As one of history’s greatest universal mystics and interpreters of the human condition, Ibn ’Arabi’s teachings can offer us a window into a form of Islam that we in the West are rarely exposed to, as well as a more sophisticated understanding of the more exalted aspects of the Islamic cultural heritage. This conference will explore Ibn ‘Arabi’s ideas on consciousness with particular focus on his articulation of the “Vast Earth” as a living reality, and the landscape through which the awakened human travels.
Apart from various presentations, the conference features a workshop by scholar Eric Winkel entitled Exploring the Vast Earth: “We read from Chapter 8 of the Openings Revealed in Makkah and identify key areas for a mapping of the Vast Earth. How big is this Earth? What features does this Earth have? We consider the entrances to this world, and shape-shifting shaykhs; food, sex, and hospitality in this world; and the impingement of one world on another. At the end of the chapter, Ibn al-ʿArabī provides a do-it-yourself method for perceiving a key process of this Earth – the visitation of other-world spirit beings into the more familiar arena. Then, we ask you for one of your experiences from this world.”
The portion of the event occurring on Friday night will take place at the Carrillo Recreation Center in downtown Santa Barbara at 7PM and will involve a keynote speech, poetry readings, and a concert from the UCSB Middle East Ensemble.