The Nature and Meaning of Reality

The fundamental insight offered by Sufism about the Nature of Reality is that it is at the
same time both a "Unity" (with its corresponding dynamic of Unification) and a multi-
leveled "Diversity" (with its corresponding dynamic of Differentiation) .

Reality may appear to us as many different objects and processes but they all share a
common source from which they unfold, according to certain patterns (for example, the
patterns of Being known as the "Lataif") .

Sufism uses an analogy to help us understand this.   Any particular appearance of Reality
is compared to a combination of colors.   And those colors all arise out of a single color,
white, which is the Unity of all colors.


A corresponding insight offered by Sufism is that Diversity unfolds from Unity as the
realization of possibilities.   Unity is considered to contain all possibilities and individual
appearances are realizations of those possibilities.

By analogy, white contains all possible colors and the appearance of any specific color or
combination of colors is a realization of one of the possibilities.


Although Sufis consider it unlikely that a single, comprehensive Meaning of Reality can be
known, there is nevertheless one Meaning of Reality that seems implicit in the foregoing
perspective on the Nature of Reality.

The meaning of something, in general, has to do with the consequences that the thing has.

Since the Nature of Reality is for possibilities to be realized as actualities, the "consequence"
and Meaning of Reality is understood to be in part just that:   unlimited possibilities being
realized as actualities . . .