In Defence of Mysticism: William James and Ibn ‘Arabi
This talk/seminar will investigate parallels between the writings of William James and the vision of Ibn ‘Arabi, in order to emphasise the universal character of Ibn ‘Arabi’s vision.
Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi (1165-1240) is “one of the world’s great spiritual teachers. Ibn ‘Arabi was born in Murcia, Al-Andalus, in 1165 and his writings had an immense impact throughout the Islamic world and beyond. The universal ideas underlying his thought are of immediate relevance today.”
William James (1842-1910) was an American psychologist and philosopher who is often regarded as one of the founders of modern psychology. Although psychology in the twentieth century frequently ignored or discounted mystical experience, James himself was convinced of its importance. Concerning his classic book “The Varieties of Religious Experience” he wrote: “..the mother sea and fountain-head of all religions lie in the mystical experiences of the individual… [which]…..belong to a region deeper, and more vital and practical, than that which the intellect inhabits”.
Peter Coates is the author of Ibn ‘Arabi and Modern Thought (2002), the first book to systematically examine modern thought in the light of the universal vision of Ibn ‘Arabi. He was Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Lincoln, where he taught courses in the philosophy of psychology. He has been studying the works of Ibn ‘Arabi for 40 years.
The October Gallery
24 Old Gloucester Street
Booking & Fees
Cost: £8 + Eventbrite registration fee
Course / Event Location
24 Old Gloucester Street
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