Thirteenth Century A.D.


The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment

Last Revised: 10 February 2005

Enlightenment Teachings and Experiences

Details of bibliographic acronyms are available here .

Subject: Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi
Dates: 1165-1240 A.D.
Tradition: Sufism.

Let him observe that the spirit is the Total Spirit, and that the intellect is the Total Intellect, and observe this with the certainty of the Truth ... and then throw away from himself anything called 'partial'. (KK, 5.)

At last the gnostic understands … whatever is manifested is …that … One Existence, One Soul, One Body; it is neither separated nor individuated; that everything in immanence is nothing other than His Manifestation and Tools. (KK, 7.)

Whoever remains in prison in the definite dimension

Will be totally saddened when laid out in the earth. (KK, 8.)

He is able to show His Being either within or without; that which is in the image of everything, that which is understandable in every intellect, the meaning that is in every heart, the thing heard in every ear, the eye that sees in every eye, is Him. ... If He is manifest in this face He is also looking from the other. (KK, 8.)

There is no end to the Ipseity [Selfhood] of God or to His qualification. (KK, 9.)

'He is at every moment in a different configuration,' means ... that there is no end to the revelation of God. (KK, 9.)

His Power is most great; His Glory is vast; and there is no Divinity but Him. (KK, 10.)

No Qualification or name is possible at this station. Whatever word is used to explain this station is inadequate because at this Presence the Ipseity [Selfhood] of God is in Complete Transcendence from everything, because He has not yet descended into the Circle of Names and Qualities. All the Names and Qualities are buried in annihilation in the Ipseity of God. ... "Did not a time pass over man when man was not a thing mentioned, remembered or heard of?" ... "At that time God Almighty was in a state such that there was nothing with Him." (KK, 10.)

In the Quran it says: "The keys of the Unknowable are gathered all on His level; He alone knows them." (KK, 10.)

This [fourth] presence [known as the Absolute Unknowableness] is also called the Universe of the Divine Nature ... the universe of non-manifestation ... which does not come under any measure or form or compehensibility. It is also called the universe of Absoluteness ... the Absolute Blindness ... Sheer Being, Absolute Being ... Mother of the Book, Absolute Expression, the Ocean-Deep Point, the Unknown of the Unknown. (KK, 11.)

My heart's mirror became the place of manifestation of the revelations and effusions of the eternal and forever Beloved. The Divine effusions, following one from the other, descended and continue to descend, and my heart accepts it. Neither the love nor the receptivity of my heart is exhausted and it is not likely that it will end. (KK, 17.)

The man on this journey [back from Perfection] is [dedicated to] helping others to know, ... clearing a way for others with a spiritual descent, and he puts on the cloak of manhood and comes down from his [perfect] state to go among the people and mingle with them. That is the meaning of the hadith that says: "I am also a human being like you all." It is necessary at this state to eat, to drink, to sleep, to marry, but not to fall into excess in any, nor into asceticism. Complete balance and direction is essential. (KK, 23.)

There is no absolute which has not a relative side. Because of this, whatever is worshipped, the Absolute appears in that face. Whether or not the owner of a belief knows this, this is how it is. (KK, 24.)

On the earth whatever is seen is Him. (KK, 24.)

It is absolutely impossible to worship other than Him. Even the worship of an idol results in the worship of God, because the existence of the idol is also of God. To be able to understand this it is necessary to understand and to know that all existence is of God. ... The gnostic, after having understood this meaning, neither enters into nor denies anybody else's belief, because he understands there is no other existent but him and because he saw the All linked together in a chain of order, and understood that he himself is nothing other than an order and a will. (KK, 25.)

What one must understand is that this one Existence has such magnitude that it includes everything. ... It is both relative and absolute, both all-inclusive and transcendent from all. By virtue of Its absoluteness, it is rich beyond need and dear above everything. (KK, 33.)

Advance, find an eye. Remedy by it.
And now, look from Him to Him.

The one who journeys through all degrees and reveals Himself is Him. (KK, 33.)

The greatest of the universe, the deepest ocean is Thou. Why bother to know about places since Being is Thou. (KK, 34.)

God constantly shows ever new revelations. From every revelation there is the order of God which descends upon the servants. It comes to visit their heart. The order of God, that is to say, that revelation, is the secret visitor. It comes from God and lodges in the heart of the servant. If at that instant the heart of the servant is full of God, that visitor meets with God in that heart, and unites with the reality which is present in the heart. (KK, 42.)

From the union of that visitor which is God's order with the Reality in the heart, a holy beauty appears. ... The wisdom in the words returns to God and arrives there. This coming and going is not from the side of the spirit. This is a descent transcendent from everything. And the going is equally in the same manner, and with a transcendent return. Neither the intelligence of the heavenly spheres nor that of the angels reach this coming and going. If they saw anything they would see just a light transcendent from everything, and they would not know more. (KK, 43.)

When that revelation which is the secret visitor arrives, if the heart of the servant is occupied with rememoration and meditation and the servant thinks of God he will have received it with due respect. When that revelation comes, if it does not find thoughts about Him, but encounters an angel there, from their union results an image special to the angels. This then flies by the road that spirits take, until it reaches the Extreme Limit ... and stays there.

If that visitor comes and on arrival there meets with devilish things this time it takes a state which resembles a feverish crisis. ...

If that visitor comes and immediately finds a beauty therein, at once it takes a good form, and finds bounty according to the nature of the form it has taken and waits then till the owner comes.

... Each revelation which descends to the heart, with whatever it is grafted, it takes a good or bad form and returns to the place necessary. Therefore for a man to receive this revelation well and properly it is necessary that he should nurture good thoughts constantly. (43-4.)

Only God sees God. (KK, 48.)

Subject: Mowlana Jelaluddin Rumi
Dates: 1207-1273 A.D.
Tradition: Founder of the Mevlevi Dervish Order.

The Beloved is all in all; the lover merely veils Him. (Rumi in PP, 15.)

He makes the night to enter into the day and makes the day to enter into the night.

He brings forth the living from the dead, and brings forth the dead from the living. (Rumi in DR, 15.)

There is one thing in this world which must never be forgotten. If you were to forget everything else, but did not forget that, then there would be no cause for worry; whereas if you performed and remembered and did not forget every single thing, but forgot that one thing, then you would have done nothing whatsoever. It is just as if a king had sent you to the country to carry out a specified task. You go and perform a hundred other tasks; but if you have not performed that particular task on account of which you had gone to the country, it is as if you have performed nothing at all. So man has come into this world for a particular task,1 and that is his purpose; if he does not perform it, then he will have done nothing. (DR, 26.)

Subject: Angela of Foligno
Dates: 1248-1309 A.D.
Tradition: Roman Catholic.

I knew all I longed to know, possessed all I longed to possess. I saw all Good. (ECST, 427.

The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment