The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism by Henry Corbin
By Henry Corbin
A penetrating research of the writings of the good Persian mystics at the quest for dawning mild within the non secular trip. Suhrawradi, Semnani, Najm al-Din Kubra and different Sufis.
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Extra info for The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism
T h e n also we are rem i n d e d of the specifically M a n i c h e a n e x p r e s s i o n of the twofold theme: of Christ as the "Heavenly Twin" of Mani and of the " f o r m of light" which each of the Elect receives on the day when he renounces the powers of this world. T h e conjunction of these two themes introduces us to the heart of the preIslamic Iranian representations; their later recurrences are evidence of the persistence of the archetype whose exemplifications always reproduce the same situation: the conjoining of guide of light with man of light effected in terms of orientation toward a primordial Orient which is not simply the geographic east.
To d e p l o r e that Christianity is c e n t e r e d o n a f i g u r e of goodness a n d light a n d entirely overlooks t h e d a r k side of the soul would be no less valid an evaluation if applied to Zoroastrianism. But how could reintegration consist in a complicity between, a "totalization" of Christ a n d Satan, O h r m a z d a n d A h r i m a n ? Even to suggest such a possibility is to overlook the fact that even u n d e r the reign of a f i g u r e of light the satanic forces r e m a i n in operation—those f o r e x a m p l e who tried to prevent H e r m e s ' escape f r o m the d e p t h s of the well a n d his ascent to the battlements of the T h r o n e .
We recall here a conversation with the late G e r h a r d van der Leeuw, who himself, as a good phenomenologist, could do justice to Richard Wagner on this point. As he pointed out, and as we wholly agreed, though Wagner treated the ancient Sagas in a very personal manner, he at least had a penetrating and subtle comprehension of the ancient Germanic beliefs. In the f i g u r e of Briinnhilde he created a beautiful and moving figure of an Angel, "Wotan's thought," a soul sent forth by God; vis-a-vis the hero she is certainly the authentic Fylgja, holding his power and fate in her hand, her apparition always signifying the imminence of the beyond: "Who sees me bids farewell to the daylight of this life.