Emir Abdelkader ibn Muhieddine during his captivity in the Amboise Castle in 1853.
A painting by Jean-Baptiste-Ange Tissier
We continue our sharing from the blue House of Via-HYGEIA with another rarely seen text from Emir Abdelkader, excerpted from his 1848 ‘Letter to the French People’, here quoted by professor Bruno Etienne in his ‘Abdelkader’, Editions Hachette Litérature-Collection PLURIEL. Page 309. Translation from the Arabic manuscript by Rene Khawam, ‘Lettre aux Français’, re-édition aux éditions Phebus, 1977. (The first translation was made by Gustave Dugat in 1855). English translation is by Via-HYGEIA. More to come!
‘There is only God in Being! To Man, God only talks: either through direct revelation, either behind a veil, either by sending a messenger to reveal him, according to his command, what He wants.’
From the ‘Book of the Halts’, XLII, 51
‘Every man possesses as a man, the necessary dispositions to grasp the truths in the state they occur, because the mind-where the science dwells- is in relation to the truth of things in the same situation than the mirror in relation to the changing things that appears to it, one after the other. However, in the mirror the shapes do not unveil themselves completely and this for a few reasons. The first one may lie in the defect that affects it in its own shape, thereby, for instance, the iron substance the mirror is made of, and which is not worked, wrought and polished enough; the second may lie in the degradation of the mirror, in the disappearance of the original shine, even though its shape may remain unspoiled; the third one could be the ill-orientation of the mirror towards the object whose image should appear therefore when the object is behind the mirror; the fourth presume the existence of a veil between the mirror and the object the image that must be reflected; the fifth is the ignorance concerning the side where the sought image is to be found, so that it becomes impossible de make, with certainty, the image and the object coincide.’
Follows a commentary by Bruno Etienne:
Abdelkader wrote this text in 1848. In 1864, he treaded into the last phase of his life, that of the indiferenciation between the subject and the object. Of the ecstasies of the beginnings of his mystical experiences, he was to dive into the ‘entasis’, the fact of being outside of one-self within Him. The union with the One is not made of two different entities, even less of two distinct essences: the realization is achieved within the unity of the uniqueness of being.