The journey from creatures to God

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Based on Ibn Arabi’s book ‘The Bezels of Wisdom’ (Fusoos al-Hikam). Composed during the later period of Ibn ‘Arabi’s life (12th century), the fass or “bezel” of a ring is a part with which it is decorated and upon which the name of its owner is written. “Wisdom”, in this case, is knowledge of the Divine realities and attributes.

In each chapter of this book, Ibn Arabi gives a jewel that helps to bring us closer to Universal or Perfect Man, in order to understand Al-il hiyyah (“the Divinity” or “Allah”), the name of the highest ontological level which embraces all of the levels of the divine Names and Qualities.

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The limits to our existence are a lot less than we are made to think by modern society which evaluates a person by the quality and quantity of the objects they own. My starting point was Mulla Sadra’s book The Four Journeys (al-Asfar al-arba’a), in which he speaks about Universal Man (al-Insan al-Kamil), and the journey of each one of us returning to the essence. This book has been one of the main inspirations for this series along with other writings such as the books of Rene Guenon including ‘Universal Symbols of Sacred Science’ (translated into Arabic).
Asfar is the plural form of safar meaning journey in Arabic, Sadr al-Din Shirazi intended the scheme of his book to match the four journeys considered by Islamic mystics, framed by:
1- The part on general issues (existence and its manifestations).
2- The part on natural philosophy (substances and accidents).
3- The part on proper theology.
4- The part on the soul, its origin and its resurrection.

The four journeys are as follows:
1- The journey from creatures to God.
2- The journey in God by God.
3- The journey from God to creatures by God.
4- The Journey in the creatures by God.