Cover image for Alone with the alone : creative imagination in the Ṣūfism of Ibn ʻArabī
Alone with the alone : creative imagination in the Ṣūfism of Ibn ʻArabī
Corbin, Henry.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Imagination créatrice dans le soufisme d'Ibn ʻArabi. English
Publication Information:
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1998.

Physical Description:
xx, 406 pages, 4 leaves of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Previously published as: L'imagination créatrice dans le soufisme d'Ibn ʻArabi and Creative imagination in the Ṣūfism of Ibn ʻArabī.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
B753.I24 C6713 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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"Henry Corbin's works are the best guide to the visionary tradition.... Corbin, like Scholem and Jonas, is remembered as a scholar of genius. He was uniquely equipped not only to recover Iranian Sufism for the West, but also to defend the principal Western traditions of esoteric spirituality."--From the introduction by Harold Bloom

Ibn 'Arabi (1165-1240) was one of the great mystics of all time. Through the richness of his personal experience and the constructive power of his intellect, he made a unique contribution to Shi'ite Sufism. In this book, which features a powerful new preface by Harold Bloom, Henry Corbin brings us to the very core of this movement with a penetrating analysis of Ibn 'Arabi's life and doctrines.

Corbin begins with a kind of spiritual topography of the twelfth century, emphasizing the differences between exoteric and esoteric forms of Islam. He also relates Islamic mysticism to mystical thought in the West. The remainder of the book is devoted to two complementary essays: on "Sympathy and Theosophy" and "Creative Imagination and Creative Prayer." A section of notes and appendices includes original translations of numerous Su fi treatises.

Harold Bloom's preface links Sufi mysticism with Shakespeare's visionary dramas and high tragedies, such as The Tempest and Hamlet . These works, he writes, intermix the empirical world with a transcendent element. Bloom shows us that this Shakespearean cosmos is analogous to Corbin's "Imaginal Realm" of the Sufis, the place of soul or souls.

Author Notes

Henry Corbin was Professor of Islamic Religion at the Sorbonne

Table of Contents

List of Plates
Between Andalusia and Iran: A Brief Spiritual Topographyp. 3
The Curve and Symbols of Ibn 'Arabi's Lifep. 38
At Averroes' Funeralp. 38
The Pilgrim to the Orientp. 46
The Disciple of Khidrp. 53
His Maturity and the Completion of His Workp. 68
The Situation of Esoterismp. 77
Divine Passion and Compassionp. 105
The Prayer of the Heliotropep. 105
The "Pathetic God"p. 112
Of Unio Mystica as Unio Sympatheticap. 120
Sophiology and Devotio Sympatheticap. 136
The Sophianic Poem of a Fedele d'amorep. 136
The Dialectic of Lovep. 145
The Creative Femininep. 157
Prologuep. 179
The Creation as Theophanyp. 184
The Creative Imagination as Theophany, or the "God from Whom All Being Is Created"p. 184
The God Manifested by the Theophanic Imaginationp. 190
The "God Created in the Faiths"p. 195
The Recurrence of Creationp. 200
The Twofold Dimension of Beingsp. 207
Theophanic Imagination and Creativity of the Heartp. 216
The Field of the Imaginationp. 216
The Heart as a Subtile Organp. 221
The Science of the Heartp. 237
Man's Prayer and God's Prayerp. 246
The Method of Theophanic Prayerp. 246
Homologationsp. 257
The Secret of the Divine Responsesp. 262
The "Form of God"p. 272
The Hadith of the Visionp. 272
Around the Mystic Ka'abap. 277
Epiloguep. 282
Notes and Appendicesp. 285
List of Works Citedp. 391
Indexp. 399