Monday, March 10, 2008

Mishkatul Anwar: Affirmation of Unity

When the gnostics reach the height of experience, they testify without exception that they do not see anything in existence except the real one.

For some, this is an intellectual realization. For others however, it becomes a matter of affective experience; plurality vanishes for them altogether:
  • they are absorbed into pure unity, losing their intellects completely, stunned and bewildered
  • they are no more conscious of anything other than the real one, nor even themselves
Nothing exists for them except the real one; as a result they exclaim in a state of intoxication which removes the control of reason:

  • one of them said: ‘I am truth!’
  • another said: ‘Glory to me, how great I am!’
  • a third said: ‘There is none in these clothes except the real one!’
When this experience overwhelms the mystic it called extinction, rather extinction of extinction. For, he becomes unconscious of himself and unconscious of his unconsciousness, because he is not aware of his self in this state, nor of his forgetfulness of himself. For, if he were aware of his self-forgetfulness, he would have been aware of himself. This state is called:

  • unification in the language of metaphor, and
  • in the language of reality, affirmation of unity.

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