In Sufism, one saintly person in every age is said to receive the illuminations (tadjalli) of God's Names, Attributes and Essence. He becomes deified, God's worldly viceregent (khalifa). He is the perfect man, the pole (kuth) of the universe, supporting and sustaining it. He has acquired the universal nature (djamiya) and contains the types of every spiritual and material thing. Having realized perfect identity with God, he comes into the world to serve humanity in both moral and spiritual aspects, living in the world but not belonging to it. His is the archetypal reality of the universe, the means by which revelation descend to this world, the model for spiritual life and the source of spiritual knowledge. As the Prophet his spiritual perfection is revealed, as "Sufi" the fact of his identity with God is veiled. Serving as Shayk, Pir or spiritual master he guides human beings on the way to God. To him divine essences and divine attributes are the same. He experiences the state of al-wahid - his soul is both annihilated in the Universal Soul and rejoices in permanency in the Divine Soul. According to Al-Djili, Muhamad is the Most Perfect Man. These ideas echo Sakyamuni's position as claimed in later Buddhism, that as Buddha he became affiliated to Adi-Buddha. They also reflect the Manichaean Primal Man, the Hermetic Anthropos and the Zoroastrian Gayomart.
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Sun, 26 Sep 1999