MIAS education: a journey across the ocean
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The concept of the station (maqam) occupies a significant place in Sufism in general and in Ibn Arabi’s teachings in particular. In “Invocation and illumination according to Ibn Arabi”, Souad Hakim indicates that:
‘a station is any interior attribute which God has ordered us to acquire […] Since human nature is an obstacle to the acquisition of these attributes, it is by our will and intention that we train our soul and rid it of the constraints of nature so that it can gain the stations. The stations are therefore gained and acquired by will and effort.’ [1993, p. 19 Souad-Hakim-Invocation-and-Illumination.pdf (ibnarabisociety.org)]
How does Ibn Arabi convey this passage through several stations and to what extent is this passage significant in understanding his teachings? We will try to answer these questions in this course by exploring the multi-layered meanings of the stations in a selection of passages from The Secrets of Voyaging.
Course learning aims & outcomes
1. Identify the key aspects of Ibn Arabi’s stations.
2. Develop a familiarity with Ibn Arabi’s central concepts such as the journey
and crossing (ma’bar).
3. Explore personal creativity and its relationship to spirituality.
Upon completion of this course, you can achieve any of the possible outcomes below:
Taking into account that Ibn Arabi’s journey towards the Divine entails a path through many stations, you will explore three stations that are described in his The Secrets of Voyaging. These are: the station of fear, the station of certainty and the station of the pole and constancy. While exploring these stations, you will be encouraged to engage creatively with the text and the voyage between each station. You will have the opportunity to connect your understanding of Ibn Arabi’s text with your own creative expression such as poetry, writing, storytelling, drawing, painting and music etc. Such an interaction echoes James Morris’ observation on “the remarkably active approach which Ibn ‘Arabi expects and constantly demands of his truly qualified and spiritually ‘ambitious’ readers, those who begin to interact with his work with the appropriate intentions and preparation.” (source: https://ibnarabisociety.org/how-to-study-the-futuhat-james-morris/)