When it comes to the knowledge of God, there are usually two approaches; the first method is through belief systems. In this approach we are accustomed to believe in the deity as instructed by our religions. The relationship with God in this method is also based on the prayer system that we learn from childhood and/or practice through our lifetime based on our faith. The knowledge of God studied through this method is known as theology. The inner faculty that helps us to study this knowledge like any other knowledge is the mind and its thoughts.
In the second approach which is known as theosophy, although the faculty of mind and rationality is also involved however the knowledge of God is more based on a deeper sense. This deeper sense is consciousness and a state of consciousness can only be reached at, when the mind is quiet and thoughts are minimized or disappeared. Therefore, in theosophy the knowledge of God is attained through mystical insight and sometimes spiritual ecstasy. Through theosophy and mysticism, the seeker senses the presence of God through philosophy of existence and life and a deeper observation of nature and signs of God.
In mysticism, all that the seeker has and can rely on, on the journey toward discovering God, is their inner dimension, inner sense and observation of signs of the Creator in the creations. In this path the seeker will gradually or spontaneously witness revelation of the Creator in every part of creation. This witnessing sometime occurs through observation of nature, or even for some seekers, through a branch of science whether it is biology, mathematics physics or cosmology. Sometimes such witnessing occurs when the seeker deeply observes his inner dimension simply because human and his inner dimension is also a part of nature and creation. When the seeker discovers the manifestation of God in every corner of nature and emanation of creation, in the cosmos, in the sky at night, in the light of Sun in every particle in the ocean or land and in his inner dimension, he falls in love with the Creator. This is the only true love that exists and in a true love, the lover will feel the presence of lover so close in his inner dimension or his consciousness that the lover arrives at a union with the Beloved. So we see that there are three components in mysticism; Signs of God, Love of God and union with the Beloved. In most mystical literatures, especially in Sufism, God is the Beloved, however, God also loves his creation and specifically human. In this poem of Ibn Arabia, therefore, all these three quality of mysticism is mentioned.
Nowadays that atheism is becoming very fashionable, and atheists have difficulties to witness the signs of God as a proof of His existence, a mystical poem like this one can serve as a candle in the path of Truth.
Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi scholar, mystic, poet and philosopher, was born in 1165 in the Andalusian region of Spain, in the city of Murcia. The Arabic version of this poem from Ibn Arabi was originally translated by Henry Corbin (1903-1978). This translation, however, is not exactly as Corbin’s. I reviewed the Arabic version and did some free changes based on my mystical understanding.
The embedded YouTube video is using a beautiful and powerful music from Armand Amar that conveys this poem:
Listen, my beloved,
I am the Truth of the universe,
The center of circumferences.
I am the Principle and the Constituent.
The power initiated between heavens and the Earth.
I created perception in you,
so that you can perceive Me
Your perceptions come into reality,
only if you could perceive Me.
But you cannot perceive me through yourself,
you cannot see Me through your own eyes,
Only through My eyes, you can see Me and yourself.
How many times have I called you, and you did not hear?
How many times, have I revealed myself to you
through My signs and you did not notice?
In the fragrance of flowers,
and you did not sense.
In all kinds of provisions through earth,
In the taste of what grow from earth
and you did not savour consciously.
In the freshness of crystal clear water
and morning breeze on your skin,
and you did not awaken.
For you the ecstasy of perceiving Me is beyond all the pleasures.
Seek happiness in Me which is beyond all kinds of happiness.
Once you know me, you will prefer Me to all preferences.
I am the absolute Beauty,
I am the Merciful.
Love Me; only Me
Love yourself in Me; only in Me
Rely on Me,
Nothing, or no one is closer to you than I am.
Others love you for their own purpose,
I love you for yourself.
When you feel yourself closer to Me,
in fact, you are discovering Me within you.
I am closer to you than yourself,
nearer to you than your breaths,
more inward than your soul.
Where can you find the love of Creator
in any form of creation?
Come toward Me for Union.
With Me, you can remove the paths of separation.
Hand in My Hand, arrive at Truth,
And Truth will be the eternal judge of this Union.