Insights into Islamic Esoterism and Taoism (Collected Works of Rene Guenon)

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9780900588433: Insights into Islamic Esoterism and Taoism (Collected Works of Rene Guenon)

'In Islam,' Guénon wrote, 'tradition is of a double essence: religious and metaphysical. The religious side of the doctrine, which is most outward and is within reach of everyone, can be qualified quite precisely as exoteric, and the metaphysical, which constitutes its deeper meaning and, furthermore, is regarded as the doctrine of the elite, as esoteric. This distinction indeed conserves its proper meaning, since these are two faces of one and the same doctrine.' Asked what he thought of esoteric teaching, the great Sufi master al-Hallaj responded: 'Of which do you wish to speak, the true or the false (batin al-batil aw batin al-Haqq)? If it is a question of true esoterism, the exoterism (shari'ah) is its exterior aspect and whoever follows it truly discovers its interior aspect, which is none other than the knowledge of Allah (ma'rifah bi'llah); as for false esoterism, its exterior and interior aspects are both equally horrible and detestable. Therefore hold yourself aloof from it.' It is fitting to add that for Guénon, esoterism is always and everywhere the same, whatever name is given it according to the variety and diversity of countries and traditions. If true knowledge of ultimate Reality is the final object of esoteric inquiry, the methods utilized, although often analogous, are not necessarily identical; they may vary just as languages or individuals vary. 'The diversity of methods,' Guénon wrote, 'corresponds to the very diversity of individual natures for which they were made; there is a multiplicity of ways all leading to a unique goal.'

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About the Author:

René Guénon (1886–1951) was one of the great luminaries of the twentieth century, whose critique of the modern world has stood fast against the shifting sands of intellectual fashion. His extensive writings, now finally available in English, are a providential treasure-trove for the modern seeker: while pointing ceaselessly to the perennial wisdom found in past cultures ranging from the Shamanistic to the Indian and Chinese, the Hellenic and Judaic, the Christian and Islamic, and including also Alchemy, Hermeticism, and other esoteric currents, they direct the reader also to the deepest level of religious praxis, emphasizing the need for affiliation with a revealed tradition even while acknowledging the final identity of all spiritual paths as they approach the summit of spiritual realization. René Guénon, of whom Jacob Needleman wrote in The Sword of Gnosis that ‘no other modern writer has so effectively communicated the absoluteness of truth,’ is gradually being recognized by deeper thinkers as one of the few who have truly penetrated the seductive veil of the modern age. As an expositor of pure metaphysics and its application to the science of symbols, Guénon is without peer; and his extraordinarily prescient critique of the modern world is attracting more and more attention among cultural commentators. Little known in the English-speaking world till the recent appearance of his Collected Works in translation, Guénon has nevertheless long been recognized as a veritable criterion of truth by a vanguard of remarkable writers who evince that rare combination: intellectuality and spirituality. After a lonely childhood, often interrupted by ill health, Guénon navigated the seductive half-truths of occultism toward a deeper, unified vision offering a way out from the confusion and fragmentation of our time. Regarded by leading scholars as the first truly authentic interpreter of many Eastern doctrines in the West, Guénon never tired, in face of the seemingly inexorable process of dissolution in the twentieth century, of pointing to the transcendent unity of all religious faiths and the abiding Truth that contains them all.

Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

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Book Description Sophia Perennis et Universalis, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Rene Guenon (1886-1951) is undoubtedly one of the luminaries of the twentieth century, whose critique of the modern world has stood fast against the shifting sands of recent philosophies. His oeuvre of 26 volumes is providential for the modern seeker: pointing ceaselessly to the perennial wisdom found in past cultures ranging from the Shamanistic to the Indian and Chinese, the Hellenic and Judaic, the Christian and Islamic, and including also Alchemy, Hermeticism, and other esoteric currents, at the same time it directs the reader to the deepest level of religious praxis, emphasizing the need for affiliation with a revealed tradition even while acknowledging the final identity of all spiritual paths as they approach the summit of spiritual realization. This small volume brings together a number of Guenon s early articles relating to Sufism (tasawwuf), or Islamic esoterism. The later article Islamic Esoterism has also been included, since it so well articulates the particularities of initiation in Islam by defining the fundamental elements of tasawwuf: shari ah, tariqah, haqiqah. The first constitutes the necessary fundamental exoteric basis; the second, the Way and its means; the third, the goal or final result. In the other chapters, Guenon expresses with his usual synthetic clarity what tawhid and faqr are, and gives examples of traditional sciences, relating angelology to the Arabic alphabet, and chirology to the science of letters ( ilm al-huruf). A number of book and article reviews give interesting insights into traditional orthodoxy. The Collected Works of Rene Guenon brings together the writings of one of the greatest prophets of our time, whose voice is even more important today than when he was alive. Huston Smith, author of The World s Religions, etc. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780900588433

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Book Description Sophia Perennis et Universalis, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Rene Guenon (1886-1951) is undoubtedly one of the luminaries of the twentieth century, whose critique of the modern world has stood fast against the shifting sands of recent philosophies. His oeuvre of 26 volumes is providential for the modern seeker: pointing ceaselessly to the perennial wisdom found in past cultures ranging from the Shamanistic to the Indian and Chinese, the Hellenic and Judaic, the Christian and Islamic, and including also Alchemy, Hermeticism, and other esoteric currents, at the same time it directs the reader to the deepest level of religious praxis, emphasizing the need for affiliation with a revealed tradition even while acknowledging the final identity of all spiritual paths as they approach the summit of spiritual realization. This small volume brings together a number of Guenon s early articles relating to Sufism (tasawwuf), or Islamic esoterism. The later article Islamic Esoterism has also been included, since it so well articulates the particularities of initiation in Islam by defining the fundamental elements of tasawwuf: shari ah, tariqah, haqiqah. The first constitutes the necessary fundamental exoteric basis; the second, the Way and its means; the third, the goal or final result. In the other chapters, Guenon expresses with his usual synthetic clarity what tawhid and faqr are, and gives examples of traditional sciences, relating angelology to the Arabic alphabet, and chirology to the science of letters ( ilm al-huruf). A number of book and article reviews give interesting insights into traditional orthodoxy. The Collected Works of Rene Guenon brings together the writings of one of the greatest prophets of our time, whose voice is even more important today than when he was alive. Huston Smith, author of The World s Religions, etc. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780900588433

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