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Ibn al-Arabi in his Bezels of Wisdom writes:

God unites the polarity of qualities only in Adam, to confer a distinction on him ... His outer form He composed of the cosmic realities and forms, while his inner form He composed to match His Own form. Thus He says in the Sacred Tradition, "I am his hearing and his sight," and not, "I am his eye and his ear," in order to show the distinction between the two forms [the imperceptible and the perceptible]. Likewise He is [implicit] in every cosmic being according as the essential reality [manifested] in that being requires it, providing it is understood that no other being enjoys the Synthesis [of divine realities] possessed by the Regent. It is only by virtue of this Synthesis that he is superior [to all other beings].

Although, generally we would think of hearing and the ear and the sight and the eye to be more or less synonymous in ordinary, conventional language; why is Ibn al-Arabi drawing a distinction here and how does it link in with his distinction between the perceptible and the imperceptible? After all the ear, is a physical and therefore perceptible object, but what we hear by it, by that very fact, is perceptible.

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This is an excerpt from the first bezel, Bezel of Divine Wisdom in Adamian Word (فص حكمة إلهية في كلمة آدميَّة) from Bezels of Wisdom (فصوص الحکم).

The distinction is partly rooted in popular premises of Islamic philosophy at the time (which I think hold merit to this date) and Ibn Arabi's own view of the relation between Divine attributes and those of humans.

Muslim philosophers like Ibn Sina distinguished between organs of senses and the faculties of senses, hence distinguishing between eye and faculty of sight, for example. The distinction was justified by how a dead body with all the physical organs can't see, hear, taste, etc, so the need to a corresponding power (quwwa) or faculty for each organ in a living being that employs the organ in the service of the soul. Now here the organs are the outward and the faculties are the inward aspects of sensual cognition. The words "imperceptible" and "perceptible" put as comments in brackets are misleading as "the two forms" have been already identified by Ibn Arabi as "inner and outer", nonetheless they would make sense if they describe the organs and the faculties, as the latter is not perceptible to others and even to one's self. Can we actually see our sight in addition to the things we see by our sight?

These faculties in addition to and in the light of what Ibn Arabi says in a few pages earlier about knowledge and life, all represent "haqa'iqu al-ma'qula" (rational or abstract realities) as opposed to mawjudatu l'aini (objective or concrete beings). The abstract realities such as knowledge, life and sight are subtle realities that are inward and permeate the concrete objects. These realities are closer to Allah and the outward forms are farther. These realities constitute the Divine spirit that Allah breathed into the Adam's outward form; they make up man's soul or spirit.

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