"...the Imagination (or love, or sympathy, or any other sentiment) induces knowledge, and knowledge of an 'object' which is proper to it..."
Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was a scholar, philosopher and theologian. He was a champion of the transformative power of the Imagination and of the transcendent reality of the individual in a world threatened by totalitarianisms of all kinds. One of the 20th century’s most prolific scholars of Islamic mysticism, Corbin was Professor of Islam & Islamic Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Teheran. He was a major figure at the Eranos Conferences in Switzerland. He introduced the concept of the mundus imaginalis into contemporary thought. His work has provided a foundation for archetypal psychology as developed by James Hillman and influenced countless poets and artists worldwide. But Corbin’s central project was to provide a framework for understanding the unity of the religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. His great work Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi is a classic initiatory text of visionary spirituality that transcends the tragic divisions among the three great monotheisms. Corbin’s life was devoted to the struggle to free the religious imagination from fundamentalisms of every kind. His work marks a watershed in our understanding of the religions of the West and makes a profound contribution to the study of the place of the imagination in human life.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Henry Corbin & The Secret Chiefs

Trey Spruance of Secret Chiefs 3: "I started studying the musical systems of antiquity to try to understand what made them tick"

"Actually, I was just reading Suhrawardi, who was a Persian mystical philosopher from the twelfth century. I believe in Suhrawardi; a very practical outlook comes together in him between the rational intellect and the intuitive intellect and all of this. But he's basing a lot of his rational arguments in Neoplatonic philosophy, in a way. Once I was starting to try to get at the bases he was establishing, so that he could have the other half of things, which is sort of the mystical, enlightenment part of things.

Henry Corbin, who pretty much introduced Suhrawardi to the West, called him the "Hellenite magi" because he had one foot in the Hellenic world and one foot in ancient Zoroastrian mysticism. So it was that and the subsequent schools of Ishraqi schools of philosophy and doing background research on Neoplatonic philosophy that led me back to the Stoics first." Read the interview

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  1. Thanks for posting this Tom! I'm a huge fan of Trey Spruance's music and related feats. The music is highly visionary and conceptual, comprising a huge xonephilic range of borrowings and influences, along with the spirit of Philip K Dick, Stanislaw Lem at al. Overall Trey's work is incredibly grounded despite the eclectic and diverse manifestations, and his remarks that I have read about matters personal and abstract are usually provocative and brilliant. Cheers

  2. Actually, Mr. Spruance is who led me to Monsieur Corbin. Surprised to see about Trey Spruance in this blog :)