Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Corbin on "Renewed Creation"

Nevertheless, we never cease to see what we are seeing; we do not notice that there is existentiation and passing away at every moment, because when something passes away, something like it is existentiated at the same moment. We look upon existence, our own for example, as continuous, past-present-future, and yet at every moment the world puts on a "new creation," which veils our consciousness because we do not perceive the incessant renewal. At every *breath* of the "Sign of the Divine Compassion" (*Nafas al-Rahman*) being ceases and then is; we cease to be, then come into being. In reality there is no "then," for there is no interval. The moment of passing away is the moment in which the like is existentiated [...]. For the "Effusion of being" that is the "Sigh of Compassion" flows through the things of the world like the waters of a river and is unceasingly renewed. An eternal hexeity takes on one existential determination after another, or changes places, yet remains what is in the world of Mystery. And all this happens in the instant (*al-an*), a unit of time that is indivisible *in concerto* (though divisible in thought), the atom of temporality which we designate as the "present" (*zaman hadir*, not as the *nunc*, the ideal limit between the past and the future, which is pure negativity), though the senses perceive no interval.
--Henry Corbin, *Alone With the Alone*

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