Master Series Background: Over about a 12 month period back in 2013-14 Shahabuddin shared his commentary on four Past Masters with Ibn Arabi being the first. The other three in the series are Al Hallaj, Jelal-ud-Din Rumi and Farid-ud-Din Attar’s Conference of the Birds. His commentaries are framed by Pir Vilayat’s 1970 paper of these Masters. They were filmed at the Sarasota retreat center, usually in the late morning after he had met with the retreatants. These 8 Ibn Arabi segments were filmed in 4 sessions spread over a week . Transcription Notes: Shahabuddin’s words from the video appear in the order he spoke them in his video commentary. Also most of Pir Vilayat original paper is interspersed among the discourse.
Shahabuddin: Ibn Arabi platform of teaching can be so appreciated today. He acknowledged our everyday consciousness . . . and he acknowledged our infinite consciousness . . . And he did go back & forth between the two. . . . This thin isthmus . . . such a gift
Pir: “ Should a human being appear, God is hidden, and should it be God who appears, the human being now fails to appear. ” To see both together one must need be suspended upon a threshold. How rare are those moments! And how sublime! This is the great challenge, and precisely the aim of the esoteric schools which have a flair for the need of our time.
Shahabuddin: Omar Khayam actually said, “ Eat of this world, be happy in this world. But be aware of the limitation, tomorrow this world will end” For us in a sense we want it to end today . . . Rabia said, “I am eating the bread of this world, while doing the work of that one“
Pir: The two terms of this dichotomy, far from being equal, aver themselves to be incommensurable. Thus, while that which is manifested is the object of our sight, that which manifests through the manifested can never be seen except in as much it as is unveiled through the manifested scene. Without the manifested, the non-manifested cannot be seen, for it is not itself endowed with form, and yet it is the real objects behind the medium through which it appears. Thus One is at the same time the one who manifested Itself (God) and the one through and in whom God manifests Itself.
Shahabuddin: In the infant we sense something behind . . . For the mystic they seek this moment . . . In Everything they see . . hear . . taste . . .
Conversely, while the creature’s consciousness seems to be the subject that witnesses, the real subject of all knowledge is the non-manifest. All that the real subject cognizes is Itself, through a being in whom It discovers Itself and in whom and through whom It is knowable, in the measure of the receptivity of that being to Their potentiality.
Shahabuddin: In other words . . . when the wall of separation begins to thin. Then the created becomes the instrument of the creator and . . . then the formed and formless . . . and the . . . wow
Pir: Consequently the more translucid the individuated consciousness becomes, the more it assimilates the unseen object.
Shahabuddin: The Espresso Cup and The Ocean Example
Pir: Thus, The One is simultaneously the subject of all contemplation and the individuated consciousness; it is That who thinks me and cognizes Itself through me and in me , and, although It knows Itself eternally in the principle of Its being, That Being can only cognize Itself in the contingencies latent within Itself through the creature, that is you and me.
Shahabuddin: We are saying God purposely limited itself . . . to only be able to discover Itself in Us . . . out of Love . . . to make the human being the instrument through which it can discover itself . . . while at the same time, automatically, ‘Humility’ . . . and we will drink it all as fine wine and get completely drunk.