Monday, 28 December 2009

Three Forms of Knowledge

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Mawlay ibn al-‘Arabi (q.s.) instructed his followers in this most ancient dictum: There are three forms of knowledge.  The first is intellectual knowledge, which is in fact only information and the collection of facts, and the use of these to arrive at further intellectual concepts.  This is intellectualism.  Second comes the knowledge of states, which includes both emotional feeling and strange states of being in which man thinks that he has perceived something supreme but cannot avail himself of it.  This is emotionalism.  Third comes real knowledge, which is called knowledge of reality.  In this form, man can perceive what is right, what is true, beyond the boundaries of though and sense.

Scholastics and scientist concentrate upon the first form of knowledge.  Emotionalist and experientialist use the second form.  Others use the two combined, or either one alternately.  But the people who attain to truth are those who know how to connect themselves with Reality which lies beyond both these forms of knowledge.  These are the real Sufis, the dervishes who have Attained.


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