Loving in Imagination

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Everyone who falls in love with something only falls in love with it after actualizing it in his imagination, setting up an image (mithâl) for it in his imaginal faculty (wahm), and making his beloved coincide (tatbîq) with his image. If this were not the situation, then once the person separated from his connection to his beloved in terms of sight of hearing or other sense faculty, he would also separate from his connection to her person.

But we do not find this to be the case.

This shows that the beloved exists with the lover in the image of a form (’alâ mithâl sûra) and that he has brought her forth in his imagination. Hence he clings to contemplating his beloved, his ecstasy (wajd) doubles, and his love continues to increase. The image which he formed provokes its former (musawwir) to seek her on whose form he formed it. The root [i.e., his beloved] is the spirit of the image, making it subsist and preserving it. The love of the lover intensifies only toward his own making (san’a) and act (fi’l), for he himself had made the form with which he has fallen in love in his imagination.

So he loves nothing but that which goes back to himself; he attaches himself (ta’alluq) to himself, and he praises his own act.

-Ibn ‘Arabi – The Meccan Revelations (Volume 1)


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