When I first bought this book I could not understand it. It seemed to me 'impenetrable'. So I shelved it. Looking at the book now, it seems as if the scales that covered my eyes have lifted. I am glad that I kept the book safe. Now I begin to understand, if only partially.
The author has written a number of balanced, penetrating books revealing the world of the religious masters of the Near East of 700 years ago. Willaim Chittick, Professor of Islamic Studys at SUNY Stoney Brook is unique in the English speaking world in his training in these topics; and in the synthesis and scope he provides. The Sufi Path of Knowledge is an expertly and lovingly considered condensation of a work that in it's Arabic original runs over 10,000 pages. Ibn Arabi, along with Al Ghazali and Rumi, was the greatest mystic of the Islamic religion. This book provides more insight on man's nature, the nature of his relationship to the world and his creator, the world of angels and dreams and deep awakening, and the nature of being than any other book I know. Overwhelming.
Chittick allows Ibn Arabi to speak for himself without attemptiong to fit him within a philosophical paradigm like other authors (Nicholson, Affifi). This itself is a landmark step in oriental studies.