By Henry Corbin
A penetrating research of the writings of the nice Persian mystics at the quest for dawning gentle within the non secular trip. Suhrawradi, Semnani, Najm al-Din Kubra and different Sufis.
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Although it has been so weakly interpreted as to make it impossible to discern in this Recital anything beyond an inoffensive philosophical allegory on the interpreter's level, it nevertheless has a deeper sense which shines t h r o u g h page after page, because, as in the other Recitals of the Avicennan trilogy, Hayy ibn Yaqzan points a finger to the same Orient to which Sohravardi's recitals redirect us. 25 II. T h e Man of Light a n d His Guide 2. The Nous of Hermes and the Shepherd of Hermas T h e archetypal Figure exemplified by the apparition of Perfect Nature assumes therefore in respect to the man of light, Phos, throughout the entire ordeal of his exile, a role best d e f i n e d by the word iroifJiTjv, the "shepherd," the watcher, the guide.
T h e minerals in their soil and the walls of their cities secrete their own light (like the var of Yima); they have no need of any outer light, whether f r o m the sun, the moon, the stars, or the physical Heavens. These concordant signs establish the heavenly topography of this supernatural Earth on the boundary of the Sphere above the planetary Heavens and the Heaven of the innumerable Fixed Stars, which encompasses the entire sensory universe. T h e m o u n t a i n of Qaf is this Sphere of Spheres s u r r o u n d i n g the totality of the visible cosmos; an emerald rock, casting its reflection over the whole of the mountain of Qaf, is the keystone of this celestial vault, the pole.
Where this witness of contemplation becomes, as in Najm Kobra, the theophanic witness of what is seen in vision, the function its name implies is made even clearer: according to whether the soul in vision sees it as light, or on the contrary "sees" only darkness, the soul itself testifies, by its vision, for or against its own spiritual realization. T h u s the "witness in Heaven" is called the "scales of the suprasensory" (mizan alghayb); the beauty of the being who is the witness of contemplation is likewise a means of weighing, since it proves the capacity or incapacity of the soul to perceive beauty as theophany par excellence.
The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism by Henry Corbin