Nature, Theophany and the
Rehabilitation of Consciousness
June 2, 2007
Updated on: May 24, 2008
Nature, Theophany and the Rehabilitation of Consciousness
Cosmological order, and thus the order of nature, has long since been considered as sacred theophany (The Book of Nature) by the saints, sages and prophets of Divine Order. Seyyed Hossein Nasr defines theophany as, “a symbolic showing of God [i.e. the Divine Attributes] in the mirror of created form.” Since humans are considered to be the barzakh (interspace) between the heavens and the earth – as well as being the stewards of cosmological order – one can only conclude that an ecological depreciation must reflect a distortion in human perception/behaviour: a failure to attain correct cognition of who we are, where we are, where we come from, and how we should behave on this currently fragile planet.
“Nature, Theophany and the Rehabilitation of Consciousness” [NTRC] explores human society’s alienation from, and disregard for, natural order and the resulting ecological / climatological crisis that has ensued. Expounding on concepts and principles of theophany, interconnectedness, interdependence, equilibrium and harmony, NTRC argues that roots of our various socio-environmental crises lie primarily in a (human) crisis of consciousness. In order to resolve our ecological dilemmas, therefore, we cannot simply rely on the enforcement of environmental legislation and a rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems: parallel to these commendable disciplines, we need to move towards an understanding and rehabilitation of consciousness itself. This includes developing a knowledge of self that is attuned to Divine Presence, that is ontologically transformative, and thus ultimately grounded in the unified Divine Absolute: Pure Consciousness (rûh al-quddûs) – the sacred centre of Being. In light of the necessity of this ontological recognition (dhikr) and alignment (Islam), it can be deduced that it will not be possible to find any political, social, religious or ecological reconciliation, if we cannot first learn to reconcile our personal, limited, conditioned self (nafs), with the trans-personal, eternal, unbounded and unconditioned Spirit (rûh): the prototypical pattern for any and all reconciliation. God-willing.
Download the complete paper: Nature, Theophany and the Rehabilitation of Consciousness (in PDF)
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this article. If the direct link to Adobe Acrobat Reader does not work, then go to Adobe's main website and navigate to the pertinent page from there.