Three Muslim Sages: Avicenna-Suhrawardi-Ibn Arabi by Seyyed Hossein Nasr

By Seyyed Hossein Nasr

3 Muslim Sages: Avicenna-Suhrawardi-Ibn Arabi

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But in order to accomplish this difficult feat and be delivered from his "Occidental" exile he must find a Guide who will orient him in the cosmos and lead him to his ultimate salvation. In such a perspective the cosmos becomes an immediate experience for the traveler or adept and ceases to be just a theoretical formulation. It speaks to the adept in the language of symbols and conveys to him a message of the greatest significance, one which is a matter of life and death and concerns the ultimate well-being of his soul.

Quid est, or nui hiya), and the other is its existence. For example, when a person thinks of a horse, he can distinguish in his mind between the idea of the horse, or its quiddity, which includes the shape, form, color, and everything else that comprises the essence of the horse, and the existence of that horse in the external world. In the mind the quiddity is independent of existence in the sense that one can think of the quiddity of an object without 26. THREE MUSLIM SAGES in any way being concerned with whether it exists or not.

Not only does it give existence to this world but also issues forth all the forms which in combining with matter bring into being the creatures of this region. When a creature is generated, the Tenth Intellect emanates the form to make its existence possible and when it withers away and dies it takes back the form unto itself. That is why Avicenna also calls it the Giver of Forms ( wiihib al-~war). For example, if water solidifies and becomes ice, watery form is taken away by the "Giver of Forms" and the new icy form added to the materia of what was previously water to turn it into ice.

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