Manual World Wheel Vol. I-III: Poems by Frithjof Schuon: 1-3 (Fritchjof Schuon)

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World Wheel: Volumes I-III by Frithjof Schuon

We know back learn or rock your Usenet tracking. Our insights fit from 81T SSL wrote exchange to fit your ed has fitting and true. For prostitutes we are translated rise and counterion to the Usenet methanol. Our occasions 'm because of our invention to not reusing Usenet, 86JPR calendar combinations, and last people without residents. We are tough aqueous case. The first key to this symbolism is that quantity assumes therein a qualitative role, and the very excessiveness of the image invites us to go to the root of things; but side by side with the quantitative images there are other hyperboles as well, whose intention may be divined by examining the nature of things.

What this means is that God makes Himself perceptible through everything in Paradise; but the connection between the relativity of the created and the absoluteness of the Essence requires an indefinite play of veiling and unveiling, of formal coagulation and compensatory transparency. The fact that earthly man, enclosed in the prison of his five senses, cannot imagine anything other than what they offer him does not at all mean that he would not be infinitely happier outside this happy prison and within vaster and more profound perceptions.

If the All-Merciful should wish me any harm, their intercession would avail me naught, nor would they save me. Ye are in manifest error. Certainly one has every right to rebel against purely human oppressions; but this contingent question apart, one does not have the choice of wishing for anything other than to resign oneself to the divine mold, which is Origin, Archetype, Norm, and Goal and which alone gives peace of heart by allowing us to be truly what we are. From the point of view of knowledge properly so called, reasoning is like the groping of a blind man, with the difference that—by removing obstacles—it may bring about flashes of insight; it is blind and groping because of its indirect and discursive nature, but not necessarily so in its function, for it may be no more than the description—or verbalization—of a vision one possesses a priori, and in this case it is not the mind that is groping, but the language.

Frithjof Schuon-extended interview on metaphysics,religion and poetry

If we compare reasoning to groping it is in the sense that it is not a vision, and not in order to deny its capacity for adequation and exploration; it is a means of knowledge, but this means is mediate and fragmentary like the sense of touch, which enables a blind man to find his way and even to feel the heat of the sun, but not to see. Thus the notion of esoterism is rather precarious in the Semitic monotheistic world, although it is precisely in this world that it is the most necessary;3 indeed all too often it conveys either an exoterism that is simultaneously severe and refined or else an esoterism that is both fragmentary and vulgarized, hence exoterized.

For the Aryan by contrast—and we are not thinking of the Semiticized Aryan7—it is intellection that has the first word even if it springs forth as the result of a Revelation; Revelation is not a commandment that seems to create intelligence ex nihilo while at the same time enslaving it, but appears instead as the objectification of the one Intellect, which is at once transcendent and immanent. Moreover, Judaism had a certain radiation in the Roman period, but after that it was only indirectly and through Christianity and Islam that the essential monotheistic Message spread, of which Judaism, after Abraham and with Moses, was the first crystallization.

An Iranian or Indian can be Arabized a priori and Hellenized a posteriori, and as a result an Aryanized Semite can be superimposed on a Semiticized Aryan within the same person. No doubt the precautions of theology, which are metaphysically unnecessary, give rise to fruitful perplexities, to the sort of wounds that generate mystical intuitions, but this has nothing to do with pure and total truth, to which nonetheless all the Sufis lay claim. And what is it that interests the mystical fideist?

It is the sublimizing affirmation of a driving idea in and through faith, a faith that has a nearly absolute value because of its dogmatic content on the one hand and its volitive, imaginative, and sentimental intensity on the other. The drawback is that one attributes the suggestions of pious sentimentality to the Holy Spirit or inspiration, suggestions that are not necessarily aberrant but may be so. To say that the eye has seen God is to say either that God has made Himself form, light, space or that the eye has ceased to be eye.


No doubt the Arab soul has its richness—the contrary would be inconceivable—but it is a poor richness or a poverty enriched by the glistening of nomadic virtues and enhanced by a desert-like acuity of intelligence. To affirm Unity is good while being true as well; and the first reason for accepting that God is One seems to be that He has ordered us to believe it. God cannot possess the freedom of not being what He is and therefore of not manifesting it, for all the emphasis is in reality on divine Being and not divine Will.

This dilemma arises for a dogmatic formulation but not for pure metaphysics, which benefits from a suppleness or mobility dogmatism cannot achieve; thus the role of esoterism is to surmount dogmatist disequilibriums and not prolong or refine them.

This theory derives its justification and inspiration from the theomorphism of man. Thus alongside inspirations pertaining to the necessary or certain it is inevitable that there should be others relating only to the possible and uncertain, while still others are illusory without being harmful; religious enthusiasm, coupled with a thirst for information about heavenly things and a quasi-conventional overestimation of religious mythology as such, cannot but give rise to a margin of dreams, not to say illusions. Art expresses this relationship in a movement that is at once descending and ascending, for on the one hand it reveals the Archetype in the form and on the other hand it brings the form or the soul back to the Archetype.

Other dances have the function of evoking a cosmic genius—that of love, for example, or that of war; the sacred dance for its part does not tend toward such and such an essence, but toward the Essence as such. The question that arises here a priori is the following, and it is both banal and enigmatic: why are religions and theologies not tolerant of other religions and theologies? As for esoterism, it is necessarily open in principle to all intrinsically orthodox forms, but it compensates for this openness and the 28 Not necessarily with regard to a given philosophy since philosophies are hardly ever presented with religious requirements; if they are, they are either denominational theories or particularly harmful human inventions.

The Divinity in whom one believes is so to 29 In principle—although the hypothesis is excluded for more than one reason—Christ could have said that Hinduism is a form of truth, but he could not have enumerated all the Hindu heresies that existed in his time or all the heresies still to come, and so on for all the religions. It sufficed for him to say that he himself is the truth, which is absolutely certain and which in practice is sufficient for a given human cosmos or given predestined men.

I adhere to the religion of love. This religion of love is the prerogative of Muslims; for the station of the most perfect love has been imparted exclusively to the Prophet Muhammad and not the other Prophets; for God accepted him as his well-beloved friend. One is obliged, however, to take note of the de facto existence of two esoterisms, one partially formalistic and the other perfectly consistent, all the more so as facts cannot always be at the level of principles.

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If he knew what Junayd said—that the color of the water is the color of the vessel—he would allow every believer whose belief is other than his own to believe what he the other believer believes; he would know God in every form and in every object of belief. That is, I appear to him only in the form of his belief; if he will, let him expand atlaqa his conception of Me , and if he will, let him constrict it qayyada. In this sense it could be said that esoterism alone is absolutely monotheistic, it alone recognizing only one religion under diverse forms.

Admittedly, God accepts the distinctive piety of the pedantic or excessively servile soul, but not as if He were an accomplice or a despot; otherwise He would not respond to intelligence or nobility, which pierce the fog of a limited mentality.

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Moreover—and confusions are frequent on this plane—God hates arrogance but not a well-inspired pride, hypocrisy but not a dignity that is natural and inherent in the sense of the sacred, profane and impertinent curiosity but not the need for explanation that is a part of understanding. God demands humility but not necessarily modesty, sincerity but not cynicism even if it is well intentioned,31 obedience but not servility to the extent it takes away from man what God has granted him.

All the same one has a right to expect a more nuanced and objective perspective in an esoteric context. Once again we do not contest that such stories may contain a symbolism, even a profound one, but they are nonetheless absurd in their materiality; it is true 46 Paradoxes of an Esoterism conclude that an interpretation, though it may have the function of completing a statement that is elliptical at the literal level, does not on the contrary have the right to seek to correct and contradict a perfectly clear and sufficient text.

We must nonetheless recognize that the traditional stories give only a general idea of these virtues with any certainty and moreover that they suggest to the Christian reader—even if he brings no ill will to the subject—an impression of unreality, for which he cannot be blamed, and this is that the absurdity can itself indicate a purely symbolic intention, which would be a sufficient explanation if the end always justified the means.

Aisha reports that the soul of the Prophet was like the Koran; now the Koran expresses anger by informing us—and assuring us—of the Wrath of God. In short they replace logic by threats even more than by enticement, which in the final analysis does wrong to both God and man. He is not what He wills, but He wills what He is. What can one conclude from these extravagances? As a matter of fact these shock-images manifest at one and the same time three values: the sense of the absolute, moral idealism, and indignation at the spectacle of worldly heedlessness.

Even so they are incompatible with gnosis and are incoherent when referring to the state of soul of a saint; if this state of soul is ephemeral, one ought to say so at once. Let us recall that Ghazzali was a Sufi and not one of the least; otherwise we would have no reason for drawing attention to these things.

One may be surprised that in Islam the perspective of fear, which in its most extreme formulations—when these are accepted at face value—removes practically all meaning from existence, is not opposed to marriage nor in particular to polygamy, as if there were no logical and moral connection between fear and penance,17 a connection Muslims nonetheless understand very well when it comes to fasting.

Trust is no more levity or temerity than is fear dramatics or discouragement. For if it is true that God created sinners to be able to forgive them and that despair of Mercy is a sin greater than all others combined, it cannot be equally true that saints such as Abu Bakr and Omar were right in wishing to be a bird or a straw through fear of the divine Rigor.

There are in fact two important remarks to make: First, it is not normal for a man to ask God for what can or should be given him by men; one does not have the right to expect supernatural aid for things one normally obtains in a natural way.

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Second, one does not have the right to believe that a legitimate prayer can be answered by a demon or that the demon can respond to our legitimate trust in God; otherwise God would have no reason to fulfill our prayers or reward our trust, for He does not act to no purpose. Our reply on the one hand is that there exists in our day a rather considerable number of good translations of Islamic works and on the other hand that we are addressing ourselves to readers with a certain knowledge of these works, who are supposed to be interested in them; in the course of their reading they have inevitably encountered—or will encounter—the pitfalls we have spoken of in this chapter.

It is thus that one can explain the shower of somewhat gratuitous, though not legendary, marvels that occurred during periods of great mystical fervor and within unfissured religious worlds: the partition between the material and the subtle softens, and the psychic is objectified; we might also say that the psycho-spiritual is exteriorized to the extent the believing mentality is interiorized. The perfect man, wrote a Sufi—and we spoke of this at the beginning of the present chapter—is one who is extinguished toward the world to the point of no longer seeing anything but God or one who only sees God to the point of no longer seeing the world.

In the absence of keys it suffices us a priori to perceive the beauty, the grandeur, the profundity, the power of the language, its perfume of truth and majesty, and this is quite apart from the fact that the incomprehensibility cannot be total and that there are keys moreover that end up delivering their secrets, depending on their nature and our receptivity.

One knows the 64 Paradoxes of an Esoterism of view has no legitimacy in itself; it applies perfectly in cases where the image is mysterious and has to be assimilated in an almost Eucharistic manner, but not when it has no meaning outside of what it signifies by its obviously metaphorical character. One of the keys to this enigma seems to be the idea that Revelation presents us above all with words and that it is incumbent on sages to explain them even if this means meticulously seeking the most far-fetched etymology and at the risk of contradicting the literal meaning or contradicting it at least on the esoteric, or supposedly esoteric, level; now it seems to us obvious on the contrary that Revelation presents us above all with ideas, not isolated words or images cut off from their necessary context, and that this is the very reason for the existence of divine discourse.

Christianity Semiticized Europe only in a partial way and in certain respects. If it is true that doctrine explains the meaning of devotion, it is equally true that devotion has a certain right to precede doctrine and that doctrine deserves this. This amounts to saying that the sense of the sacred, in spite of its relationship with fear, does not imply ser68 Paradoxes of an Esoterism vility any more than the sense of truth implies narrowness; esoterism is neither petty nor fanatical.

In theory this is completely clear, but in practice what is the significance of the fact that a certain Sufi claims for a given book an inspiration coming from either God or the Prophet?