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.

The Three Hypotheses of the Single Monad Model

The Three Hypotheses:

The Single Monad model can be summarized in the following three hypotheses - although, to be sure, Ibn al-Arabi himself presents these concepts primarily not as the subjects of philosophical or theological arguments, but rather as the symbolic expression of the actual metaphysical realities directly perceived by himself and many other realized 'Knowers' (‘urafa’, muhaqqiqun, ahl Allah, and so on) through the processes of inspired 'unveiling':

a- The Single Monad: There is only one Single Monad that can be said to have a real existence at any given time. This Monad creates other monads by manifesting different forms ('imaging Itself') to make a comprehensive 'still picture' of the entire cosmos. This still picture is created in one full Week of the original creative Days (of events), but this creative process is equivalent only to one single moment (the 'atom of time') for an observer inside the cosmos. Thus the observed cosmos is the eternally renewed succession of these still pictures made up by the Single Monad. The Monad - discussed in detail in the following sections - is an indivisible reality, but it is still itself a compound made up by the 'Greatest Element' that is the only real ultimate substance in existence.

b- The Re-creation Principle: the forms of manifestation cease to exist intrinsically right after the instant of their creation, and then they are re-created again by the Single Monad in every original creative 'Week' (i.e., at every moment). As discussed in Sections III.6 and V.6 above, this perpetual re-creation happens in the 'six Days' of creation from Sunday to Friday, which accounts for the three dimensions of space. But we do not witness this creation process as such; instead we only witness the created world on the 'last Day' of Saturday. So the seven Days of the divine Week are in all one point of space-time (Days 6 to 1) which then - by repeating manifestations - manifests the space-time container (i.e., 'the Age', as discussed in section II.19) which encompasses the world both spatially and temporally.

c- The Actual Flow of Time: Since the world takes seven Days to be created by the Single Monad, which manifests the forms of the monads one by one in specific order, any observer would have to wait - somehow out of existence - six Days (from Sunday to Friday) in order to witness the next moment of creation (i.e., the next 'still picture') on the following Saturday. But of course we do not perceive all this, but rather experience it as a single infinitesimal moment. In each Day of these Days of creation, a corresponding dimension of the world is created. Therefore, the real flow of the actual created time does not go linearly, but rather is intertwined with the observable, normal earthly days in the special - and admittedly rather mystifying - manner that we have summarized in section IV.4, along with Ibn al-Arabi's account of the way the observable earthly daytimes and nights are 'taken out' of each other and separated by three daytimes and three nights in order to form the three-dimensional space that we experience.

Please note that some contents are translated Semi-Automatically!