I finally began to read the author Henry Corbin, after having encountered him many times as someone highly recommended by many authors I respect.
Corbin, in translating the Persian term “alam al-mithal” as “imaginal”, coined a word that has become a mainstay of the modern batch of individuals contributing to exploration of consciousness (for example particularly in the area of dreaming practice).
Particularly good is the book by him “The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism”.
This book includes discussion of material that Taoism and Sufism have in common, namely concentration on the “pole star” and similar ideas of the energy body and the growth of a “spiritual child”.
Here pole star is equivalent to both “the orient” and to “the north pole”, where all three designations are pointing in the direction of arriving at enlightened experience, non-dual experience, coming into synch with an inner centre or orient-ation, of conscience, as opposed to becoming more and more divided and caught up in discursive, collective mentation, in the old world indicated by the designation “the occident”.
Worth it for the insight into the idea of “orientation” alone. Also, old Saint Nick camped out in the North Pole seems to take on less cutesy significance… : )
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