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Mystic illumination vs. Speculative thought

The following excerpt from Ibn Arabi's work "Futuhat" is interesting for those concerned with the mystical experiences, speculative thought and the common ground for both these sciences. This is a dialogue between young mystic 'Arabi and the philosopher Ibn Rushd, probably a man of quite mature age at the time of conversation.


"I spent a good day in Cardoba at the house of Abu Walid Ibn Rushd. He had expressed a desire to meet me in person, since he had heard of certain revelations I had received while in retreat and had shown considerable astonishment concerning them. In consequence, my father, who was one of his close friends, took me with him on the pretext of business, in order to give Ibn Rushd the opportunity of making my acquaintance. I was at the time a beardless youth. As I entered the house the philosopher rose to greet me with all the signs of friendliness and affection, and embraced me. Then he said to me "Yes!" and showed pleasure on seeing that I had understood him. I, on the other hand, being unaware of the motive for his pleasure, replied, "No!" Upon hearing this, Ibn Rushed drew back from me. His colour changed and he seemed to doubt what he thought of me. He then put to me the following question, "What solution have you found as a result of mystical illumination and divine inspiration? Does it concide with what is arrived at by speculative thought?" I replied, "Yes and no. Between the Yea and the Nay the spirits take their flight beyond bodies." At this Ibn Rushd became pale and I saw him tremble as he muttered the formula. "There is no power save from God." This was because he had understood my allusion."

Ibn 'Arabi,
'Futuhat', I, P. 153.

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