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5. A Theosopical Interpretation of Salāmān va Absāl and Its Relevance to its Historical Setting

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Chapter Summary

The union of the opposites (conjunctio oppositorum), namely the union of Reason and Love, is a major theme of Salaman va Absal, in that it describes the eventual absorption of all the characters in the tale into the person of Salaman. The King and Absal, for example, who could be theosophical symbols of Reason and Love (father and mother), and thus two opposing forces in the soul of every human being, disappear from the narrative as Salaman is transformed from carnal to spiritual man. It is noteworthy that the "divine physician" (tablb-i ilahl) who facilitates the negation of the carnal soul of the adept is a central character in the first tale in book of the Masnavi. The most obvious indication linking Salaman va Absal with the Masnavi lies in the fact that both masnavis were written in the same metre.

Keywords: divine physician; Masnavi; Salaman va Absal; theosophical symbols



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