Journey to the Lord of Power – A Sufi Manual On Retreat. Author: Ibn ‘Arabi, Introduction: Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak Al-Jerrahi. With Notes from a Commentary by: ‘Abdul-Karim Jili - Inner Traditions International. For more info click HERE
This is a short, beautiful and powerfully profound, view of Sufi retreat, as experienced and shared by Ibn Arabi. Ibn Arabi first praises God the Almighty, the great Cause of All, for without this realization, there is nothing. He tells the reader, and devout aspirant, who has met the rightful requirements, that he will answer his or her questions concerning the journey one takes, during retreat.
We are told, it is only a heart, fixed, cleansed, dedicated, and devoted to nothing but the Divine, that can travel this path of retreat, as this journey is understood to be, and hope for success.
From the outset, it is noted that this path is not for those seeking comfort, ease, security, or peace. It is rather for those accepting of toil, tests, hardships, dangers and terrors, hidden perhaps within the psychological nature of the aspirant, and realm or realms they encounter. He presents preparatory knowledges that are necessary for a right ascent and return. He emphasizes that throughout this retreat, nothing is sought but the Lord of Power. One seeks to obliterate, annihilate all, leaving only the face and light of one’s Lord and God, or perhaps in theosophical terms, Spiritual Ego,. He describes what experiences befall the seekers as they journey during the ascent, to the Lord of Power, until the arrival in the state of fana, or the arrival at the journey’s destination, which is nothing less than existence in the presence of the Lord. This is then followed by the descent or return.
In some ways, this textual work is a very simple read. That is, if one is looking solely at the words, which reflect the recorded steps of the journey, in its totality, as written. Yet for students that have studied the works of Ibn Arabi, the briefly summarized stages of ascent, presence, absorption and descent or return, are simply introductions into the vast realms of realities and wisdoms barely alluded to, yet hidden and contained, in the basic words of the text. There are more than 21 such stations and even more sub stations or states referenced. We are given brief yet deep distinctions, between the states of the Saint, the prophet, and that of the Perfect Sage. This small work is so rich, the reader should not be deceived by its brevity and succinctness.
There are many illuminating treasures to be found in this work. This being so, we would simply invite each to forget self while reading, immerse their Being, and explore the realms of ideas the words of this instructional treatise evoke.
Thinking Theosophically, this little work, embraces many grand ideas relating to the seven planes, rounds, spiritual awakenings, spiritual soul developments, abilities, enlightenments, and so much more, depicted in the theosophical literature. It clearly deserves multiple readings to appreciate all its gems.
This edition of Notable Books was compiled by Eugene Jennings