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Danishgah Blvd. , Pardisan , Qom , Iran

Title : A comparative study of the epistemological dimension of mystical experience from the perspective of essentialists and constructivists with the perspective of Ibn Arabi

Student : Zahra Sharif

supervisor : Dr. Seyyed Yadollah yazdanpanah

Advisor : Dr. Ali Shirvani / Dr. Mohsen qomi

Grade : PHD

Years : 2015

Abstract :

What kind of epistemology is mystical experience from the perspective of western essentialists and constructivists and Ibn Arabi? What is its identity? What are the similarities and differences between the perspective of these two groups and Ibn Arabi’s perspective?

The views and theories of western experts in this field are: A) Essentialism: Essentialists believe that there is a pure and separable mystical experience of interpretation, and this experience has common features in all cultures and around the world.

Essentialism is divided into three groups of theories: 1. the emotionality of the mystical experience (emotionalism); This feeling and emotion contain a kind of direct awareness in its context.

In this view, various emotions are expressed as the nature of the mystical experience: a sense of absolute dependence, a sense of connection with the supernatural, a sense of unity with the transcendent reality, and a sense of the union of presence; 2. Correspondence of mystical experience and sensory experience: The epistemological structure and nature of mystical and sensory experience are the same, and based on the theory of perception, the validity of mystical knowledge and experience can be proved; 3. The theory of direct finding and union: The basic nature of mystical experience is a kind of unifying consciousness or cognition.

B) Constructivism: Mystical experience and knowledge, like other experiences and cognitions, are considered structured by the backgrounds, and this structuring is more intense in the case of mystical experience, and due to the differences in backgrounds in different cultures, We need to talk about the differences in the nature of mystical experiences around the world, not their commonality.

The nature of mystical experience and knowledge, in the perspective of Ibn Arabi and his followers, is considered as mtasensory and metaintellectual, and a type of light and existence, and mystical knowledge as a direct and unified knowledge. He depicts the structure of mystical knowledge in a wide range, from two-dimensional to one-dimensional.

In comparing these theories, in short, it should be said that in essentialism, sentimentalists consider the nature of mystical experience as different from other cognitions and consider its structure as immediate and two-dimensional and believe in its epistemological value; The theory of the correspondence between mystical knowledge and sensory knowledge depicts the epistemological nature of experience and mystical cognition in three dimensions and defends the epistemological value of mystical experience.

The theory of direct finding considers mystical experience and cognition to be completely altered and one-sided, but refrains from making final judgments about the epistemological value and validity of mystical experience.

But in constructivism, the nature of mystical experience and cognition is considered to be structured and has a three-dimensional structure of knowledge, and its value is also denied due to its structure.

According to Ibn Arabi, mystical knowledge is different from other cognitions and includes two-dimensional to one-dimensional structure and has absolute value and validity due to the absence of any intermediaries in it.

Each of these perspectives has its strengths and weaknesses, which are discussed in detail.

Finally, solving this problem is possible by adopting a metaphysical approach of muslim thinkers, while paying attention to the nonmystical evidences (the method of western thinkers), the non-metaphysical approach of the West in this regard is by no means effective and It fails to provide an underlying analysis of the issue.

Key words: mystical experience, mystical knowledge, epistemological dimension of mystical experience, nature of mystical knowledge, essentialism, constructivism, Ibn Arabi.