chapter  4
22 Pages

The Doctrine of the Primacy of Being: An Ontological Turn

The systematic ambiguity of Being is the particularization of being in which Being becomes manifest in its own individual modalities. It is not a process similar to the emanation of particulars from the universal Platonic forms or to Suhrawardi's Lord of Species, simply because the Necessary Being or the source of this particularization is not a universal form but a single transcendent Being. This can be seen as a significant difference between Mulla Sadra's understanding of the Platonic forms and Suhrawardi's. Although Plato thinks of the universal forms in the immaterial world as ideas or essences in the Suhrawardian sense, Mulla Sadra insists that they are beings rather than essences and placed at a higher rank of existence in the gradation of being. Having discussed the gradation of being briefly it is useful at this point to explain more precisely Mulla Sadra's interpretation of emanation for understanding his doctrine of the systematic ambiguity of Being.