Ibn El-Arabi - Henry Corbin - And the mystic Beloved
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Henry Corbin – Alone with the Alone
It would be worthwhile to reconstitute the sequence of visionary experiences in the life of Ibn ‘Arabi, his own personal and experiential verification of his maxim: "He in whom the ‘Active Imagination’ [the composer] is not at work will never penetrate to the heart of the question" (Futuhat II)….
"This power of ‘Active Imagination’ ," he confesses, "attains in me such a degree that it has visually represented to me my mystic Beloved in a corporeal, objective, and extramental form, just as the Angel Gabriel appeared to the eyes of the Prophet. And at first I did not feel capable of looking toward that Form.
It spoke to me. I listened and understood.
These apparitions left me in such a state that for whole days I could take no food. Every time I started toward the table, the apparition was standing at one end, looking at me and saying to me in a language that I heard with my ears
'Will you eat while you are engaged in contemplating me?'
And it was impossible for me to eat, but I felt no hunger; and I was so full of my vision that I sated myself and became drunk with contemplating it, so much so that this contemplation took the place of all food for me. My friends and relatives were astonished to see how well I looked, knowing my total abstinence, for the fact is that I remained for whole days without touching any food or feeling hunger.