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Everywhere yet Nowhere: The manifestation of Truth and Illusion by Fakhruddin ‘Iraqi

Urzeugung, painting by

Joseph Anton Schneiderfranken,

also known as Bô Yin Râ.


Today’s sharing from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA, is a text presented by our Via-HYGEIA partner and long time contributor, Emir Abdülkadir İnanç. Fakhruddin ‘Iraqi’ was one of the foremost expositors of Sufi teachings and one of the greatest of Persian poets. Born in 1213 (618) in the city of Hamadan in west Persia, he lived during the revival of Islamic spirituality that was shaped by the writings of Jalaluddin Rumi and Ibn ‘Arabi. ‘Iraqi’s masterpiece “Divine Flashes” became a popular and influential text in Persian-speaking Islamic lands. The work’s beautiful descriptions of “the mysteries of Union” in the language of love are classic expressions of Suf love mysticism. In this volume, William Chittick and Peter Wilson present the first English edition of “Divine Flashes” with a sensitivity that conveys both the metaphysical richness and the poetic subtleties of the work. Writing in the preface to this book, Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr says of Iraqi: “If he sang the love of God in verses of great beauty, it is because his soul had itself become a song of God, a melody in harmony with, and a strain of, the music issuing from the abode of the Beloved


‘…So: His veils are His own Names and Attributes. As the author of Hearts’ Food'(6) puts it, “Essence is veiled by Attributes, Attributes by Acts.'(7) Ultimately He Himself is His own veil, for He is hidden by the very intensity of His manifestation and occulted by the very potency of His Light(*).

You are Inward, not appearing to those with eyes to see
for how can He be seen Who is hid by His own Reality?

We see, but know not what we see: and must say,
Everywhere veiled by Your own Face

You are hidden from the world in Your very manifestation.
Look where I will
I see Your Face alone;
in all these idols
I see only You.
Jealous lest You be recognized at every instant
You dress Your Beauty in a different cloak.

How could anything else veil Him? for veils belong only to the limited, and He has no limits. All you behold in the world of form and meaning is His Form–but He is unbound by any form. Where He is not, nothing exists -but wherever He is … that thing is also naught.

You are the world-
but how can You be seen?
Are You not the soul as well?
Yet how can You be hidden?
How can You be manifest?
for You are occult always.
Yet how can You be hidden
when You are eternally seen?

Hidden, manifest, both at once:
You are not this, not that
yet both at once.


Notes by William C. Chittick and Peter Lamborn Wilson

6. Qut al-qulub by Abu Talib al-Makki.
7. God’s “Acts” are the creatures, which become manifest within the world as a result of the ontological possibilities represented by the Attributes.


(*) Hygeia contributor’s note

I’d also suggest this post by Schelling, ‘All life must pass through the fire of contradiction; contradiction is the driving force and innermost nature of life.’

See also, the depiction of Galadriel in Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring. In the fourth minute in the below video her light becomes so intense that it becomes dark. Thanks to Aleks Kalenderoğlu who actually made me notice this.


More about Fakhr al-Din Iraqi: 🌿 Text source: Divine Flashes, Fakhruddin Iraqi, tr. William C. Chittick and Peter Lamborn Wilson, Paulista Press, Classics of Western Spirituality Series, pages 97-98 🌿 More artworks by Bo Yin Ra:
Everywhere yet Nowhere: The manifestation of Truth and Illusion by Fakhruddin ‘Iraqi

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