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Kermani, N. (2020). Deifying the Soul - from Ibn Arabi to C.G. Jung. J. Anal. Psychol., 65(1):8-26.

(2020). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 65(1):8-26


Deifying the Soul - from Ibn Arabi to C.G. Jung

Navid Kermani

Dear analysts, ladies and gentlemen,

When Muhyi d-Din Ibn Arabi arrived in Mecca in July or August of the year 1202, he was thirty-seven years old and already one of the great mystical leaders of Islam. He was so self-assured as to consider himself one of the four cornerstones ‘on which the structure of the universe and of mankind rests’, and he was so respected that no one contradicted him. He had been little more than a child when Averroes, the most famous philosopher in the world at that time, received him, and Averroes had turned pale, had trembled, had literally broke out in a sweat at the boldness of his young visitor's replies, at the self-assurance of his demeanour. While still a young man, Ibn Arabi had acquired all the accessible knowledge of the time, had learned a good deal of Islamic literature by heart, including the Quran, and, most importantly, had spent days, weeks, months in contemplation. After having been initiated in a dream by Sufism's three great spiritual teachers all together, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad - something which had never happened before - Ibn Arabi had left his home in Andalusia, where the Reconquista was in full swing, to preach in various cities of the Maghreb. He had studied with all the major mystics of the Islamic West, and taken leave of them as their master. He had received such clear and spectacular visions as no one else since the Prophet Muhammad himself, so that the professional dream interpreters predicted he would reveal ‘the highest mysteries, the particular properties of the stars and the letters, which will be given to no one else in his lifetime’.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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