Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Guénon’s early and abiding interest in mathematics, like that of Plato, Pascal, Leibnitz, and many other metaphysicians of note, runs like a scarlet thread throughout his doctrinal studies. In this late text published just five years before his death, Guénon devotes an entire volume to questions regarding the nature of limits and the infinite with respect to the calculus both as a mathematical discipline and as symbolism for the initiatic path. This book therefore extends and complements the geometrical symbolism he employs in other works, especially The Symbolism of the Cross, The Multiple States of the Being, and Symbols of Sacred Science. According to Guénon, the concept ‘infinite number’ is a contradiction in terms. Infinity is a metaphysical concept at a higher level of reality than that of quantity, where all that can be expressed is the indefinite, not the infinite. But although quantity is the only level recognized by modern science, the numbers that express it also possess qualities, their quantitative aspect being merely their outer husk. Our reliance today on a mathematics of approximation and probability only further conceals the ‘qualitative mathematics’ of the ancient world, which comes to us most directly through the Pythagorean-Platonic tradition.

Amazon
Download Link

Response to Stephen Hawking’s Physics-as-Philosophy

by Wolfgang Smith

Sophia: The Journal of Traditional Studies, Volume 16, No 2, 2011, pp. 5-48.
The Grand Design,1 to be sure, is not simply another “Physics for the Millions” production, nor is Stephen Hawking, its primary author, just another scientist addressing the public at large. What stands at issue is rather to be seen as the crossing of a threshold, an event comparable, in a way, to the publication of Charles Darwin’s magnum opus a century and a half ago. There have always been physicists who make it a point, in the name of science, to dispatch the “God-hypothesis”; what confronts us, however, in The Grand Design is something more. It is the spectacle of a physics, no less, presuming to explain how the universe itself came to be: “why there is something rather than nothing” as Hawking declares. The answer to this supreme conundrum, we are told, can now be given on rigorous mathematical grounds by physics itself: such is the “breakthrough” the treatise proposes to expound in terms simple enough to fall within the purview of the non-specialist.We need also to remind ourselves that following the demise of Albert Einstein, it is Stephen Hawking who has become, in the public eye, the premiere physicist: the lone figure that personifies the wizardry of mathematical physics as such. Add this fact to the brilliance of the book itself, and one begins to sense the magnitude of its likely impact, the effect upon millions of the claim that a mathematical physics has trashed the sacred wisdom of mankind!This contention must not go unanswered. It calls for a definitive response, a rigorous refutation; and such I propose to present in the sequel with the help of Almighty God: the very God whose existence has supposedly been disproved.

Description

It is no longer news that the Western world is in a crisis, a crisis that has spread far beyond its point of origin and become global in nature. In 1927, Reni Guinon responded to this crisis with the closest thing he ever wrote to a manifesto and ‘call-to-action’. The Crisis of the Modern World was his most direct and complete application of traditional metaphysical principles-particularly that of the ‘age of darkness’ preceding the end of the present world-to social criticism, surpassed only by The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times, his magnum opus. In the present work Guinon ruthlessly exposes the ‘Western deviation’: its loss of tradition, its exaltation of action over knowledge, its rampant individualism and general social chaos. His response to these conditions was not ‘activist’, however, but purely intellectual, envisioning the coming together of Western intellectual leaders capable under favorable circumstances of returning the West to its traditional roots, most likely via the Catholic Church, or, under less favorable ones, of at least preserving the ‘seeds’ of Tradition for the time to come.

Links

Description

These essays examines the spiritual patrimony of humanity.
Light on Ancient Worlds is described in this way by Seyyed Hossein Nasr: “In a sense an appraisal of the history of man seen from the traditional point of view, the work casts metaphysical light upon ancient civilizations and their significance and traces the gradual fall of man to the modern period and the revolt of European man against the Christian tradition. It also deals with the crucial debate between Hellenists and Christians, the Shamanic character of North American Indian religions and the significance of monasticism. It concludes with the essay ‘Religio Perennis’, which summarizes what lies at the heart of all religions and which may be considered to be the essence of religion as such.” This new edition (a new translation) is fully revised and contains an index and a valuable glossary which clarifies many key ideas expressed in Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, and Arabic, as well as foreign phrases. It also includes a selection of previously unpublished correspondence, which provides striking insights into Schuon’s function as one of the great spiritual masters of our time.

Links

Description

This new edition of perennial philosopher Frithjof Schuon’s Sufism: Veil and Quintessence is a fully revised translation from the French original and contains an extensive Appendix with previously unpublished selections from Schuon’s letters and other private writings. In seven articles Schuon makes the critical distinction between an “absolute” Islam and a “contingent” Islam, thus distinguishing between the message of Islam in itself, and the pious Arab expressions of that message, which by their style of rhetoric have a tendency to veil it.

Links

Description

In this new edition of the classic work Gnosis: Divine Wisdom, Frithjof Schuon, the foremost representative of the perennialist school of comparative religious thought, writes on seminal aspects of religion and the spiritual life, dealing with themes such as the diversity of revelations, gnosis, the love of God, and “seeing God everywhere,” while a remarkable final section treats of the Christian tradition in depth
The breadth of Schuon’s erudition can be somewhat daunting, especially for those not accustomed to reading philosophical and religious works. The pages of his books contain numerous allusions to traditional theological doctrines, important philosophers or spiritual authorities, and the sacred Scriptures of the world’s religions, but a citation or other reference is not often provided. A series of editor’s notes, organized by chapter and tagged to the relevant page numbers, has therefore been added to this new edition. Dates are provided for historical figures together with brief explanations regarding the significance of their teachings for Schuon, and citations are given for his frequent quotations from the Bible, Koran, and other sacred texts. The Authorized Version of the Bible has been used throughout; since the author made his own translations from the Koran, we have chosen to render his French for these passages directly into English, though the Pickthall interpretation of the Arabic has been given a certain preference when Koranic quotations appear in our editorial notes.
Links

Description

the relationship of Christianity—or for that matter, of any religion—to the perennial philosophy is that of one particular color to the uncolored light. The essays included in this book, therefore, envisage Christianity on the background of a perennial and universal truth. In the Rig-Veda (1.164.46), it is said that “sages call the one Reality by many names”, and a man is not debarred from understanding this truth simply because he is a Christian. St. Augustine alluded to this perennial and universal truth when he said: “That which today is called the Christian religion existed among the Ancients, and has never ceased to exist from the origin of the human race, until the time when Christ himself came, and men began to call Christian the true religion which already existed beforehand.” The perennial philosophy could be said to be perennial Platonism. Others might call it perennial Vedanta. Others again, like C. S. Lewis, might call it the Tao. The editor’s selection of contributors is very wide-ranging. From a large number of authors, of a variety of denominations, he has chosen many surprising and unique items of great relevance which one would be very unlikely to come across elsewhere. One matter of contemporary importance on which the book offers some encouraging perspectives is the question of relations between Christianity and Islam. Here too the editor has unearthed contributions which, often in unexpected ways, shed considerable light.

Links

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.