Metaphysical Penetrations
  • Book Title:
 Metaphysical Penetrations
  • Book Author:
Ibrahim KalinMULLĀ ṢADRĀ SHĪRĀZĪ
  • Total Pages
240
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METAPHYSICAL PENETRATIONS – Book Sample

The Opening – METAPHYSICAL PENETRATIONS

Concerning research into the concept of wujud) its conditions) the proof of its reality) and its states

There are several penetrations.

[The] First Penetration

Concerning the explanation that it is free 0f the need to be defined

(5) The reality of wujud is the most manifest of all things through presence and unveiling, 5 and its quiddity is the most hidden among things conceptually and in its inner reality. Of all things, its concept is the least in need of definition because of its manifestness and clarity and its being the most general among all concepts in its comprehensive­ness. Its identity is the most particular of all particular things, in both

its determination and concreteness, because through it is made concrete all that is concrete, is realized all that is realized, and is determined all that is determined and particularized. As you will learn, it is particular­ized through its own essence and is determined through itself, as you will know.

(6) As for the fact that it cannot be defined, the reason is that a defi- · nition is by means of either logical definition or description. It [wujud] cannot be made known through definition because it has no genus and no specific difference. Thus, it has no [logical] definition. It cannot be described either, because it cannot be conceived through anything that is more manifest or better known than it, nor through a form that is equal to it.6

(7) Consequently, whoever seeks to define it is mistaken because it would need to be known by something more obscure than it. However, one can seek to awaken the person [who wants to define wujud] and to provoke in him a remembrance. But at the end, [even] this would be only a verbal definition.7

(8) I say that the conceptualization of something in a general way consists of the actualization of its meaning in the soul as corresponding to what exists in the external world. 8 And this holds true for things other than wujud, [such as] meanings and universal quiddities that are found either through real objective existence or through shadowy mental exis­tence, while its essence is preserved in both of these modes of existence. Moreover, pure wujud has no other wujud into which it could be permu­tated while preserving its meaning externally and mentally.

(9) Every existential reality has one single manner of actualization. Furthermore, wujud does not possess mental existence; and what does not possess mental existence is neither universal nor particular, neither general nor specific…

(10) It [wujitd] is, in essence, a simple reality, distinguished by its essence without having a genus or specific difference. Also, it is not the genus for other things and has no specific difference, no species, no gen­eral accident, and no specific accident. As for what is said concerning its being an accident for existents, from the point of view of abstract mental meaning, that is not the reality of wujud. Rather, it is the mental mean-ing of it, which is derived from secondary intelligibles such as thing-ness, possibility, substantiality, accidentality, humanity, blackness, and other infinitive (masdari)9 abstract words by which one gives an account of real or unreal things. Our discourse is not [solely] about this [meaning of wujud], but [it] gives an account of it and [explains] that it is a single, simple reality that does not at all need, in its realization or actualization, anything to be added to it-any condition of specific difference or acci­dent, whether it be of a class or [of] an individual.10

(11) Rather, it necessitates these things with respect to what is actu­alized by it and what is found from among the meanings and quiddities. That is because all wujud-except the first, simple wujud, which is the Light of lights-necessitates having universal possible quiddity and is qualified by these qualifications according to their actualization in the mind.11 And they become genus or specific difference, essentiality or acci­dentality, definition or description, or other things from among the quali­ties of universal concepts, conditioning wujud only through accidentality.

The Second Penetration

Concerning the manner in which wujud comprises12 things

(12) The reality of wujud being comprised of existing things is not like a universal concept being comprised of particulars and its holding valid for them. As we have already informed you, the reality of wujud is not a genus, nor a species, nor an accident, since it is not a natural uni­versal (kulli tabici).13 Rather, its comprising is of another kind, which is not known except by the gnostics, those who are “firm in knowledge” (“Al clmran,” Q. 3:18). It is interpreted sometimes as the “Breath of the Compassionate”; sometimes as the Compassion “which embraces all things” (“Nraf,” Q. 7:156) or as the “reality by which things are created,” according to a group of gnostics; and [sometimes] as the expansion of the light of wujud upon the temples of contingent beings and the recep­tivity of the quiddities, and its descent into the stations of ipseities.14

(13) You will know the meaning of this proposition that wujud-while being in itself an individual reality, individualized by its essence and determined by itself-individualizes all of the universal quiddities that exist through it. [You will understand] how they are united by it, how in the domain of external reality they are corroborated by it, and how in the mind and in rational analysis its concept occurs to them.

(14) It will become apparent to you also in what way it is true to say that the reality of wujiid, while being individualized by itself, is differen­tiated according to the differentiation of contingent quiddities, each of which is united with one of its degrees and one of its stages. The only exception is the first real Wujiid, which has no quiddity because it is pure wujud, of which there is none more complete, more intense, or more per­fect.15 Neither generality nor particularity is mixed with it [wujud]; no definition defines it, nor does any name or description render it precise; and no knowledge comprehends it. “And all faces will be humbled before the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent” [“Taha,” Q. 20:111].

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