Some Observations on Paulo Coelho's Intellectual Sources

Sayyed Mohammad Moosawiyan*

With the collapse of materialistic systems, Marxism and Freudism, the vacuum resulted from lack of faith and spirituality followed by man's need for spirituality and mysticism is more felt today. Paulo Coelho, a famous Brazilian novelist, has cleverly taken the advantage of this and situation and started to write apparently mystical novels to fill the existing spiritual vacuum. He has borrowed his mystical thoughts from indigenous cultural elements and religious beliefs of any religion and region. Shamanism, Taoism and Indian (Native Americans) mysticism are among the beliefs which have greatly influenced his thought and works.  Naturalism, magic and sorcery, drugs, dance, music, and free sexual relations are common elements of Shamanism, Taoism, and Indian mysticism and, of course, they have been extensively reflected in Paulo Coelho's mystical literature.
Key words: Paulo Coelho, modern spirituality, Shamanism, ecstasy, magical Taoism, Lao-Tzu, Indian mysticism. 



The Degrees of Proximity in Islamic Mysticism

Davood Hassanzadeh Karimabad*

The ontological and spiritual wayfaring-based view about creation's proximity to God and elucidating its degrees are of great importance in Islamic mysticism. Creation's relationship with God is - in the view of mystical ontology which is based on the individual unity of existence and theory of manifestation- either general (indirect or particular (direct). The proximity which man achieves by traversing through these two ways of his direct and indirect relationship with God is called "spiritual wayfaring-based proximity" contrasted with "existential proximity" which refers to man's manifestation of man's truth, whether man understands it or not. In the view of supererogatory rituals and obligations, spiritual wayfaring-based proximity has many degrees. By performing supererogatory rituals or both supererogatory rituals and obligations, the degrees of circle of perfection and authority and similar circles are defined which represent the degrees of proximity. The superiority and posteriority of any one of these two which are called "lover's journey" and "journey of the beloved" form four degrees of proximity: love, unity, knowledge, and research.
Key words: spiritual wayfaring-based proximity, existential proximity, proximity through performance of supererogatory rituals, proximity through performance of obligations, degrees of proximity.



The Relationship between Soul and Body in Ibn 'Arabi's View

Mohammad Miri*

In elaborating on how human intellective soul which has a rational identity is related to corporeal body, Ibn 'Arabi propounds the idea that "man's imaginal stage" and "vaporous spirit" represent two linking bridges which have the duty of mediating between soul and body. There is not so much difference between Ibn 'Arabi's view and that of other philosophers about vaporous spirit, but the very idea of proving the existence of imaginal stage for man and demonstrating its role in establishing the relationship between intellective soul and corporeal body is one of the valuable innovations which has no record in the theories and sayings of those who preceded Ibn 'Arabi. He uses such terms and expressions as "animal soul" and "animal spirit" to refer to man's imaginal stage. The present paper tries to shed light on some of mystics' views on the relationship between soul and body by investigating Ibn 'Arabi's view on the issue.
Key words: soul, body, Ibn 'Arabi, vaporous spirit, man's imaginal stage.




An Analysis and Evaluation of Master of Illumination's View on the Nature of Mystical Knowledge

Mas'ood Ismaili*

Master of illumination regards soul's mystical knowledge as a kind of illuminative attribution. Illuminative attribution as the nature of mystical knowledge means observing the soul in relation to other lights in their abode. This knowledge and intuition is contingent upon inner striving and mystic journey. Sohrevardi uses the essence of sensual perception to analyze the reality of this illuminative attribution. By sensual perception, he means soul's direct exposure to external perceived object, which is realized through emanation of light beam from eye towards the object of perception. According to Sohrevardi's view, mystical intuition and knowledge is direct exposure to external object of knowledge, to which soul attains by shining abstract light to luminous abstract objects (the lights). Soul's irradiation to other lights shows that mystical intuition is always accompanied by a kind of scientific agency or attention and concern, in Master of Illumination's view. Master of illumination believes that this relation or attribution is not a kind of identification, because he totally rejects identification of knower and knowable. In Master of Illumination' view, therefore, mystical knowledge has a two-dimensional structure (knower and knowable) which is a kind of direct relationship (not identification) between knower and object of knowledge and is realized by a kind of soul's scientific agency about knowable.
Key words: mystical knowledge, the nature of mystical knowledge, Master of Illumination.



The Reality of Heart in Islamic Mysticism

Hassan Ramezani* / Muhsen Parsanezhad**

Man's reality refers not only to his spiritual stage and perfection and to mere detachment from material belongings and changing into intellects and nonmaterial things; rather, man's reality is his heart and collective identity which receives collective manifestations of divine perfection through the oneness of his folk.
All the discussions about practical mysticism which seek to define  the stages and stations of the journey towards God describe  heart states, and the basis of theoretical mysticism in explaining the existence and its determinations is, in fact, a reflection of man's heart or  reality, and idea which is expressed in: "he who knows himself, surely knows his God". Through its inner motion and journey throughout the stages of existence, the heart can reach the highest and most perfect stage of manifestation, i.e., the first determination which is the most inner determination and origin and of all manifestations. It is in this stage that utmost degree of one's knowledge of the Most High God is reached.
Mankind has the capacity to gather all the realities relating to Divine Names because he has heart reality. This capacity reaches its utmost only in those who are referred to as God's vicegerent and argument. Therefore, the degree of perfection and station of every individual depends on the degree of his/her realization of this capacity and the human reality he/she shows.
Key words: heart, spirit, intellective soul, interworld, first determination.




Jari and Tatbiq (Applicability and Conformity);  Methods and Foundations

Sayyed Yadullah Yazdanpanah* / Mahmud Jawadi Wala**

Jari and Tatbiq (Applicability and conformity) are two kinds of mystical esoteric commentary, which originate from the universality and eternity of the holy Quran. Jari (Applicability) means application of general and particular words and verses of the Quran to all the cases and instances to which these words and verses are applicable until the Day of resurrection. Some suppose that Jari and Tatbiq mentioned in most Shiite traditions and commentaries based on Shiite traditions are exclusive commentary of related verses. Some researchers in the field of the Quran also suppose that esoteric commentary and inner meanings of Quran are limited to Jari and Tatbiq.  The present paper reviews the kinds of Jari and Tatbiq, their methods, foundations and damages and resolves these doubts.
Key words: Jari and Tatbiq (applicability and conformity), esoteric commentary, commentary, outward, inward.