Contemplation, theorizing, and discourse with knowledgeable folks can only foreshadow or foretell the ‘eternal bliss’ of Tajalli or ‘Theophany.’ But the manifestation of Tajalli can occur in a variety of ways. In the case of Moses, Tajalli occurred in the form of fire and light. As in the case of the famous Persian mythical figure Majnun, Tajalli occurred through his encounter with Layla.
As Mulla Sadra wrote, the “gates” through which Tajalli manifests and occurs within the human faculties and senses are “hearing, eyesight, and heart, specifically.” Mulla Sadra added: “This is why the causes of knowledge of God and the origins of gaining cognizance of His Sovereignty arrive at the human essence by these three paths, whose number corresponds to the levels of the heavenly books sent down upon three communities – the Torah for the Jews, the Gospel for the Christians, and the Furqan for the Muslims.”
In turn, Tajalli is a “solicitation” of certain individuals on the part of God in order for him to be known to certain individuals. This “knowledge” which is given to an individual through God’s own solicitation of the individual is known as Mai, the literal translation of which is “wine.” For knowledge of God through God’s own ‘solicitation’ of an individual and thus Tajalli to be equated to “wine” is a parallel to the intoxicating effect of being chosen by one’s beloved. As Farid ud-din Attar wrote:
“Whoever drinks the juice of life to live by your Love
can be your admirer and grieve for youth and life.
Whoever has a drop of bitter lees from your wealth’s cup
will drink the wine of happiness for their days to come.
The one whose soul is an eternal garden by your sun
will feel a hint of grief in this transitory prison.
Whoever is erudite in your Love’s company
must be muted or else know eternal muteness.
The heart that found your Love left the burden of both worlds.
Whoever says: I’ve drunk wine from the Beloved’s hand
is the king who can make friends with any beggar.
Our soul drank Love’s certainty like an antidote.
Who can be sure of Love yet poisoned by suspicion?
Attar didn’t feel the pain of a hundred lovelorn souls;
so he shall know only the misery of this refractory bone.”
As mentioned before, Fana – or the ‘annihilation’ of ego and egocentricity – is the stepping stone towards Tajalli. As Farid ud-din Attar wrote: “As I vanished from my fayed life, I found myself in union with the Beloved. As I was freed from the Pharaoh of being, I became Moses at the chosen mountain.” Fana is thus the “stage” of life which initiates the journey towards “union.” After Fana, no action, movement, or words emanating from the individual is from the individual or willed by the individual. As Farid ud-din Attar wrote:
“In this stage of the pilgrim’s journey, the movement of the traveler and the motion of the ocean are the same. He is and he is not. How can that be? Who can explain this mystery? The mind cannot conceive it. In order that you may understand it, it is essential that not one hair of self shall remain with you, otherwise the seven hells will be filled with this one hair (one thought of self-consciousness).”
Arguably, the question of whether sobriety can coincide and exist alongside such self-annihilation and transcendence and in turn render the solicitation of the bequeathment of a kind knowledge and condition that will lead to intoxication anyway is perhaps one of the central debates and points of contention between those who know.