When Bad is Good: The Legend of Asili from A Veiled Gazelle
A ‘Veiled Gazelle’, as the great mystic Ibn Arabi explains in his Interpreter of Desires, is a subtlety, an organ of higher perception. Sufi experientialists refer to the activation of these centres of awareness as the awakening of real knowledge of Truth beyond form.
‘Veiling’ in Sufi parlance indicates the action of the subjective or ‘commanding’ self, which partly through indoctrination and partly through base aspirations prevents higher vision. Sufi poetry, literature, tales and activities are the instruments which, when employed with insight and prescription rather than automatically or obsessively, help in the relationship between Sufi and pupil, towards the removal of the veils.