The Relationship between the Continuous Imaginal World and the Discontinuous Imaginative Faculty in Ascending and Descending Arcs according to Suhrawardi and Mulla Sadra

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Theology, Shiraz University, Iran

2 PhD Degree in Philosophy of Religion and Modern Issues of Theology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, I.R.I

Abstract

One of the most important issues for Muslim philosophers is the continuous imaginal world and its relationship with the discontinuous imaginative faculty. The continuous imaginal world is a perceptive faculty of the soul known as the faculty of imagination. The discontinuous imaginative faculty is the order of the universe called the imaginal world, which Muslim philosophers have portrayed in ascending and descending arcs. Linking the discontinuous imaginative faculty in descending and ascending arcs occurs through the continuous imaginal; however, in order to link to the discontinuous imaginative faculty, which enjoys intermediate immateriality, this faculty should also enjoy intermediate immateriality. Suhrawardi explicitly introduced the discontinuous imaginative faculty, but he was not able to explain the relationship between the discontinuous and continuous imaginal world and the discontinuous imaginative faculty correctly, since he does not believe in the immateriality of the continuous imaginal world. Nonetheless, his intellectual efforts paved the way for Mulla Sadra. Proving the immateriality of discontinuous imagination, Mulla Sadra could truly explain its relationship with the discontinuous imaginative faculty by means of ascending and descending arcs. Thus, through the ideas of Mulla Sadra, the revelations of mystics and prophets are made sense of by descending arcs, and all the promises of divine religions are justified in ascending arcs.

Keywords


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