"...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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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Esoteric Apocalypse - Isma‘ilī Muslim Perspectives

“The name of Qā’im, resurrector, is reserved par excellence for “he who will rise up”, the Lord of the Resurrection, at the close of the final Period of our Cycle. Yet each partial Qā’im at the end of each Period of the Septenary, as well as each Imām and each member of the Order, is also, potentially, Lord of the Resurrection, a limb of his mystical body, an oratory in his Temple of Light.” - Henry Corbin, (Temple and Contemplation, 162)

“It is said, for example, that the Qā’im, the aim and goal of all the hudūd, the degrees or “horizons”, is the Grand Cycle of which the Imāms are the periods or partial cycles, just as each Imām is himself a cycle in relation to his ḥudūd. … It is also said that the Qā’im is the “coalescence” (majma), the corpus mysticum of all the ḥudūd; each of the Imāms has his own corpus mysticum, his Temple of Light, and all are gathered together and integrated in the Sublime Temple of the Resurrector. – Henry Corbin, (Cyclical Times and Ismaili Gnosis, 99)

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