The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism
by Henry Corbin, translated by Nancy Pearson
Foreword by Pir Zia Inayat Khan
In the Sufism of ancient Iran, the quest for the dawning of light in the cosmic North symbolizes the mystic’s search for realization. In this spiritual journey, the light arising in man’s inner darkness—the Northern Light or Midnight Sun—represents the impartial but brilliant light of Truth, that which sets us free from egotism and from slavery to material existence.
In a penetrating analysis of the writings of the great Iranian masters—including Suhrawardi, Semnani, and Najm al-Din Kubra—Corbin sees an unfolding and continuity of the idea of color and light as symbols of spiritual development. In the course of this study, Corbin constantly relates the ideas of Persian Sufism to the spiritual knowledge of other Middle and Far Eastern religions.
A chapter is also devoted to the Goethe’s theory of physiological color. Going beyond theoretical speculation: the combination of analysis and insight beckons the reader to apprehend the intuitive dimension of the material being discussed.
Review for The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism:
“Henri Corbin has shown, in a penetrating study, the importance of the orientation toward the Pole, the place where the celestial revelation, ‘the sun at midnight,’ will appear to the pilgrim on the mystical Path.” – Dr. Annemarie Schimmel, author of The Mystical Dimensions of Islam