The Study of Imagination in Muhyaddin Ibn Arabi's Gnostic System


Abstract
Ibn Arabi believes that man possesses a perceptive faculty other than the intellect whose domain of activity is the realm of "imagination", where the gathering of opposites appears. The reason is that this gathering is impossible in the realms of the sense and the intellect. The world of imagination is the most evident proof of the Truth because He is the First and the Last, and the Exterior and the Interior. Therefore, a real gnostic is one who can bring two opposites together. According to Ibn Arabi, imagination is the abode of the all-embracing friendship between the Truth and creatures and the same form based on which man has been created. This is the most certain knowledge through which the gnostic can perceive the Oneness of the Truth in the multiplicity of creation.He also maintains that imagination merely preserves the things that have sensible forms or consist of sensible parts which are synthesized by the faculty of retention. In this way, it presents a form which does not exist in the sense but is sensible for the viewer. In his gnostic theory, he refers to the world of imagination as the path of the knowledge of God. This paper undertakes to present a systematic view of this world
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