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THE SINGLE MONAD MODEL OF THE COSMOS:

Ibn al-Arabi's Concept of Time and Creation

by Mohamed Haj Yousef



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10. Dimensions of the Unseen world:


One of the most obvious differences between science and theology is that the first speaks only about physical phenomena (including energy), while the latter assumes the existence of spiritual or non-material beings, such as the jinn and angels, and of various spiritual worlds, including those dimensions associated with the Hereafter. Therefore one of the possibilities in order to bridge that gap is to extrapolate modern laws of physics and cosmology to those unseen worlds. Some recent scientific attempts have been made in this regard, and most postulate that the reason why we do not normally see those supra-natural worlds is that they have higher dimensions (e.g., 9 or 10 dimensions).[130] However, there are indications that Ibn Arabi sometimes suggests that angels and jinn are 'physical' or 'natural' creatures less advanced than humans. In that case, angels and jinn have lower dimensions one-dimensional (1-D) and two-dimensional (2-D) respectively while we humans, are three-dimensional (3-D) creatures, who in the Hereafter (or perhaps even before) may be developed into four dimensions. Here we are speaking about spatial dimensions alone.

Since we are now ordinarily 3-D creatures, we can not in general see jinn and angels because our ordinary sensory tools are used to detect only 3-D phenomena. In contrary to that, jinn and angels can see us not because their senses are capable of perceiving 3-D phenomena, but because they rather perceive and interact with our souls and intellects which are of their own nature (of 2-D and 1-D respectively). Likewise jinn and humans can not in general see the angels. However, it is possible for humans to cross over to the jinn and angel worlds by transforming into 2-D and 1-D [I.168.20] and this is what happens to the seeker at the beginning of his path and in the spiritual ascension, which is why advanced human beings are able to speak and interact with spirits easily [III.332.11], until they ultimately witnesses the Real Himself. But in order to reach this final stage, the spiritual seeker must be 'annihilated' into 0-D, because the Real can only be witnessed by His secret ('the real through whom creation takes place') which He has implemented in everything [I.168.22, see also III.540.33].

Dimensions play a very important role in modern cosmology and mathematics. There are real dimensions and abstract dimensions. In principle, we can mathematically assign a dimension to any parameter of a specific function. For example the weather at any point on the earth is a function of many parameters such as time, place, the nuclear reactions on the sun, the amount of clouds in the area, the direction of winds, etc. Each one of these parameters can be considered as an abstract dimension for the sake of simplifying the mathematical study of the dependency of weather on these parameters/dimensions. Real dimensions, on the other hand, are only those three dimensions of space (i.e., length, width, depth; or x, y, z), and no more. Although time is considered as real dimension in Relativity, it is not a spatial dimension and so we shall not consider it as real in this regard (see also section II.5 above).

So here we shall speak only about the three real dimensions of space. In fact those three dimensions make six (as Ibn Arabi often points out), if we take into account that each dimension has two directions. Those six dimensions/directions are: (up, down), (right, left), (front, back); or (-x, +x), (-y, +y), (-z, +z).

I have to mention, however, that Ibn Arabi never arranged the creations in terms of dimensions as we are suggesting in this section; but this possibility is quite evident from his various texts, and many of his ideas can be easily understood on this basis, as we shall see shortly.

With regard to dimensions, existence can be divided into five categories, as we shall explain in the remainder of this chapter:



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  • ... al (2-D) respectively while we humans, are three-dimensional (3-D) creatures, who in the Hereafter (or perhaps even before) may be developed into four dimensions. Here we are speaking about SPATIAL DIMENSIONS alone. Since we are now ordinarily 3-D creatures, we can not in general see jinn ...


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  • ... ly be witnessed by His secret ('the real through whom creation takes place') which He has implemented in everything [I.168.22, see also III.540.33]. Dimensions play a very important role in MODERN COSMOLOGY and mathematics. There are real dimensions and abstract dimensions. In principle, w ...


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  • ... e jinn and angel worlds by transforming into 2-D and 1-D [I.168.20] and this is what happens to the seeker at the beginning of his path and in the spiritual ascension, which is why advanced HUMAN BEINGS are able to speak and interact with spirits easily [III.332.11], until they ultimately ...


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  • ... hose unseen worlds. Some recent scientific attempts have been made in this regard, and most postulate that the reason why we do not normally see those supra-natural worlds is that they have HIGHER DIMENSION s (e.g., 9 or 10 dimensions).[130] However, there are indications that Ibn Arabi som ...


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  • ... eation by Mohamed Haj Yousef Search Inside this Book 10. Dimensions of the Unseen world: One of the most obvious differences between science and theology is that the first speaks only about PHYSICAL PHENOMENA (including energy), while the latter assumes the existence of spiritual or non-ma ...


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  • ... at the first speaks only about physical phenomena (including energy), while the latter assumes the existence of spiritual or non-material beings, such as the jinn and angels, and of various SPIRITUAL WORLDS , including those dimensions associated with the Hereafter. Therefore one of the pos ...


  • ... Creation Takes =>:

  • ... s the Real Himself. But in order to reach this final stage, the spiritual seeker must be 'annihilated' into 0-D, because the Real can only be witnessed by His secret ('the real through whom CREATION TAKES place') which He has implemented in everything [I.168.22, see also III.540.33]. Dimen ...


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Because He loves beauty, Allah invented the World with ultimate perfection, and since He is the All-Beautiful, He loved none but His own Essence. But He also liked to see Himself reflected outwardly, so He created (the entities of) the World according to the form of His own Beauty, and He looked at them, and He loved these confined forms. Hence, the Magnificent made the absolute beauty --routing in the whole World-- projected into confined beautiful patterns that may diverge in their relative degrees of brilliance and grace.
paraphrased from: Ibn al-Arabi [The Meccan Revelations: IV.269.18 - trans. Mohamed Haj Yousef]
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