Saturday, August 18, 2007

In The Heart Of The Believer

Just completed a book, after my third attempt, entitled The Transcendent Unity of Religions by Frithjof Schuon - understandably, a book which will not be read by many Muslims, unfortunately.

Frithjof Schuon was born in 1907 in Basle, Switzerland, of German parents and is best known as the foremost spokesman of the religio perennis and as a philosopher in the metaphysical current of Shankara and Plato. Over the past 50 years, he has written more than 20 books on metaphysical, spiritual and ethnic themes as well as having been a regular contributor to journals on comparative religion in both Europe and America. Schuon's writings have been consistently featured and reviewed in a wide range of scholarly and philosophical publications around the world, respected by both scholars and spiritual authorities.

Some excerpts for thought:

"The whole debate regarding the capacity or incapacity of the human mind to know God resolves itself thus: our intelligence can know God only "by God" and therefore it is God who knows Himself in us. Reason can participate instrumentally and provisionally in this knowledge insofar as it remains united to God. It can participate in Revelation on the one hand, and in Intellection on the other, the first relating to God "above us" and the second to God "within us". If by the "human mind" one understands reason divorced from Intellection or from Revelation - the latter being, in principal, necessary to actualize the former - it goes without saying that this mind is capable neither of illuminating us nor, a fortiori, of saving us."

"Relative knowlegde is limited subjectively by a point of view and objectively by an aspect; since man is relative, his knowledge is relative to the extent that it is human, and it is human in the reason, but not in the intrinsic Intellect; it is human in the "brain", not in the "heart" united to the Absolute. And it is in this sense that, according to a hadith, "Heaven and earth cannot contain Me (God), but the heart of the believer containeth Me" - this heart which, thanks to the miracle of Immanence, opens onto the Divine "Self" and onto the infinitude, both extinctive and unitive, of the know-able, hence of the Real.

Why this detour - one may ask - by way of the human intelligence? Why should God, who knows Himself in Himself, wish to know Himself also through man? Because, as a hadith tells us, "I was a hidden treasure, and I wished to be known; hence I created the world." Which means that the Absolute wishes to be known from the starting point of the relative. And why? Because this is a possibility pertaining, as such, to the limitlessness of Divine Possibility; a possibility, and thus something that cannot but be, something whose "why" resides in the Infinite."


SangKuriang said...

intellectualizing spiritual
yearnings conjours mental masturbation

that ecstasy may bring forth the danger of self idolatry.... it the mind or the heart that says,"I love You."

the idea of it oftheideaofitoftheideaofitoftheideaofitoftheideaofit

Nasha Islem said...

*scratches head*