IBN ARABI’S POEM OF THEOPHANY
Listen, O dearly beloved!
I am the reality of the world, the center of the circumference,
I am the parts and the whole.
I am the will established between Heaven and Earth,
I have created perception in you only in order to be the object of my perception.
If then you perceive me, you perceive yourself.
But you cannot perceive me through yourself,
It is through my eyes that you see me and see yourself;
Through your eyes, you cannot see me.
I have called you so often and you have not heard me
I have shown myself to you so often and you have not seen me.
I have made myself fragrance so often and you have not smelled me
Delicious food, and you have not tasted me
Why can you not reach me through the object you touch
Or breathe me through sweet perfumes?
Why do you not see me?
Why do you not hear me?
Why? Why? Why?
For you, my delights surpass all other delights
And the pleasure I procure you surpasses all other pleasures.
For you, I am preferable to all other good things
I am Beauty, I am Grace.
Love me, love me alone
Love yourself in me, in me alone
Attach yourself to me
No one is more inward than I
Others love you for their own sakes
I love you for yourself
And you, you flee from me.
You cannot treat me fairly
For if you approach me
It is because I have approached you.
I am nearer to you than yourself
Than your soul, than your breath
Who among creatures
Would treat you as I do?
I am jealous of you over you.
I want you to belong to no other
Not even to yourself
Be mine, be for me as you are in me
Though you are not even aware of it.
Let us go toward Union
And if we find the road
That leads to separation
We will destroy separation
Let us go hand in hand
Let us enter the presence of Truth
Let it be our judge
And imprint its seal upon our union