The Greatest Master Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi
The Greatest Master Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi

Most of these introductory articles are exracted from Volume I of the Single Monad Model of the Cosmos: Ibn al-Arabi's View of Time and Creation... more on this can be found here.


We have seen in section I.3 that many classical theories considered time as an absolute quantity. This coped very well with the common concept of simultaneity, where events which occur simultaneously in one frame of reference were considered to have occurred simultaneously also in all other frames. With the advent of the Special Theory of Relativity, the idea that light travels at a finite speed in all directions and in all frames of reference changed this piece of common sense. According to this new theory, simultaneous events in one frame of reference are not necessarily considered simultaneous with regard to another frame of reference moving at a relatively high speed with regard to the first.

According to Ibn al-Arabi's view of time and his model of the cosmos that we have described above, the concept of simultaneity will have an even more relative aspect. With regard to us - i.e., considered as partial monads present on the level of multiplicity - it is possible to have simultaneous events. The reason is simply because normally we only exist for at one single location of the whole momentary 'Day of event' (as we explained in section II.16). For us, at every single moment of re-creation there is a still picture (that contains infinitely many events) displayed in the world. So from this perspective the concept of simultaneity appears like the classical definition.

But according to the re-creation principle and the oneness of being discussed in Chapters V and VI - in addition to the concept of the single Day of event discussed in section II.8 - there can be no two cosmic 'events' (englobing all of creation) actually happening at the same time, because each Day He is upon some (one, single) task (55:29). Therefore, in reality there is no such thing as 'simultaneity' - with regard to the Single Monad who is creating the real flow of time (see also Chapter IV) - because It wears only one created form at each instant of time. Simultaneity, and therefore multiplicity, thus appears to occur only because of the re-creation. But in reality there are not any two separate (all-encompassing) 'events' happening at the same created instant of time. We shall see the importance of this conclusion more clearly when we discuss the EPR paradox below.


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