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Alam al-Mithal

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Alam al-Mithal is the mystical world where all physical limitations are removed. It is also the place where the minds of some dead people dwell.

Alam al-Mithal roughly translates from Arabic as "the world of similitudes", also called Alam al-Khayal, "the world of the imagination." This world, which is an intermediate between God and the manifest world, and is considered by certain veins of Islamic philosophers to be as phenomenologically real as the world we inhabit through our five physical senses.

This world is the world of the subtle bodies, and provdes a connection between God and It's creations. It is thus, in this sense, that it is the "mystical world where all physical limitations are removed." In this world, there are no set boundaries of time and space; this world, is perceived by its own related organs. In the same way that the physical world is perceived by the five physical senses, so is alam al-mithal perceived by its related organs, of which the Creative Imagination is the organ par excellence.

It is in this mystical world where communion and direction revelation and prophecy are given by God to his messengers and prophets.

Much of the philosophical framework for understanding this concept has come down to us from Henry Corbin, who started writing about Islamic philosophical notions of Alal al-mithal in the early 60's, and it may well be that Corbins work had a large influence of Frank Herbert in the creation of Dunes phenomenology of prophecy.

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