James Winston MorrisPosted Feb 1, 2006 •Permalink • Printer-Friendly Version
The Reflective Heart: Discovering Spiritual Intelligence in Ibn ‘Arabi’s ‘Meccan Illuminations’
James Winston Morris
For centuries Ibn ‘Arabi has been considered the “Greatest Master” of Islamic spiritual teaching, but Western readers have only recently had access to his greatest writings. This introduction to Ibn ‘Arabi’s Meccan Illuminations highlights the mysticism and realization of Sufi spiritual life, providing an intellectually penetrating look without requiring specialized knowledge. The development of several key themes and modes of reflection in Ibn ‘Arabi’s spiritual teachings are explored as are the gradually unfolding meanings that distinguish this important classical text of Sufi practice.
The Reflective Heart is about the ways we gradually discover the deeper significance of all the familiar elements of our everyday life-not just those memorable moments we ordinarily view as “spiritual”. Spiritual intelligence-the illuminating interplay of our uniquely individual experience, reflection, and practice-is at the heart of every world religious tradition, and Ibn ‘Arabi is renowned for his ability to communicate the unfolding dimensions of this fundamental human task. His Meccan Illuminations provide a powerful spiritual mirror for each reader’s own experiences, while highlighting those larger perspectives that ultimately give meaning and direction to our life.
In The Reflective Heart, James Morris provides numerous keys for those who would like to open up their hearts to the vast panorama of spiritual instruction provided by al-Shaykh al-Akbar, “the Greatest Master.” No other book demonstrates so clearly the universality of Ibn Arabi’s concerns and their contemporary applicability. A must-
read for every serious seeker.
-William Chittick, SUNY
In this compelling and insightful book, James Morris takes us to the spiritual core of the Islamic tradition, as we come to see the heart as the meeting ground between the Divine and that which is most human in all of us. Here the heart reveals itself as a dynamic and transformative faculty, where the discovery of one’s own true self is wed to the intimate knowing of God.
-Omid Safi, Colgate University
No one surpasses James Morris in his ability to make the most sublime and esoteric subjects intelligible and practicable. Among the many gifts of this book is that it highlights for our own time the urgent need for spiritual discernment.
-Kabir Helminski, Threshold Foundation
One of the great merits of this book is the way in which this spiritual journey, described with such compelling power through the illuminations granted to Ibn ‘Arabi, is made real for all of us. This work is the fruit of a remarkable synthesis between scholarly erudition of the highest caliber and a fundamental orientation towards the spiritual import of Ibn ‘Arabi’s teachings, engaging both the academic and the mystic, the scholar and the seeker.
-Reza Shah Kazemi, iis, London
James Morris holds the Sharjah chair of Islamic studies in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter in England. He has taught Islamic and comparative religious studies at Princeton, Temple, Oberlin, and the Institute of Ismaili Studies in Paris and in London.
Category: Academic/General/Islam/Sufism-Ibn Arabi
Book Type: Paper
Size: 6 x 9
From Fons Vitae http://www.fonsvitae.com• Permalink