Ahmad Ahsai, Shaykh - Kitab Sharh al-Ziyara - Zayd's clay
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Shaikh Ahmad Ahsa’i – Kitab Sharh al-Ziyara [translated by Henry Corbin and Nancy Pearson]
When he dies and his outer human form disappears in the tomb and goes to the Throne, then at once the form of an animal manifests in him, since it is the very form of his work, his consubstantial matter now being available for this form that matches it. He will be brought back to life as an animal, because his personal work will have made this matter of his into something homogeneous to the matter of an animal...............
At the very moment when Zayd’s secret thought was contradicting his answer, his ‘clay’ that is, the consubstantial matter of his being, was moulded by this thought in the likeness of an animal, being henceforth the only matter available for the germination of his own seminal reason. So when he descended to this world, when he had settled down there in accordance with his choice, and when he had consummated his choice by repetition and by applying his effort to what he had already undertaken in the world of seminal reasons, what had existed in his secret thoughts was revealed in the light of day and he manifested the works of his animal nature.
That is also why he is resurrected in the animal state, since all his consubstantial matter had been moulded by his works, which were homogeneous to the substantial nature of an animal. For in truth Form is the configuration of matter; therefore it is the configuration of the thing which returns, it is not the thing itself…….. Each individual, when resurrected, assumes the form which, thanks to his works, has lodged in his most secret part