio Mystica as Unio Sympathetica120Sophiology and Devotio Sympathetica136The Sophianic Poem of a Fedele d'amore136The Dialectic of Love145The Creative Feminine157Prologue179The Creation as Theophany184The Creative Imagination as Theophany, or the "God from Whom All Being Is Created"184The God Manifested by the Theophanic Imagination190The "God Created in the Faiths"195The Recurrence of Creation200The Twofold Dimension of Beings207Theophanic Imagination and Creativity of the Heart216The Field of the Imagination216The Heart as a Subtile Organ221The Science of the Heart237Man's Prayer and God's Prayer246The Method of Theophanic Prayer246Homologations257The Secret of the Divine Responses262The "Form of God"272The Hadith of the Vision272Around the Mystic Ka'aba277Epilogue282Notes and Appendices285List of Works Cited391Index399
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