Mystical Astrology According to Ibn 'Arabi by Titus Burckhardt - tr from French by Bulent Rauf (2001).pdf

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Mysti cal
Astrology
Accordin to
Ibn 'Ara i
TITUS BURCKHARDT
Tanslated rom French by
BuLENT RAuF
FONS VITAE
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Prl·vinusly puhlishl·d as
l1111· ( :/,:f'Sriritud/,· J,. I ,' A s t ro l ogi t• MuIIImanl'
J'arn\s Mohyi-J-Jin Ibn \mbi
Ll·s Editions i·aditionelles, Paris, 1950
and as
Cle Spirituelle de L'Astrologie Musulmane
d'apres Mohyiddin Ibn .rabi
Arche, Milan,1974.
First English translation by
Beshara Publications, Abingdon, England, 1977
This ne, illustrated edition published by
Fons itae
49 Mockin b ird Valley Drive
Louisville, KY 40207
www.fonsvitae.com
©2001
All rights reserved
including the right of reproduction
in whole or in part in any form.
Printed in China by Everbest Printing Co.,
through Four Color Imports, Ltd., Louisville, KY
ISBN: 1-887752-43-9
Libray f Congress Control Number: 2001 094850
Foreword
As the term astrology means the practical application of astron­
omy to human use our resonse to it must necessarily hinge on
our understanding of what it means to e human.
What is that 'favourable moment' which the Buddha urgs us
to grasp? Why does he congratulate those who 'have seized their
moment' and lament those 'for whom the moment is passed' ?1
he explanation lies in the raditional• view of time. Illumina­
tion, or the goal of human existence, is instantaneous in relation
to the long cosmic journey of passing time. It is a comprehen­
sion of Reality which comes 'in a lash' like lightning. Thi s
favourable moment or paradoxical instant susends duration
and places the recipient into a timelss prsent. his timelss
present is paradoxical in as much as it is qualitatively diferent
from that illusive 'profane' present hat barely exiss ewen
two nonentities, the past and the future, and apparently ceas
with our death. Neither des the 'profane' experience have any
earing on th e prolongation, eyond time, that the 'favourable
moment' brings, which can e likened to a glance 'outside' ime.
For those of us who have een educated in the 'values' of
modern Western industrial culture the traditional view of time
is as diicult to grasp as is its unfoldment reprsented by the
traditional symolism of astrology.
1 hanatitl; amyuta Nikaya, tv 1.6.
I Tradition in our prsent usage means the animating principle of a normal
ciety or the 'prsiding idea' which underlis and inspires the whole life of
a people.
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divinatory astrology: ' ...for the individual curiosity, all
"oracle" remains equivocal and may even reinforce ...error ...'
As, ' ...man cannot remove the veil of his ignorance except by
or th rough someth ing wh ich transcends his individual will. ' In
doing so he oints with great clarity to the fundamental difer­
ence between th is traditional viewoint and the 'individualist'
and 'historicist' viewoint which contemporay Western opin­
ion has inherited from he lod-tide of Aristotelianism, which
invaded he Middle Ages and has dominated its world feeling
ever since. o much so that few contemorary Western thinkers
would even know of, let alone take into consideration, the prin­
ciple, so fundamental to the tradition represented by Plato, s
that of Perichorsis. his procss, or 'permeation of the divine
presence', arises from the 'platonic' teaching th at states that the
world of materiality is unequivocally dependent for its eing
and existence on the principal irst cause, and as such is merely
its furthest relexion or exteriorised expression. As light oth
causes and permeates sh adow, so th e divine presence permeates,
through erichoresis, to the heart of all materiality. Arist­
tel ianism asserts that universals only have existence in so far as
they ch aracterize individual concrete things - thereby implying
th at universals only exist in the human mind th at 'abstracs'
them from 'things'. his inversion of the teach ing of Plato's
academy (that Aristotle left) gave rise to the eventual divorce of
mind from matter and spirit from body and soul due to the ir­
reconcilability of individual 'thingness' with the traditional doc-
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l·or the serious investigator, who is determined to get to the
roots of traditional principles th is small ook is a gold-mine. It
is speciicaly drawn from the erspective of the Islamic contem­
p la tive tradition, committed to written form by Muhyiddin Ibn
'Arabi, and unfolds the timeless spectrum of the orders of eing
as they relate to time and space in 'our' world.
In this volume Titus Burckh ardt has distilled the essential sym­
bol ism underlying spiritual astrology - as in contradistinction
to
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trine of he to t a l ermeabi l ity or efusion of the divine presence
recognisable as the Universals.
It is no mere chance that Ibn 'Arabi was surnamed 'Son of
Plato' (Ibn Atlatun) ecause of this fundamental viewoint wih­
in the revelation of Islam, that assers the deendence of he sens­
ible world on the intelligible world, and the intelligible in return
on the ontological principle of Unity. To understand the start­
ing oint of this ersective of spiritual astrology one needs to
make a denitive efort of reorientation; for we 'mderns' are
almost unknowingly educated in the totalitarian philosophical
empiicism of stotelianism.
he reward for he efort may not only oen some very valu­
able dos onto the real signiicance of srology in the tradi­
ional ense but those same dors may well lead out of the prion
of 'historicism' to that 'favourable moment' where, as an in­
tegral erson, we neiher deny ourselvs our own historic m>
ment, nor consent to e solely identiied with it.
KEITH CRITCHLOW
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