Religion and the Subtle Body, III




Sex, Askesis and the Soul

Joseph S. Alter




'Vehicle of the Soul'

Crystal Addey




Subtle Body in S.ufism

Milad Milani





Sex, Askesis and the Soul

Joseph S. Alter


p. 127 Puth-agoreanism; Orphism

In Puthagorean doctrine, "'the highest reward was for the soul to join in the life of the gods ...' ([Kahn] 2001:53). The goal of the Pythagoreans was to become godlike ... through homoio^sis theo^i, the imitation of god (Hermann 2004).

{Divinization of humans hath been a Taoist goal at least since the time of Ko Hun (Ge Hon).}

According to Guthrie, Pythagorean philosophy was inspired by ... Orphism.

{This is most improbable : they are too far apart, both geographically and culturally.}

According to Orphism, the soul, a divine spark of Dionysus, is bound to the body (soma) as to a tomb (sema).

[Cf. denigration of the body in the Maitrayaniya 1:2 sq (infra p. 141, citing Feuerstein 2001, p. 69).]

Mankind is in a state of forgetfulness of its true, spiritual nature. ...

{This is a doctrine expressed throughout the Platonic Dialogues.}

It was in the context of ... Pythagoreanism that ... music most explicitly -- and the principle of immortality were linked".

{Music was, in antiquity, prae-eminently an Asianic refinement (as, e.g., in the names of the musical modes) : indicating that the Puthagorean philosophy is basically Anatolian in its provenience.}

Kahn 2001 = Charles Harry Kahn : Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans. Indianapolis : Hackett Publ.

Hermann 2004 = Arnold Hermann : To Think Like God : Pythagoras and Parmenides ... . Las Vegas : Parmenides Publ.

Feuerstein 2001 = Georg Feuerstein : The Yoga Tradition. Prescott (AZ) : Hohm Pr.

{The metempsychosis known in Puthagoreanism was more likely inspired by the country described as accepting this doctrine, according to the Politeia (Republic) by Platon : Lukia (which is nigh unto Samos, the island of nativity of Puthagoras). Lukia may have imported it from Lucania, all of Italia having been influenced by the Gallic incursion into Latium; Gallics being known as accepters (like the Norse) of this doctrine. Its early distribution in the western portion of Europe is perhaps correlatable with its praevalence in West Africa.}

pp. 134-5 banalized yoga

p. 134

"Yoga has been ... farcically banalized ... to the point where there is a radical

p. 135

disconnection between contemporary practice ... and ... historical forms of practice in the classical and medieval literature (see ... Singleton and Byrne 2008)."

Singleton & Byrne 2008 = Mark Singleton & Jean Byrne : Yoga in the Modern World. London : Routledge.




'Vehicle of the Soul' in Neo-Platonism

Crystal Addey


pp. 149-50 okhemat pneumat & the planets, according to Porphurios

p. 149

"the 'vehicle of the soul' (ochema pneuma) ...,

{literally, 'vehicle-spirit' (not 'vehicle of the soul') : This term is intended to imply that, as vehicular spirit, the \pneumat-\ serveth as carriage-vehicle for transporting the \psukhe\ between Heaven and the Earth.}

which acts as a bridge between the soul and body, was discussed ... by various Neoplatonist philosophers between the second and sixth centuries CE.

In terms of its central as a bridge between the soul and body. the 'Vehicle of the Soul' was considered to have a mediating .. nature, since it was ... material than the physical body but more material than the soul ...

{The subtle understood by modern psychic occultists to connection the material body with the immaterial soul, is the aitheric body, manifestly visible (as a perispirit closely enclosing the material body) to psychics having "second sight".}

The theory of the soul vehicle finds its first developed expression in the work of ... Porphyry {Porphurios} (c. 234-c. 305) and Iamblichus {Iamblikhos} (c. 240-c. 325). ... Neoplatonist philosophers derived ... the soul vehicle from Plato {Platon}'s Timaeus {Timaios}, which relates how the Demiurge {Demio-ergos} (creator god)

mounted the souls each upon a star 'as upon a vehicle' (Timaeus [Bury 1929], 41c),

{Cf. how Jamad-agni now "is a luminary in the assembly of Brahma." (MBh, "Adi Parvan" 11:22 -- PE, s.v. "Jamadagni 11)(5)")

and from the myth in Plato's Phaedrus {Phaidros}, where the soul is likened to a winged chariot travelling through the heavens (Phaedrus [Fowler 1982], 246a). These Platonic allusions were combined with Aristotle {Aristoteles}'s ...

pneuma {/pneumat-/, literally, 'breath'; but cognate with Old English \fneosan\ 'to sneeze' (a sudden and uncontrollable autonomic bodily reflex) : both apparently cognate with Skt \pavana\ 'the wind', and also with Hellenic-and-Latin \panic-\ (a sudden and uncontrollable automatic emotional reflex)} ...,

p. 150

but by the late third century [ChrE] the ochema pneuma was an established philosophical doctrine (Dodds [1933]:316-17; Schibli 2002:98)."

{/Pneumat-/, being a neuter substantive, cannot designate anything living (so that "Holy Ghost" cannot be a person); but it could designate a quasi-inanimate praeternatural vehicle.}

p. 151

"Porphyry claimed that the soul vehicle was composed as a series of mixtures collected from the planets ... during its descent into the physical cosmos, and [that] when the human soul developed its full potential and ascended to the realm of Nous (or Divine Mind) it discarded its vehicle, which at this point is dissolved back into the heavenly spheres of the cosmos (Proclus, In Tim., V:234.18-24 (311A) ...)."

"Porphyry ... refers to astrological theory ( Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs, 21-24 ...) and he had addressed a series of questions about astrology to Iamblichus in his Letter to Anebo (Iamblichus, On the Mysteries 1.17 ... ;1.18 ...; 1.19 ...; 9.3; 9.5.

p. 152

... he wrote ... an extant handbook of astrology in four books ... . In his now fragmentary treatise On What is Up to Us, Porphyry details the seven spheres (... planets) which souls pass through in their descent into a mortal body, each sphere inciting the soul with different desires (... Fragment 271:68-71).

... if the soul was considered to be incited by desires through its contact with the planets during its descent, Porphyry ... thought that these desires had to be shed .... in the soul's return to Nous, which he often describes as necessarily involving a purification from human ... desires. ... However, ... Porphyry did discuss ... the use of astrology in ... ritual practices ... (Porphyry, Philosophy from Oracles, Fragments 330, 330a, 342, 333, 336 ... .)"

MBh = Maha-bharata.

PE = Vettam Mani : Puranic Encyclopaedia. Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1975.

Dodds 1933 = Eric Robertson Dodds : Proclus. Oxford Univ Pr. (reprinted 1963)

Schibli 2002 = Hermann Sadun Schibli : Hierocles of Alexandria. Oxford Univ Pr.

{As concerning the word \demiourgo-\ : \DEMo-\ ('folk, populace'), evidently etymologically cognate with Skt \JAMi-\ ('sibling, kin'), via regular phonetic shift of proto-Indo-Germanic *\je\ > proto-Hellenic \de\, parallel with the phonetic shift of proto-Indo-Germanic *\je\ > Hellenic \de\, the phonetic shift of proto-Indo-Germanic *\ke\ > Hellenic \te\ (Latin \que\, Skt \c^e\, enclitic 'and'), etc. The Skt short-vowel form \jam\ is to be found in \jajam-\ 'consume continuously', and possibly in the personal name \Jamad-agni\, if this repraesent \jam-ad agni\ with a meaning 'consuming-eating fire' (cf. "Our God is a consuming fire", Epistole to the Hebraioi 12:29) [which could refer to the "seven tongues of Agni", cf. "his tongue is like a devouring fire" (Ys^a<yah 30:27)] or alternatively meaning kind-of 'kin-eating kindle' with sled as spirit-vehicle : cf. how (MI&Sh, p. 67), for the Samoyed/Nenets "when a man becomes old ..., now my seventh son will eat you later ..., right by the sled of the guardian spirit." This sled may be the aequivalent to the Gilyak one driven by "the master of the sky. He was riding on a sled pulled by wolves" (C:HD, p. 310; citing Shternberg 1933, p. 363).}

MI&Sh = Anna-Leena Siikala : Mythic Images and Shamanism. Helsinki : Academia Scientarum Fennica, 2002.

C:HD = Michael A. Cremo : Human Devolution. Torchlight Publ, Badger (CA), 2003.

Shternberg 1933 = Lev I︠A︡kovlevich Shternberg : The Gilyak, Orochi, Goldi, Negidal, Ainu. Khabarovsk : Dalʹgiz. (reprinted :- New Haven, Conn. : Human Relations Area Files)

pp. 152-3 nature of the okhemat pneumat, according to Iamblikhos

p. 152

"Iamblichus, on the other hand, asserted that the soul vehicle ... is created as a whole from the ether {aither} itself by the Demiurge {\demio-ergos\, litterally \demio-\ 'public' + \[w]ergos\ 'worker'} (Iamblichus, In Tim, Fragment 84 Dillon). ...

Iamblichus also claims that the vehicle of the soul is ultimately, when using its full powers, spherical in shape, reflecting the shape of the World Soul ...

{"Iamblichus referred to the Sphere (of Pythagoras) as a "divine receptacle" ... that is the principle of the universe" (MHP, p. 215).} {It is already described as a "sphere" in Timaios 33c-34a ("PW-S").}

p. 153

which it must both imitate and align itself with, in order to achieve its full potential and effect its immortalization (On the Mysteries, 10.6 (292.4-9); Finamore 1985:49; Shaw 1995:51)."

{"The alchemists also understood that there is a connection between the anima mundi and the soul or innermost secret of man. The source of the wisdom and knowledge of the all-pervading essence of the anima mundi was “the innermost and most secret numinosum of man.”(7)" ("AMASW")}

"the gods ... are circular and spherical in shape because they contain all things within them and know the beginning and end of all things : 'with knowledge of the gods follows a ... knowledge of ourselves' (Iamblichus, On the Mysteries, 10.1 (286.6-10); Hierocles, Commentary on the Golden Verses [Koehler ...] 25.5-6)."

MHP = Christiane L. Joost-Gaugier : Measuring Heaven : Pythagoras and His Influence on Thought and Art ... . Cornell Univ Bks, Ithaca (NY), 2006.

"PW-S" = "Plato's World-Soul".

Shaw 1995 = G. Shaw : Theurgy and the Soul : the Neoplatonism of Iamblichus. University Park : PA State Univ Pr.

"AMASW" = "Anima Mundi : Awakening the Soul of the World". S.UFI JOURNAL, Issue 67, Autumn 2005.

p. 152 twain okhemates pneumates, according to Proklos

"The later Neoplatonist philosopher Proclus seems to combine the views of Porphyry and Iamblichus (Dodds [1933]:320), since he maintains there are two soul vehicles :

first, a higher, ethereal vehicle which ... is implanted around the human soul

{This would be the perispirit, visible as a immaterial, praeternaturally glowing layer immediately enclosing the material body.}

by the Demiurge (Proclus, In Tim, III.236.31 ff. (213A) Diehl; Elements of Elements of Theology, Propositions 196, 207-8, in Dodds [1933]:171, 181-3). ...

Second, he postulates a pneumatic vehicle which is a temporary vehicle ... (Kissling 1922:323-4; Dodds [1933]:320).

{This would be more alike unto the "silvern (argentine) cord" connecting the projected astral body to the material body.}

Proclus asserts that this second, pneumatic vehicle is woven to {or rather, knitted to by way of yarns projected out from the silvern cord} the first, ethereal vehicle by the young gods (the encosmic gods, or gods of the cosmos) (In Tim, III.237:2-6 (213A) Diehl; Finamore 1985:86)."

Dodds 1933 = E. R. Dodds : Proclus : Elements of Theology. (reprinted 1963)

Kissling 1922 = R. C. Kissling : "The Oxhma-Pneuma of the Neo-Platonists and the De Insomniis of Synesius of Cyrene". AMER J OF PHILOLOGY 43.4:318-30.

Finamore 1985 = J. F. Finamore : Iamblichus and the Theory of the Vehicle of the Soul. Chico (CA) : Scholars Pr.

pp. 153-6 katharsis of the okhemat pneumat, according to Iamblikhos

p. 153

"According to later Neoplatonist philosophers, beginning with Porphyry and Iamblichus, various ritual practices are considered to purify the soul vehicle.

p. 154

According to this purification consequently enables the ritual practitioner to receive the illumination of the gods in a full and balanced way, so that the oracles and divine messages do not get distorted or disturbed in their transmission to the human initiate, who is consequently able to receive divine insight and wisdom through his purification and appropriate receptivity (On the Mysteries, 1.8 ...; 1.18 ...; 3.11 ...; 3.12; George 2005:287-303).

... Iamblichus envisages divine inspiration (which is considered to underlie divination practices ...) in terms of illumination, the emanation of an incorporeal light from the divine realm ...; the 'divine light remains


{filling either the entire visual field or at least an unbroken region within that field}

and incorporeal'

{not consisting of any sort of bodily form recognizable of that of any manner of human, nor animal, nor plant}

(Finamore 1993:59) and the human recipient participates in it. ... .

... the vehicle of the soul in

ritual ...

{induced trance regarded as a formal, even if performed in solitude, caerimonial rite}

was seen as the literal seat of images and was closely connected with the image-making faculty or imagination (phantasia)

{This is an apt description of the functioning of an hypnogogic visionary framework : as if it were a mechanism, outward from its structure grow scenes which become the content of a wake-induced lucid dream.}

(Sheppard 1997:206; Finamore 1999:89; Hadot 2006:58-66).

George 2005 = L. George : "Listening to the Voice of Fire : Theurgical Fitness and Esoteric Sensitivity". In :- R. M. Berchman & J. Finamore (edd.) : History of Platonism : Plato Redivivus. New Orleans : Univ Pr of the South.

Finamore 1993 = J. F. Finamore : "Iamblichus on Light and the Transparent". In :- H. J. Bluementhal & E. G. Clark (edd.) : The Divine Iamblichus : Philosopher and Man of Gods. Bristol : Bristol Classical Pr.

Hadot 2006 = Pierre Hadot (transl by Michael Chase) : The Veil of Isis. Cambridge (MA) : Harvard Univ Pr.

pp. 154-5 the two types of theourgical divination, according to Iamblikhos

p. 154

"Iamblichus discusses the role of the vehicle of the soul in two types of divination, [to wit,] oracles and ... 'evoking the light' (On the Mysteries, 3.11 (123.9-128.3); 3.14 (132.3-134.7). ... Iamblichus discusses the ritual operation ... with the Oracle at Claros, which he refers to by its alternative name, Colophon. ...

p. 155

The ritual procedure ... is the drinking of water from the sacred spring within the oracular temple ... . {A procedure continuated amongst the "Aquarii" (MCh"Aquarii") or Hudro-parastatai.} ...

{Cf. the Ebionite eucharist-communion, consisting (according to Irenaios 5:1) of partaking of "the water of this world" ("Irenaeus", p. 175a. BQuR 70 (Jul-Dec 1879); Dh"TW" 12.3).}

Divine illumination emanates from the god's ethereal vehicle to the human's god's ethereal, which is wholly taken over by the gods, and the oracular message (such as future events or the hidden truth ...) is pictured in the soul's imagination : these 'pictures' or images come from the gods; thus, divine illumination irradiates the vehicle, causing divinely inspired images in it (Finamore 1999 ...).

Iamblichus also discusses ... 'evoking the light' (photos agoge or photagogia), which involved [in a dark room, or out-of-doors on a moonless night]

shining light on water in bowls or in cups,

{so as to simulate, for contemplation's sake, cosmic consciousness as a ("ECC") "luminescent sea".}

or on a wall

{so as to simulate Platon's "Myth of the Cave"}

(Iamblichus, On the Mysteries, 3.14 (132.7-9, 133.13-137.7); Clarke et al. 2003:155, n. 208)."



Dh"TW" = "Treading the Winepress".

Finamore 1999 = J. F. Finamore : "Plotinus and Iamblichus on Magic and Theurgy". DIONYSIUS 17:83-94.

"ECC" = "An Experience in Cosmic Consciousness", chapter 14 of Paramahansa Yoganananda : Autobiography of a Yogi.

Clarke et al. 2003 = E. C. Clarke; J. M. Dillon; & Hershbell : Iamblichus : On the Mysteries. Atlanta : Soc of Biblical Literature.

pp. 158-9 contemplative theourgia advocated by Iamblikhos, correlated with rite of meditative visualization advocated by Porphurios

p. 158

"the gods and divine beings 'reveal at the outset their own being to those who contemplate them; hence, they show in particular in {viz., within the imagination of} particular performers of the sacramental rites the fire {scil., of the fiery chariot transporting the soul} in a direct vision of divinity' (On the Mysteries, 2.10 (92.14-93.2). ...

Elsewhere, Iamblichus (On the Mysteries, 10.2 (297.3-4)) declares that truth coexists with the gods and that truth, knowledge and goodness become fully established only in those who have been possessed by the gods :

[quoted] it is only with us and those who are similarly possessed ... that the beginning {originination} and end {i.e., purpose} of all good is seriously practiced."

p. 159

"to understand Plotinus' contemplation, the final phase ... is a prescribed technique of meditation or visualization ... that ...

depended on the practitioner practising philosophy as a way of life."

{"in the Hellenistic and Roman eras ..., philosophy was a way of life." (PhWL, p. 265)}

PhWL = Pierre Hadot (ed. by Arnold I. Davidson; transl. by Michael Chase) : Philosophy as a Way of Life. Blackwell Publ, Oxford, 1995.

pp. 159-61 simultaneous katharsis (purification) of body and of soul and of spirit, according to Hiero-klees and according to Iamblikhos

p. 159

"All ... purifications must be affected by the adept simultaneously ... to ascend to the gods ... . ...

p. 160

Since ... everything in the cosmos was connect to each other and to the gods and higher{-than-mindane} ontological realms through cosmic sympathy (sympatheia) and (theia philia), the ritual adept{s} had to purify and perfect the whole of their being : their soul, body and soul vehicle (referred to as the 'luminous body' by Hierocles ...) :

... it is necessary that telestic ["ritual"{, scil. sensible vivification of idols as perceived during trance}] purifications go along with

the mathematical {geometry-based} purifications

{by means of geometric-shaped ritual implements}

and that hieratic elevation

["theurgic ascent {within a dream} to the divine realm"]

accompany the deliverance

{from materialist delusion}

wrought by dialectics ["reason and discursive philosophy"].

{directed toward exposition concerning of nature of soul and of deities}

These practices in a special way purify and perfect the pneumatic vehicle of the rational soul :

{the "rational" being whatever logic may serve to please the bevies of praeternatural entities encountred in trance}

they separate it from the lifelessness of matter

{by rendring materialist philosophies repugnant},

and they also render it to be in a capable state for the fellowship with the pure spirits. ...

{Praeternatural entities are gratified to consort with such mortals as are habituated to occult ritual.}

(Hierocles, Commentary on the Golden Verses ..., 26.24.1-6)

The soul vehicle ... has a sympathy for the physical body which has to be purified if ... to receive the messages of the gods whole and intact (Finamore 1985:53). ... . ... the vehicle of the soul ... was ... the seat of

p. 161

imagination and sense perception and therefore ... to receive all ... impressions and imaginations that come to us from the sensations experienced through the earthly body (Schibli 2002:100). ... As Shaw points out (1995:54), however, the mistake of an embodied soul ... lay in the weighing {burthening} of the soul's attention : its consciousness had to be anchored in the whole, harmonic unity of the World Soul and the gods, with only minimal attention given to one's localized self. When Iamblichus discusses the purposes of purification, he emphasizes the perfection and fulfilment of the soul and restoration of one's own essence over deliverance from matter ... .

[quoted] Let us consider the following as the most useful of all the ends of purification : ... restoration of one's own essence, perfection, fulfilment, ... ascent to the engendering cause ..., and the gift of power, life and activity from wholes to individuals. Others, however, are not persuaded by the ancients when they emphasize the real benefits of purification, but they give prior place to deliverance from the body ... . (De Anima ..., 43)

Iamblichus maintains that through purification the human being is enabled to participate in the whole, the World Soul and the gods, thus restoring and perfecting their {his or her} own essence, becoming immortal and universal Shaw (1995:54)."

Finamore 1985 = J. F. Finamore : Iamblichus and the Theory of the Vehicle of the Soul. Chico (CA) : Scholars Pr.

pp. 161-2 the nature of the deities, according to Hiero-klees and according to Iamblikhos

p. 161

"These philosphers considered the gods to be completely good and to possess all knowledge in the purest sense, so they advocated ethical, intellectual and ritual practices and encourged the simultaneous undertaking of such practices to render the adept god-like through a sympathtic alignment with knowledge, virtue and ritual purity :

[quoted] Just as it is fitting to adorn the soul with knowledge and virtue, that it may be with those beings {the deities} who are always like that, so, too, one must render the luminous ["body"] pure and immaterial to stand the company of ethereal bodies. (Hierocles, Commentary on the Golden Verses ..., 26.22.6-10)

Since these philosophers argued that the gods had bodies or vehicles made of ether, they also encouraged the perfection of the soul vehicle (also made of ether)

p. 162

through a kind of sympathetic alignment so that it would become spherical and imitate the celestial orbits and the circuits of the gods."

pp. 162-3 contemplative visualization, according to Plotinos

p. 162

"Plotinus, who ... constantly urges the philosopher towards contemplation and philosophical exercises and meditations, lays out an exercise for contemplation ... in relation to ... ritual praxis ... :

[quoted] Let us apprehend in our thought this visible universe ... seen inside a transparent sphere {viz., inside a crystal ball}. Let there be, then, in the soul a shining imagination of a sphere, having everything within it, either moving or standing still, or some things moving and others standing still. Keep this, and apprehend in your mind another, ... but calling on the god who made that of which you have the mental picture, pray him to come. (Enneads ... 5.8.9)

Although ostensibly describing the cosmos and the World Soul,

{The description may be purposefully macroscopic because of more facility for generating religious awe when thus contemplated.}

{This macrocosmic universe-as-sphaire (now-a-days in modern mathematical cosmology better described as a 4-dimensional universe-as-hypersphaire) is more readily productive of metaphysical insight than is microcosmic contemplation of the particular instance of the aura of any one human being.} [written 27 March 2018]

Plotinus's words evoke the idea of the vehicle of the soul in its spherical state, ... because

{When this vehicle be described as sphairical, it is reminiscent of a maya-kos`a, which is definable as any one of the several concentric layers of the aura.}

p. 163

later philosophers describe the soul vehicle as a reflection of the vehicle of the World Soul. However, Plotinus also ascribed a microcosmic nature to the human being. ... it might be tentatively suggested that this passage represents an 'inner ritual' designed to work not only on the soul of the philosopher but also on his soul vehicle."

p. 163 functions of the vehicle of the soul during life and after death

"Within Neoplatonism, the vehicle of the soul

({w}ochema{t} pneuma{t}) ...

{litterally 'vehicle-spirit', i.e., vehicle which-is-tantamount-to-spirit, scil., vehicle which-is-the-perispirit}

functioned as the centre and seat of sense perception

{As such, it is identical with the aitheric structure (of the enveloping perispirit) wherethrough the immaterial soul is instrumentally enabled to peer into the material universe.}

and imagination (phantasia).

{Such "imagination" must entail construction of "thought-forms" as phantasms -- one person's thought being potentially visible as a "phantom" to be witnessed by another person.}

It had important eschatological functions :

{It must assume this function through projection of the aitheric body during the transcendent state promptly succeeding the death-process.}

housing the soul in its journey after death in Hades ... and acting as the vehicle

that enabled the soul to choose its future lives and carried the soul between its human lives an incarnations, for ... reincarnation.

{This process is so described in the Politeia by Platon, who, how-be-it, was inadequately informed concerning the postmortem activities of the mortal decedent's personal spirit-guides. It is, more accurately, the consensus among the decedent's spirit-guides which must recommend an appropriate site for redincarnation. This recommendation is therepon to be collated with the relevant information archived in the Akas`ik Record.} [written 27 March 2018]

The soul vehicle also ... carried the soul into a physical body in its original descent into incarnation. ...

{There "are souls manipulated into spaceships ... guided by their dream angels" (1CCET).} {"Channeling the Mothership is an act ... for all souls." (ChM)}

For this reason, ... to effect communication between humans and gods ..., the soul vehicle was ... to act as an intermediary not only between the immaterial soul and the physical, material body but also between divine illumination and imagination (phantasia)."

1CCET = Tom T. Moore : First Contact : Conversations with an ET. Light Technology Publishing, Flagstaff (AZ), May 1, 2013.

ChM = Jerry McDaniel : Channeling the Mothership. Wisdom House Bks, Chapel Hill (NC), October 1, 2017.




Subtle Body in S.ufism

Milad Milani


pp. 171-2 the 10 maqamat ('stations') of ruwh. ('spirit'), according to (Silvers 2010) >abuw Bakr Wasiyt.iy (\wasiyt.\ 'mediator' DMWA, p. 1250b)




its qualities



muh^ 'sincere' (DMWA, p. 296a)

"imprisoned in a darkness"


parsa 'pious'

"take pleasure in devotions"

3rd 'disciples' (\\ 'satisfying, pleasing, gratifying' DMWA, p. 399b)

"veracity, ... good works"



>ahl-i minan 'beneficent' (\mananah\ 'stand for a lamp, thing whereon lamp is put' Lane : A-EL)

"who are hung in lamps of light on the throne of God"


>ahl-i wafa 'the faithful' (\wafiy\ 'faithful' DMWA, p. 1273b)

"the pure and elect"


s`ahiydan 'martyrs' (DMWA, p. 571a)

"free to roam paradise"


mus`taqan 'yearners {scil. for >al-Lahh}'

"clothed in light"


<arifan 'gnostics' {'knowers', scil. of >al-Lahh}

"hear only the word of God"


dustan 'lovers' (\maduws\ 'trampled down' DMWA, p. 348b; '[road] much trodden' Lane : A-EL)

"perceive nothing but God in all that they do"



"are utterly transformed in both 'quality' and 'state'"

Silvers 2010 = L. Silvers : The Soaring Minaret : Abu Bakr al-Wasit.i and the Rise of His Baghdadi S.ufism. Albany : State Univ of NY Pr.

DMWA = Hans Wehr (ed. by J. Milton Cowan) : A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz. 4th edn., 1979.

Lane : A-EL = Arabic-English Lexicon by Edward William Lane (London: Willams & Norgate 1863). &

p. 172 degrees of the stages of creation, according to Hujwiriy (1976, p. 309)


stage of creation



sirr.ha {\sirr\ 'a secret' (DMWA, p. 471a)}

wasl ('union')


janh.a {\junuwh.\ 'inclination, tendency' (DMWA, p. 166b)

uns ('intimacy')


dilh.a {\daluwh.\ 'moisture-laden cloud' (DMWA, p. 335a) [implying 'free as a cloud'?]}

qurb ('proximity')

Hujwiriy 1976 = The Revelation of the Veiled. London : Luzac.

p. 176 colors of the lat.a>if ('realms' of ascension) {How so? The litteral meaning of \lat.a>if\ (the plural of \lat.iyfah\) is (DMWA, p. 1018b) 'witticisms, quips'. Their "colors" merely typify them as colorful (i.e., "off-color") quips. The koan (literally, 'document') of Zen is, likewise, a quaestion demanding a witty quip in response.}


its color

its location in thorax

ah^fah ("super-arcanum")


sternum {gall?}

h^afiy ("arcanum")


above right {gallbladder?}

sirr ("mystery")


above left {\sirar\ 'umbilical cord' (DMWA, p. 471b}

ruwh. ("spirit" or breath-wind)


below right {lungs?}

qalb ("heart" {viz., emotion})


below left {ought to be "upper left", the true location of the "heart"}

nafs ("soul" {viz., perception})


"middle of forehead" {cerebrum}

p. 177 access to "various levels of the cosmos"

"Buehler ... notes that some S{.}ufi[-]s (the Mujaddidi[-]s) 'mention travelling in a certain [lat.iyfah]'. He cites one S{.}ufi (Simnani) in particular who postulated ten [lat.a>if] emanting from the Essence while discussing the the subtle, acquired body moving through these [lat.a>if]' (1998:112). ... .

... but ultimately access to each of these each of these ' various levels of the cosmos are inside each human being'; the person has to go 'inside 'from 'subtle body to subtle body' (1998:113)."

{According to Kun.d.alini Yoga, access to the several worlds of the elemental spirits is via the several cakra-s; and according to Chinese Internal-Alchemy, access to the several worlds of the elemental spirits is via the several internal thoracic organs.}

Buehler 1998 = A. F. Buehler : Sufi Heirs of the Prophet : the Indian Naqshbandiyya and the rise of the Sufi Shaykh. Columbia : Univ of SC Pr.

p. 178 the 7 Valleys flown across by a migrating mythic bird-flying-formation

"twelfth century ... didactic tale of a large congregation of birds, who, inspired by their leader, the hoopoe, set out to meet the king of birds, the Si-murgh. The birds are compelled to journey through seven valleys, which represent the stations a S{.}ufi ... must traverse in order to realize the true ... . ... The 30 birds discover their king through reflection of their own self in the lake ..., thus affirming the intrinsic S{.}ufi view of the God within (< 1984)."

< 1984 = The Conference of Birds. Harmondworth : Penguin.

"What Are The Seven Valleys In Conference Of The Birds By Farid Ud Din Attar?" And see also :-'s_Seven_Valleys_of_Love_and_Seven_Waves_of_Human_Society_A_Hermeneutical_Perspective/Flinks/0deec52df736a042eb000000/FAttars-Seven-Valleys-of-Love-and-Seven-Waves-of-Human-Society-A-Hermeneutical-Perspective.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1XdfIFAYVnCcvxY8tRcjN8

p. 179 modern S.uwfiy books

Howell & van Bruinessen : S.ufism and the 'Modern' in Islam. 2007.

Inayat Khan : A S.ufi Message of Spiritual Liberty. London : Theosophical Publ Soc, 1914.

Meher Baba : God Speaks : the Theme of Creation and Its Purpose. NY : Dodd, Mead, 1973.

p. 180 Zarathustrian S.uwfiy religious order

"The Nimatullahi[-]s ... more that any other group have dislocated themselves from the main body of Islam (Lewisohn 2006). ... the Nimatullahi[-]s

discretely reinvented themselves by envisioning the roots of S{.}ufism in the Persian (pre-Islamic) past

{All the Yarsaniy denominations of >islam rendre themselves distinct (from the Sunniy denominations) by (as they have been doing for some centuries) "envisioning the roots {antecedents} of" their denominations in the aira prior to Muh.ammad, including in the writings by the Neo-Platonic philosophers. These Yarsaniy denominations are the true praecursors of the neoclassical Renaissance in Europe (since the 15th century ChrAira and onwards).}

(Milani [2013])."

Lewisohn 2006 = L. Lewisohn : "Persian S.ufism in the Contemporary West : Reflections on the Contemporary Ni>matu>llahi Diaspora". In :- J. Malik & J. Hinnells (edd.) : S.ufism in the West. London : Routledge.

Milani 2013 = M. Milani : S.ufism in the Secret History of Persia. GNOSTICA SERIES. London.


ROUTLEDGE STUDIES IN ASIAN RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY, 8 = Geoffrey Samuel & Jay Johnston (edd.) : Religion and the Subtle Body in Asia and the West : Between Mind and Body. Routledge (an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group), Abingdon (Oxon), 2013.