عنوان مقاله [English]
The mystical-apocalyptical literature includes the writings that the mystic shows his/her mystical experiences. Mechthild of Magdeburg and Ruzbihan Baqli are mystics in the Christian and Islam regions who have written the Flowing light of the godhead and Kashf al-Asrar va Mukashefat al-Anwar (the Unveiling of Secrets and Revelations of Lights) in this literary genre. These books in spite of having small and big differences and distinctions which come from their religious-mystical traditions have concordant directions, too. The analogies range from the form and type of revelation (apocalypse) to the genre and depiction of the text, so they make a comparison possible. The direct encountering of the human being and God is the spirit of these works which is expressed in terms such as love, enthusiasm, unity and union, light, and wonder.
‘Mysticism’ usually refers to the cognition that the mystic gains the insight or the special perception in there by meditation, prayer, or none-intermediary illumination. In addition, ‘mysticism’ is usually commented to the direct intuition and none-intermediary experience of God. The meaning of this word can be explained by three concepts: consciousness, presence, and transformation. Symbols, allegories, and apprehensible metaphors- totally referred to as literary arrays- are unique aspects of mystical texts to convey the purpose of the mystic.
‘Mukashifah’ means unveiling in the sense of illumination or epiphany. The opposite words are ‘satr’ and ‘istitar’. They show the act of veiling and occultation. ‘Kashf’ has come in Islamic mystical works as well as the Quran and Tradition. The synonyms of this word in English are revelation or apocalypse which have come from Christian mystical works in addition to the Bible especially in the Book of revelation or Revelation (Apocalypse) to John.
The Flowing Light of the godhead is a book which has the Medieval features, for example, the language and culture of the nobilities, the Beguines with their consideration to asceticism, poverty, and assistance for souls at the moment of death and in their afterlife, the university-trained in theology and mainly the Dominicans. Consideration of the Flowing Light of the Godhead is on the presence of God, the mystical conduct of the human soul, and their union by love. The Mechthild’s mysticism is the type of ascent and descent, presence and absence.
Kashf al-asrar (the unveiling of Secrets) is a book that has many intuitive claims like shathiyyat (shatahat: ecstatic utterances). Kashf (to take away the veil of divinity) and iltibas (clothing with divinity) are two styles of Ruzbihan’s mystical experience. The features of his book are noticing the concept of appearance and disappearance, or occultation and presence in addition to confessing the giving of grace of God from upward by kashf.
The comparable cases in these two works are the inability to saying about the revelation, God and His descriptions as the object of revelation, the intuition of the light, the capacity of the human being to understand God, understanding self-insignificance, God’s grace, and kindness as a starting point of revelation, compliance of prayer, love, enthusiasm and spiritual marriage, butler and wine, divine music, wonder, union, and unity.
In the two forms of mystical experience (i.e. extrovertive and introvertive), inexpressibility is occasionally the claim of many mystics. But, in spite of the problem of ineffability, mystics have never been silent. Indeed, they have been called from God until passing up self-will for the sake of God’s will. In apocalyptical encounters with God and describing his descriptions, Mechthild with experience of transcendental God and yet the omnipresent of God sanctifies and glorifies two manifestations of God. In Ruzbihan’s opinion, the acts of God are the epiphany of His attributes that are for their part, selfsame of His essence. Nonetheless, the unveiling of God’s attributes through the manifestation of His acts is not the same as God’s incarnation in any way.
The intuition of light in their revelations sometimes is the development of their cognition from God to their souls and sometimes God is interpreted as light because of the intensity of His presence and the impossibility of God to be seen directly due to the existential capacity of the creatures, God browbeats the mystics who want to know more about Him while that they are not able to endure encountering the totality of God. Mechthild and Ruzbihan as creatures versus God have humility and modesty.
In these writings which have many amorous terms, God yearns to communicate with the mystic. According to the interpretation of Ruzbihan, in the totality of the contexture of kashf and iltibas, the mystical experience is just the consequence of the grace, love and kindness of God. In both cases, God even before creation had sought Mechthild and Ruzbihan. They are divine favorites. God does not refuse their demands; this could show that the mercy attribute of God overcomes His justice feature.
The love that has a longing and seeking in itself/herself soars to the spiritual marriage to God. Here, the place of the lover and beloved are always changing and these adorations and lovemaking go forward so much that the recognition of duality becomes impossible and the appearance of unity and union is revealed. The concepts of love and marriage in Mechthild’s book have a background that comes from the Bible and the tradition in Christianity. In Mechthild’s opinion, love has an independent character common among human beings and God. It is, thus, the operant of the union. The thinking structure of Ruzbihan is love and aestheticism, too. So, the understanding, experience, and realization of inward monotheism from unity are provided only by the experience of love. These amorous attitudes usually pass from the region of official religion.
The mystical literature is usually full of allegories and metaphors related to wine like wineglass, butler, and wine so these two works are no exception, too. The similarity aspects of these revelations are God as a butler for His graciousness and development of the cognitive growth of the mystic. In these books, God sometimes appears as a minstrel and instrumentalist, of course with the unique and transcendental sound. Indeed, the revelation is not only visual but also auditory and of course existential. The wonder and astonishment of the mystic in the mystical journey occur after passing several states and stations and at the end of his/her conduct. This operant is due to the inability in the intellectual analysis of his/her mystical experience impressed by the presence of God.
One of the genuine aspects of mysticism in the two religions of Islam and Christianity is the problem of the unity or union between the creator and creature. Eventually, Mechthild as a mystic considers the three persons of the Trinity as one God. But this divine union is the intertwinement of two separate persons, not complete annihilation and not melting in the godhead. Indeed, the final aim of the union is the experience of God’s love. Inward monotheism in the opinion of Ruzbihan is explanatory of wonder and God is love, lover, and the beloved simultaneously. In this situation, the contrast between multitudinous and one is removed, so both the one and the other are visible. Nonetheless, the self or soul of the human being is never annihilated perfectly, although too much presence of God overcomes this self and destroys it. Mechthild and Ruzbihan due to their thoughts and writing their revelations had foes and adversaries in their lives. But God always protects them with His supports. In the end, the mystical journey and conduct of Mechthild and Ruzbihan with any distance and intermediary with God, and with their passivity and transcendental wonder, eventually get to union or unity with Him. This article, adopting a comparative method, looks at the dialogue between these two mystics by analyzing the described experiences to better understand their concordant apocalyptical phenomena.