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By Corbin

First released in 1986. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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Temple and Contemplation

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8 particularly where sacred history is concerned, to an apprehension of things by means of an Image. This Image is altogether different from that of the indefinite, rectilinear progression of time presupposed by evolutionist theory, and by explanations of things in terms of historical causality. This Image is of circles, cycles, or "cupolas", as they are called in certain Nusayri texts,9 which not only show us temporal succession finally stabilized in the order of spatial simultaneity, but are also unique in their capacity to make possible and illustrate an application of the science of the Balance to sacred history.

20 (Tehran/Paris, 1973), p. 35. 61 THE SCIENCE OF THE BALANCE THE SCIENCE OF THE BALANCE the evangelist's verse: jam non dicam vos servos sed amicos. It is as though this reminiscence disclosed the secret tradition transmitted at the very origins of Islam by Khadijah, the Prophet's wife, and the monk Waraqah, her initiator. It is by virtue of purely spiritual criteria which exceed the competence of men that the esoteric hierarchy is constituted within the entirety of these "Friends and Loved ones of God".

Cf. the Fawa'id (The Book of Teachings), (Tabriz 1274), pp. 37 ff. See my conference reports in: Annuaire of the Section des Sciences Religieuses de l'Ecole pratique des Hautes-Etudes, 1966-1967, pp. 109 & 113; 1967-1968, pp. 142-145. 48 39 The shaykh underlines the motives for his discretion by alluding to some verses by an anonymous poet: "If our age were not united in rejecting the truth, I would speak of it here. " The "Seal of the book", which is its conclusion, returns to the question that was asked initially by a troublesome man in conversation with the person who reported it to Muhammad Karim-Khan Kirmani.

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