In the course of all this Ghazzâlî gives us, incidentally, much that excites our curiosity to the highest degree; though always, when we get to the crucial point, we meet a "perhaps," or a patronizing allusion to the immaturity of his less-initiated reader. (Ghazzâlî's hesitations — "it may be," "perhaps", etc. — are worthy of study in this treatise. They do not so much have the impression of hesitancy in his own mind, as of a desire to "fence" a little with his reader.) He himself writes "incommunicable mystery"' across a number of these passages. Thus, the nature of the human intelligence


and its peculiar affinity to the divine (pp. 16, 71); the mystic "state" of al-Hallâj, and other "inebriates," and the expressions they emit in their mystic intoxication (p. [20]) — "behind which truths," says Ghazzâlî, "also lie secrets which it is not lawful to enter upon"; the astounding passage (p. [24]) in which to the supreme Adept of the mystical Union with deity are ascribed features and functions of very deity; the real explanation of the word tawhîd, involving as it does the question of the reality of the universe and the nature of the soul's union or identification with deity; the nature of the Commander (al-Mutâ`) of the universe, and whether he be Allah or an ineffable supreme Vicegerent; who that Vicegerent is, and why it must be he and not Allâh who performs the prime function of the cosmos-ruler, viz. the issue of the command for the moving of the primum mobile, whereby all the motions of the Heavenly (and the Sublunary) spheres are set a-going; and the final mystery of Allah-an-sich, a Noumenal Deity, in whose case transcendence is to be carried to such a pitch that gnosticism and agnosticism meet,


and the validity of every possible or conceivable predication is denied, whether of act or attribute (see p. [55]) — all these things are incommunicable mysteries, secrets, from the revealing of which our author turns away at the exact moment when we expect the denouement. The art is supreme — but something more than tantalizing. Who were the adepts to whom he did communicate these thrilling secrets? Were these communications ever written down for or by his brother initiates? Or did he ever communicate them? Was there really anything to communicate? If so, what?

Mishk‚t Al-Anwar
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