Friday, July 5, 2013

Ibn 'Arabi - Listen, O dearly beloved


What follows is not a poem in the Arabic, but part of a chapter from the Kitab al-Tajalliyat. However, since it was translated in the form of a poem by Henry Corbin in Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi, it has become deservedly famous.

Listen, O dearly beloved!
I am the reality of the world, the centre of the circumference,
I am the parts and the whole.
I am the will established between Heaven and Earth,
I have created perception in you only in order to be the
object of my perception.
If then you perceive me, you perceive yourself.
But you cannot perceive me through yourself,
It is through my eyes that you see me and see yourself,
Through your eyes you cannot see me.

Dearly beloved!
I have called you so often and you have not heard me
I have shown myself to you so often and you have not
seen me.
I have made myself fragrance so often, and you have
not smelled me.
Savorous food, and you have not tasted me.
Why can you not reach me through the object you touch
Or breathe me through sweet perfumes?
Why do you not see me? Why do you not hear me?
Why? Why? Why?


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