Opening of Heart, Lataif and more

Drawing from Qur'anic verses, virtually all Sufis distinguish Lataif-as-Sitta ("the six subtleties"): Nafs, Qalb, Sirr, Ruh, Khafi, and Akhfa. These lataif (singular: latifa) designate various psychospiritual "organs" or, sometimes, faculties of sensory and suprasensory perception. They are thought to be parts of the self in a similar manner to the way glands and organs are part of the body. Similar concepts in other belief systems include Chinese traditional or vedic chakrasn and even in catholicism.

In general, sufic development involves the awakening in a certain order these spiritual centers of perception that lie dormant in every person. The activation of all these "centers" is part of the inner methodology of the sufi way or "Work". After undergoing this process, the dervish is said to reach a certain type of "completion" or becomes a Complete Man. (read more from wikipedia)

The Blaketashi Darvishes site (Western Sufism of William Blake) writes: There is a tendency to believe that the opening of the heart is a metaphorical thing, instead of a reality with a real outcome, such as, say, cataract surgery. This is unfortunate.

The concept of Lataif is also found in Christian icons. here are few of the icons.

The Blaketashi Darvishes site also has some very beautiful description of Lataif symbology research in Christian icons. Few examples follows:

The image here provides a map of the lataif in mirror image. The angels right and left, almost lung-like in composition, hold an orb within which is a cross, representing Sirr. The right angel is clad in the same red as a priest's vestment on Pentecost, and represents Ruh. Sirr is supported by a triangle formed of cloaks, which indicates the bringing together of a broad sweep of lower forces. The angel at the left represents Qalb. The ray arising from Sirr represents Akhfa, which transcends into Khafi. Khafi is suggested by part of a larger circle, which is outside the domain of image. A remarkable image.


The infant Jesus as Sirr, with Mary as Akhfa, who mediates between Sirr and Khafi. Attended by Qalb and Ruh.

Khafi is represented by the dome of the church. Note that while the heart, Qalb, looks at Sirr, the Spirit, Ruh, looks at Khafi.





Within this image of Christ's return in power and glory one may also see Sirr, represented by a pentagon within a circle. Sirr is supported by Ruh and Qalb, and is represented as a victory over chaotic and fractured lower forces. Again, the Divinity may be found within Sirr.

(for more Christian icon and lataif symbology, click here)

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Technology of the Heart: Opening of Heart, Lataif and more
Opening of Heart, Lataif and more
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