By Robert Anton Wilson
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Indeed, Avicenna says that we know only the properties, the inherences and the accidents of things, not their essence (haqiqah); even when we say of the First Being that his existence is necessary, we are still speaking of an inherent property, not of his essence. In short, all the philosophers 58 59 HISTORY OF ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY SHIISM AND PROPHETIC PHILOSOPHY of the 'eternal Muhammadan Reality', the celestial Anthropos—whose esoteric aspect is the Imam. All vision of God is the vision of his human Form.
The relationship between knowledge and belief, theology and philosophy, was not conceived in the same way in the two traditions. Where Shiite Islam is concerned, gnosiology was to concentrate on suprasensible knowledge, establishing its categories in relation to prophetic knowledge, and in relation to the hierarchy of persons that was determined by the relationship, described above, between nubuwah and walayah. Certainly the rational dialectic of the mutakallimun lacked the resources for such a prophetic philosophy.
The form-image born of a contemplation which is focused on the supra-sensible world, and of the illumination of the world of the malakut, 'imitates' divine realities to perfection. In this manner, prophetic gnosiology leads to a theory of imaginative knowledge and symbolic forms. As a corollary to this, Mulla Sadra, demonstrating the role of the vital pneuma or ruhhayawani, elaborates • mystical psycho-physiology—a development of the criteria already proposed by the Imams—which makes it possible to distinguish cases of demoniac suggestion and in general what we know today as schizophrenia.