Ambiguity and contradiction of expression are among the most important features of gnostic theophanic locutions in the field of epistemology. In Mulla Sadra’s view, the clarity or ambiguity of gnostic intuition is directly related to the extent of the gnostic’s soulish More
Ambiguity and contradiction of expression are among the most important features of gnostic theophanic locutions in the field of epistemology. In Mulla Sadra’s view, the clarity or ambiguity of gnostic intuition is directly related to the extent of the gnostic’s soulish gradedness and sincerity of innermost in the process of the union of the intellect and intelligible and Shar‘i ascetic practice. Accordingly, he sees the rise of ambiguity in intuition as a product of the lack of gradedness of the gnostic’s soul and also the lack of Shar‘i ascetic practices, which leads to possible manipulations of affirmation and errors and diversions in this process. Regarding the problem of contradiction, based on his ontological principles, Mulla Sadra considers theophanic locutions a contradictory category due to their inclusion of their claims of immanence and unity with God’s essence, which necessitate duality in the essence of external objects. Based on the features mentioned above, he explicitly introduces theophanic locutions as the plight of religion and religious beliefs. However, based on his own epistemological principles, he tries to exonerate the gonstics believing in the Unity of Being, such as Bayazid and Hallaj, from this charge. On the basis of the tasha’un (modes) relationship between the Truth and creation, Mulla Sadra believes that these gnostics’ experience of annihilation means forgetting themselves and their I-ness or egoism and paying their complete attention to God’s Essence. The probable shortcoming of theophanic locutions lies in the fact that these gnostics have experienced the highest level of the union of the intellect and intelligible, which necessitates the same union by essence and by accident. However, such an experience cannot be qualified with unity and immanence, which are the basic features of sufis’ theophanic locutions.