A Quote by Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn al-`Arabi on departure, dreams, eternity, facts, god, imagination, perception, reason, understanding, and universe

Questioner: How do you know God? Abu Asa'id al-Kharraz: By the fact that He is the coincidentia oppositorum. Corbin's commentary: . . . the entire universe of worlds is at once He and not-He (huwa la huwa). The God manifested in forms is at once Himself and other than Himself, for since He is manifested, He is the limited which has no limit, the visible which cannot be seen. This manifestation is neither perceptible nor verifiable by the sensory faculties; discursive reason rejects it. It is perceptible only by the Active Imagination (Hadrat al-Khayal...) at times when it dominates man's sense perceptions, in dreams or better still in the waking state (in the state characteristic of the gnostic when he departs from the consciousness of sensuous things). In short, a mystic perception (dhawq) is required. To perceive all forms as epiphanic forms (mazahir), that is, to perceive through the figures which they manifest and which are the eternal hexeities, that they are other than the Creator and nevertheless that they are He, is precisely to effect the encounter, the coincidence, between God's descent toward the creature and the creature's ascent toward the Creator. The "place" of this encounter is not outside the Creator-Creature totality, but is the area within it which corresponds specifically to the Active Imagination, in the manner of a bridge joining the two banks of a river. The crossing itself is essentially a hermeneutics of symbols, a method of understanding which transmutes sensory data and rational concepts into symbols (mazahir) by making them effect this crossing.

Ibn al-'Arabi (1165 - 1240)

Source: Corbin, Henry. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn `Arabi, 1969. p. 188-189

Contributed by: Zaady