Photo: René Guénon (1886–1951)
"Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein”, “Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them unto babes. “Simplicity” and “smallness” are here equivalents, in reality, of the “poverty” which is so often mentioned also in the Gospels, and which is generally very much misunderstood: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”. This “poverty” (in Arabic al faqr) leads, according to Islamic esoterism, to al fana, that is, to the extinction of the “ego”; and, by this “extinction” the “divine station” is reached (al-mâqam al-ilâhī), which is the central point where all the distinctions inherent in the more outward points of view are surpassed and where all the oppositions have disappeared and are resolved in a perfect equilibrium. “In the primordial state, these oppositions did not exist. They all spring from the diversification of the beings (inherent in manifestation and, like it, contingent), and from their contacts caused by the Universal giration (that is by the rotation of the “cosmic wheel” around its axis). They cease then and there to affect the being that has reduced its distinct ego and its particular movement to almost nothing.” This reduction of the “distinct ego”, which finally disappears by being reabsorbed into a single point, is the same thing as al-Fana, and also as the ”emptiness” ; moreover, it is clear, according to the symbolism of the wheel, that the “movement” of a being becomes more reduced the nearer this being is to the centre. “This being no longer comes into conflict with any being because he is established in the infinite, effaced in the indefinite. He has arrived and remains at the starting-point of the transformations, which is a neutral point where there are no conflicts. By concentrating his nature, by feeding his vital spirit, by gathering together all his powers, he is united to the principle of all the births. His nature being whole (synthetically fulfilled in the principial unity), his vital spirit being intact, no being can harm him."
(René Guénon )
(René Guénon )
'Symbols of Sacred Science'
By Rene Guenon (Author), Henry Fohr (Translator)
In Symbols of Sacred Science, Guénon, a master of precise, even 'mathematical' metaphysical exposition, reveals himself as a consummate exegete of myth and symbolism as well, superior in many ways to Mircea Eliade, and comparable perhaps only to his respected friend Ananda K. Coomaraswamy. This extraordinary text unveils the cosmological meanings of root symbols organized under such general headings as: The Center of the World, Cyclic Manifestation, Symboic Weapons, Axial Symbolism and the Symbolsim of Passage, The Symbolism of Building, and The Symbolism of the Heart. Far more than a simple catalogue of myths and symbols from many traditions, Symbols of the Sacred Science lays the foundation for a universal esoteric symbology. In this work, Guénon demonstrates the fundamental unity-across all cultures and ages-of the images with which the Absolute clothes itself in its cosmic self-revelation.
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