Ibn ‘Arabi: O Lord, increase my perplexity concerning Thee!

O Lord, increase my perplexity concerning Thee!

– Ibn ‘Arabi in Fusus al-Hikem and quoted in The Honesty of the Perplexed: Derrida and Ibn ‘Arabi on “Bewilderment”

Why would we ask for perplexity?

The simple answer is that it helps us with receptivity, and it’s closer aligned with reality.

NOTICING MYSTERY

This is not about creating perplexity.

It’s about noticing that everything is ultimately mystery.

THE MYSTERY THAT’S ALREADY HERE

What we think we know is just that, what we think we know.

Any thought is a question about the world.

Thoughts are maps to help us orient and function in the world.

They are provisional and always up for revision.

They will change with experience and information.

And there are other contexts and worldview that fit the data as well or better, and will make as much or more sense to us, and that will turn everything inside out and upside down for us.

They cannot hold any final, full, or absolute truth.

The world is always more than and different from any map.

And that leaves the mystery. The mystery that’s already here.

NOT ONLY ABOUT GOD, AND ONLY ABOUT GOD

This is not only about God. This applies to everything.

And if we call everything God, then it is only about God.

RECEPTIVITY

Why is this important?

As mentioned above, it’s closer aligned with reality. It comes from noticing what’s already here.

And it helps open us to be a little more receptive. It helps us find curiosity and go outside of what we already think we know.

NOTICING WHAT WE MORE FUNDAMENTALLY ARE

It’s also a kind of prerequisite for noticing our nature. The more we shift out of any ideas of being anything in particular, or that any view has any real truth in it, the more we can find what we more fundamentally are.

As soon as we hold onto any ideas of being anything in particular, we identify with an identity, we identify with the viewpoint of that story, we take ourselves to be something within the content of experience. And what we more fundamentally are is something else. We are capacity for it all, and we are what it all happens within and as.

Holding onto that as an idea does the same, it ties us to a particular view and we take ourselves as something particular within the field of experience instead of the field itself.

The solution here is noticing what’s already here. Noticing what we already are. Noticing what we already are most familiar with. Noticing what’s all we have ever known.

And to notice with some guidance from someone familiar with that particular terrain.


INITIAL NOTES

  • Is not about creating perplexity
  • It’s about noticing that everything is ultimately mystery 
  • And that what we think we know is what we think we know
    • It’s questions about the world 
    • Maps to help us orient and navigate
    • Provisional, up for revision 
    • Will change with more experience and information 
    • And there are other contexts and worldviews that will fit the data as well or better, and will make as much or more sense to us, and turns everything upside down and inside out for us 

As mentioned above, it’s closer aligned with reality. And if reality is God, then it helps us align a little closer with God.

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