Chambers of the Heart لطائف

Acrylic on paper, hand-cut, assembled on paper. 48x48x3 cm framed.

Date15 January 2016
Category, ,

Sufi schools teach about subtle centres (lata’if, “subtleties”) present in the human body. There is no final consensus on their numbers and locations, but I’m most drawn to the following system.

Overall, the lata’if number ten. Five are outer and belong to the world of Creation: these are the arkân (four elements) and our lower nature (nafs). Five belong to our spiritual body and are located within the heart, inside one another, so that one goes deeper and deeper inward as one journeys towards truth. The latter five are the subject of this piece. They are:
Qalb قلب – the Heart. Its quality is love and longing, its colour yellow.
Rûh روح – Spirit. Stillness and tranquility, red.
Sirr سرّ – Mystery or Secret. Intimacy with God, white.
Khafi خفي – the Hidden. Extinction, black.
Akhfa أخفى – the Most Hidden. Absolute Truth, green.

Creation process:

A penny for your thoughts...