Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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CONTENTS

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pp. v-vi

LIST OF PLATES

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p. vii

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-104

A more complete title for the present book would have been "Creative Imagination and Mystical Experience in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi." An abbreviation, however, is permissible, since the mere word "Sufism" suffices to place "Imagination" in our specific context. Here we shall not be dealing with imagination in the usual sense of the word...

PART ONE

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DIVINE PASSION AND COMPASSION

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pp. 107-137

In a treatise on "the hieratic art of the Greeks," Proclus, that lofty figure of late Neoplatonism whom scholars have so unjustly neglected, writes the following: Just as in the dialectic of love we start from sensuous beauties to rise until we encounter the unique principle of all beauty and all ideas, so the adepts of hieratic science take as their starting point the...

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SOPHIOLOGY ANDDEVOTIO SYMPATHETICA

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pp. 138-180

In the prologue to the Diwan, which he entitled "The Interpreter of Ardent Desires,"1 Ibn 'Arabi relates the circumstances of its composition as follows: "While sojourning in Mecca in the course of the year A.H. 598 £A.D. 1201^, I frequented a group of outstanding men and women, an elite of culture and virtue. Although...

PART TWO

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Prologue

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pp. 183-187

"The notion of the imagination, magical intermediary between thought and being, incarnation of thought in image and presence of the image in being, is a conception of the utmost importance, which plays a leading role in the philosophy of the Renaissance and which we meet with again in the philosophy of Romanticism." 1 This observation, taken from one of our foremost interpreters of the doctrines...

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Ill THE CREATION AS THEOPHANY

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pp. 188-219

It will first be necessary to recall the acts of the eternal cosmogony as conceived by the genius of Ibn 'Arabi.1 To begin with: a Divine Being alone in His unconditioned essence, of which we know only one thing: precisely the sadness of the primordial solitude that makes Him yearn to be revealed in beings who manifest Him...

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THEOPHANIC IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY OF THE HEART

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pp. 220-253

The doctrine of the imagination in its psycho-cosmic function has two aspects: the one is cosmogonic or theogonic, (the "theogony" of the divine Names). In connection with this aspect we must bear in mind that the idea of "genesis" here expressed has nothing to do with a creatio ex nikilo and is equally far removed from the Neoplatonic...

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V MAN'S PRAYER AND GOD'S PRAYER

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pp. 254-279

Some have thought it paradoxical that prayer should perform a function in a doctrine such as that of Ibn 'Arab , and what is more, an essential function, while others have denied that this was so. For those who hastened to classify his doctrine of the "transcendental unity of being" as "monism" or "pantheism" in the senses these words have assumed in our history of modern philosophy, have made...

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VI THE "FORM OF GOD"

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pp. 280-289

Let us now bear firmly in mind these two leitmotives: God's reply to Moses as recorded in the Koran: "Thou shalt not see me"—and the famous "hadlth of the vision" (al-ru'ya), dream vision or ecstatic vision, in which the Prophet bears witness: "I have seen my Lord in a form of the greatest beauty, as a youth with abundant hair, seated...

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EPILOGUE

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pp. 290-292

Here perhaps we have gone as far as it is possible at this time to carry this study of the theophanic Imagination. What we have just analyzed offers us an exemplary and maximal instance of the virtue of that Creative Imagination which, in the Prologue to the second part of this book, we carefully distinguished from fantasy, describing it as...

NOTES AND APPENDICES

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pp. 293-398

LIST OF WORKS CITED

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pp. 399-406

INDEX

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pp. 407-414