A Study of the Hierarchies of Intuition in Illuminative Epistemology



There are many commentaries on light in its role as the subject matter of illuminative philosophy. According to Suhrawardi, light is a symbol of “consciousness” and “self-consciousness”. Therefore “knowledge” is the pivot of Suhrawardi’s philosophy. The fundamental issue addressed in this study is the evaluation of vision or intuition in the essential topic of Illuminationist philosophy, that is, illuminative knowledge. This article is an attempt to prove that just as Suhrawardi considers the illuminative “principle of vision” to apply to inner perceptions, he also applies the term “vision” or “intuition” (shuhud) to all levels of sensory, imaginary and rational perception, and also to intuitions of heart. The conclusion of this article is that according to Suhrawardi the reality of perception throughout the different levels of inward and outward perception is intuitive. Also, vision and mystical apprehension, on their most elevated levels, are vision and mystical apprehension of heart, constituting a higher level of knowledge than rational perception. The true illuminative knowledge finds its realization in this final stage of knowledge.