I took the hand as it slid the night’s noose over
my reason, my ordinary
Stone – I took my boat as sign and I sank
over and over till I knew
Not I not Her – this is my black of perish, my
shore of contemplation –
Then He made me contemplate what is above taking, and I saw the Hand. Then the Green Sea poured forth between the Hand and me. I became immersed in it and I saw a tablet. I climbed onto it and [like that] I was saved, since had it not been for [the tablet], I would have perished.
Then the Hand appeared, and behold! the Hand was serving as the shore of that sea, upon which the boats sailed until they arrived at the shore. When they reached it, the Hand pushed them along to a deserted place. The owners of the boats disembarked carrying with them pearls, jewels and coral; but as soon as they stepped onto dry land, these all turned into ordinary stones.
– Ibn al-Arabi, Mashahid al Asrar (contemplation of the holy mysteries)