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Ibn Arabi (SP) – Fusus Seth

sábado 23 de abril de 2022



    • Doação e favorecimento divinos
      • Latência
      • Predisposição
      • Possibilidade de se conhecer sua própria predisposição
    • Funções respectivas do Selo dos Santos e do Selo dos Apóstolos (v. Ibn Arabi – Selo dos Santos)

Austin - Introdução

The chapter named after Seth deals with two main topics, that of divine giving and the subject of the respective functions of the Seal of Saints and the Seal of Apostles. In connection with the first of these topics, Ibn Arabi   touches also on the subject of latency and predisposition and the possibility of knowing one’s own predisposition.

In the first part of the chapter he deals with the question of divine giving and favor. He divides the divine giving in various ways and discusses the whole relationship between requesting and giving in response to a request, whether uttered or implicit.

This first topic of the chapter provides, perhaps, a clue to the title of the chapter, The Wisdom of Expiration in the Word of Seth. The Arabic word used for “expiration” is from the root nafakha, which literally means “to blow.” Now, the divine gift par excellence is that of existence itself, the bringing about of which is closely related to Ibn Arabi  ’s concept of the creating Mercy, which creativity is often termed the Breath of the Merciful [nafas al-rahman]. In other words the blowing referred to in the title is precisely that outgoing projection inspired by the divine desire for Self-consciousness which, from [60] the standpoint of created existence, is the supreme act of divine giving and generosity, all other particular gifts of God being aspects of that original gift of existence, since each particular gift to a particular creature serves only to confirm that existential covenant by which God affirms the ontological significance of the Cosmos. It is the universal gift of becoming that is the gift of the Essence, while the gift of the Names is the particular manifestation of that supreme Self-giving of God. Ibn Arabi   returns to this theme in the chapter on the Prophet David  .

As already mentioned, this notion of divine giving is closely related by Ibn Arabi   to the concept of latent predisposition in di-vinis. This means that the quality and nature of one’s existence as creature, in general and in detail, may be no more or less than that which it is eternally predisposed to be in one’s latent essence. Furthermore, not only the gift or response but also the making of the request itself is determined by the latent predisposition to do so.

Awareness or knowledge of what one is disposed to be in aeternis is, for Ibn Arabi  , an essential part of what he calls ma‘rifah or gnosis, since it involves the knowledge of oneself that is, at the same time, knowledge of the divine Reality of which one is, latently and essentially, inescapably an aspect, which is the meaning of the saying “Whosoever knows himself, knows his Lord.” Gnosis, according to our author, is not the acquired knowing of profane learning, but rather, as the Arabic root suggests, an immediate recognition and grasp not of something new or strange but rather of the state and status of things as they really are, have always been, and eternally will be, which knowledge is inborn in man but later covered over and obscured by the spiritual ignorance encouraged by preoccupation with ephemeral and partial data.

It is precisely this gnosis, which is potential in all humankind, that is the realized spiritual heritage of the saints, prophets, and apostles, and particularly of the Seal himself. Indeed, it is the normative cognition of the Perfect Man who perceives all difference and identity in terms of the Reality, other than which nothing is or exists.

Ibn Arabi   concludes this chapter with a curious prediction concerning the fate of man as defined in his teachings. He says that the last true human, in the line of Seth, will be born in China and that he will have an elder sister. He goes on to prophesy that thereafter men will become as beasts, bereft of spirit and law, until the coming [61] of the Hour. Thus, he indicates that that particular human synthesis of spirit and nature, of which we are all a part, will come to an end and the link be broken.

Chittick - Resumo

The first of the ontological levels which can be conceived of is the determination (ta’ayyun) which embraces all determinations and which possesses the comprehensive Unity (ahadiyyat al-jam’ ). The level which follows it is the level of Principiality (masdariyyah) and Effusion (fayyâdiyyah). Adam was the form of the first level, just as Seth was the locus of manifestation for the second. Therefore the first fass to be mentioned was that of Adam, and it was followed by the fass of Seth, in keeping with external existence itself.

Since Adam after the loss of Abel sought a gift from the ontological level of God as "the Giver" to alleviate his grief, God bestowed upon him Seth purely as a gift and bestowal. In addition everything which Seth attained came purely as a gift. Therefore the Shaykh inevitably speaks about gifts and some of their kinds in this fass: Know that gifts of God are comprised of numerous kinds: among them is that He should give a gift especially to manifest His bounty, without expecting anything in exchange from him who benefits, in terms of praise, thanksgiving, or what have you, by means of His Name "the Giver". And it, or the gift received from the Name "the Giver", is of two kinds: one is the gift of the Essence, pertaining to the Unity of all of the Names, for the Essence as It is in Itself does not bestow gifts or manifest Itself through theophanies, and the second is the gift of a Name.

Now if you should say, "The gifts pertaining to the Name ’the Giver’ are gifts of a Name, so how can they be divided into gifts of the Essence and gifts of a Name?" I would reply, "What is meant by ’gift of the Essence’ is the gift whose source is the Essence without taking into account any one of the divine Qualities along with it – even though such a gift is not given without the intermediary of the Names and Qualities, for God does not manifest Himself in terms of His Essence to the existent beings except from behind the veil of one of the Names. And what is meant by ’gift of a Name’ is a gift whose source is one of the Attributes in respect of its being distinguished and differentiated from the Essence."

The gifts of the Essence occur only through a "divine" theophany, i.e., through the theophany of the Presence of the all-embracing Name "Allah", which is the comprehensive Unity of all of the Names, not through the manifestation of the Essence, since there are no properties, designations, names, theophanies or anything else within the Unity of the Essence. Therefore the determination of the theophany comes from the ontological level of the divinity, and for this reason the theophany is attributed to the divine Essence, not to the Essence without restriction.

And the theophany from the Essence can only be according to the form of the locus of theophany – which is the servant – and according to his preparedness (isti’dâd), just as God appears in the mirrors of the beings according to their preparednesses and receptivities, by manifesting His properties within them. Other than this is impossible.

But as for the gifts of a Name, they always are accompanied by a veil, i.e., the veil of determination according to a Name, according to which a particular Name becomes differentiated from the others. And the recipient does not receive this gift, whether of the Essence or of a Name, except according to his actual preparedness, for the theophanies in the Presence of Holiness and the Spring of Oneness are one and whole in description, but they become colored when they descend according to the preparednesses of the recipients, their spiritual and physical levels, their times and places, and all of the concomitances of these things, like states, constitutions and particular attributes. So people think because of the diversity of effects that the theophanies themselves are multiple in reality, but this is not so. God said, "Our command is but one, as the twinkling of an eye" (Quran LIV, 50). Just as God is one in every respect, so also His effusion and His command have no multiplicity except in relation to the recipients.

It, or the preparedness, is what is meant by His words, "He gave everything its creation" (Quran XX, 50). So from that is the preparedness.

It may be that the gift, whether from the Essence or a Name, is due to asking on the part of him who has received it by the state of his preparedness, or the state which causes man to ask verbally. There is no escape from it, or from asking by the state.

Or it may be that the gift is due to asking verbally. Verbal asking is of two kinds: one is asking according to nature, in that the reason for asking is man’s natural wish to hurry, for man was created ever hasty, and the second, which is asking but not according to nature, is also divided into two kinds. The first is asking in obedience to the divine command, according to His words, "Call upon Me and I will answer you" (Quran XL, 60), and the second is asking according to the demands of wisdom and gnosis, for he, or the asker according to the demands of wisdom and gnosis, is a commander who directs his subjects – whether they be all the inhabitants of the world, or those of a kingdom, or his family, or his body, and a master of the reins of their affairs, a protector of their interests, and one who knows that there are certain of their interests which divine Providence has ordained to be dependent upon asking. So he asks God and prays to Him to take care of these affairs. It is obligatory for him, or that asker, to strive to the extent possible to see that every one of his subjects who has a right receives it; what indicates this obligation is like his, i.e. the Prophet’s, words, "Verily you have a duty toward your family" i.e. those who are worthy of your instruction and education, like wives and children in the macrocosm and like physical and spiritual faculties in the microcosm, "your soul, your body and your guests."

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