The Universal Human
The Fruit of the Tree of Creation
Hazrat Inayat Khan
“He brought the cosmos into existence upon His own form. Hence it is a mirror within which He sees His own form.”
“The individual then grows and develops in the womb, according to the well- known phases, until he comes forth into the visible world, thence to ascend until he reaches the degree of perfection.” Sadruddin al-Qunawi
“That is to say that every individual contains essentially, by his intelligence, the reality of all the others, and even of every existent thing“
The universal human is found in hermetic, gnostic, neoplatonic, Pythagorean, as well as in Taoist, Christian, Buddhist,and Kabbalah texts. The universal human is called insan-i kemil in Sufism. According to Ibn al Arabi there are two manifestations of the insan-i kamil, individual and the totality of illuminated beings living on the planet. The insan-i kemil is a living and evolving prototype of the fullest embodiment of the divine form in the human form – from the time of Adam, to the present moment, to the end of time. As 'Aziz Nasafi said above, “….. according to the people of unity, perfection in a human does not exist because whatever perfection a man reaches, he is still incomplete in relation to his preparedness and in relation to the knowledge and wisdom of God. Therefore a man who is said to be perfect is relatively perfect.”
We know in utero the fetus goes through stages of planetary evolution and every child is birthed containing them all. Murshid addded, “The whole course of life is a journey from imperfection to perfection.” This series of lessons will reflect upon what four Sufi masters, Ibn al Arabi, Sadruddin al-Qunawi, Karim al-Jili, and ‘Aziz Nasafi had to say about the insan-i kemil. We will explore their teaching on the process of human perfection in a manner applicable to your personal journey toward the Ideal, while reflecting on the seven leading divine names and the all-comprehensive name, as well as that which you have been given to encompass in life.
"Before enrolling in several of Himayat's on-line study classes, I would never have entertained the possibility of "virtual sohbet." My experience in these classes demonstrates just how inaccurate one's preconceptions can be!
Joining with an international community of students, I have embarked upon a deeply rewarding, progressive study of classical Sufi texts with the benefit of Himayat's insightful commentaries and stimulating text and video discussions with classmates from all corners of the globe. Together we have shared spiritual practices that further connect us with one another, illuminate the meanings of our readings, and continue to resonate long after the formal study sessions have been completed. Engaging with the texts in this manner, in the good company of fellow spiritual seekers, is like a play of lights, revealing subtle nuances and understandings which might otherwise remain veiled."
Lakshmi Barta-Norton, Rhode Island
Kalimi Marshall, Florida
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