Mystic physiology

~Henry Corbin

In Ibn ‘Arabi as in Sufism in general, the heart (qalb), is the organ which produces true knowledge, comprehensive intuition, the gnosis (ma’rifa) of God and the divine mysteries, in short, the organ of everything connoted by the term "esoteric science" (‘ilm al-Batin). It is the organ of a perception which is both experience and intimate taste (dhawq), and although love is also related to the heart, the specific center of love is in Sufism generally held to be the ruh, pneuma, spirit. 

Of course, and of this we are reminded at every turn, this "heart" is not the conical organ of flesh, situated on the left side of the chest, although there is a certain connection, the modality of which, however, is essentially unknown. It is a notion to which the utmost importance has been attached by the mystics of all times and countries, of Oriental Christianity (the Prayer of the Heart, the charisma of cardiognosis) as well as India . Here we have to do with a "subtile physiology" elaborated "on the basis of ascetic, ecstatic, and contemplative experience" and expressing itself in symbolic language. This, as Mircea Eliade has pertinently remarked, does not mean "that such experiences were not real; they were perfectly real, but not in the sense in which a physical phenomenon is real”.

Knowledge and the Sacred [4]

~Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Although Buddhism belongs to a very different perspective than Hinduism and, in fact, began as a rebellion against many Brahmanical doctrines and practices, it joins Hinduism in emphasizing the primacy of knowledge. The supreme experience of the Buddha was illumination which implies knowledge. The beginning of Buddhism is Boddhisattvayāna which means “birth of awareness that all things are void.” 

At the heart of Buddhism, therefore, lies knowledge that was to lead later to the elaborate metaphysics of the Void which is the foundation of the whole of Buddhism and which was championed by Nāgārjuna. Also all the virtues of the Bodhisattva, the pāramitās, culminate in wisdom or prajñā. They all contribute to the dawning of this knowledge which liberates and which lies as a possibility within the being of all humans.

The life force

The Reality of Being / The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff 

~Jeanne de Salzmann 

The life force 

We wish to live, to be in life. From the moment we are born, something in us seeks to affirm itself in the outside world. I want to be heard and seen, to devour the world. At the same time, I do not want to be devoured. I want to be first, always. But all too soon I encounter the resistance of the world, and the basic impulse of self-affirmation has to take others into account. 

My affirming often assumes curious, even though common, forms such as self-pity or a refusal to express oneself. I wish to live, I agree with life. I do everything to live, and this same force maintains the life of my body. I wish for something or to do something, and when the wish appears, this force is here. It impels me toward manifestation. Throughout my life, in everything I do, I seek to affirm this force. There is no act, however small, that is not an affirmation. 


Ibn 'Arabi Heir to the Prophets

When God opened the door for him, Ibn ‘Arabi found that he had inherited all the sciences of Muhammad.Among these sciences was the knowledge that no one after him – except Jesus at the end of time – would be Muhammad’s plenary inheritor. It was this unveiling that allowed him to see himself as the Seal of Muhammadan Friendship, that is, the last person to actualize the specific mode of friendship that results from embodying the fullness of the paradigm established by Muhammad. 

By no means does Ibn ‘Arabi’s claim to be the Muhammadan Seal imply that he was the last friend of God. Rather, it means that no one after him, with the exception of Jesus, would inherit the totality of prophetic works, states, and knowledge – a totality that had been realized only by Muhammad among all the prophets.