Esoterism and Symbol

Esoterism and Symbol

This is an initiation into the tone, structure, and mentality of Egyptian knowledge, the basis of all Western theology and science. It is a redefinition of those concepts which are basic to the pharaonic transmission--the glory of ancient Egypt. The author explores the "process of becoming" as related to consciousness and revealed in nature; the kinship between man and the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms; the stages of awareness leading to "Cosmic Consciousness"; and the mystery of the formation of substance into matter.

Nature Word

Nature Word

The theme of Nature Word is the intelligence of the heart, the innate, functional consciousness, or way of thinking, that is in harmony with nature and able to understand life and living things.

The Esoterism of Dante

The Esoterism of Dante

Especially since the Renaissance, some in Western Christendom have suspected that the deeper dimension of their tradition has somehow been lost, and have therefore sought to discover, or create, an 'esoteric' or 'initiatic' Christianity. In the middle of the nineteenth century two scholars, Gabriele Rossetti and Eugène Aroux, pointed to certain esoteric meanings in the work of Dante Alighieri, notably The Divine Comedy. Partly based on their scholarship, Guénon in 1925 published The Esoterism of Dante. From the theses of Rosetti and Aroux, Guénon retains only those elements that prove the existence of such hidden meanings; but he also makes clear that esoterism is not 'heresy' and that a doctrine reserved for an elite can be superimposed on the teaching given the faithful without standing in opposition to it. One of René Guénon's lifelong quests was to discover, or revive, the esoteric, initiatory dimension of the Christian tradition. In the present volume, along with its companion volume Insights into Christian Esoterism (which includes the separate study Saint Bernard), Guénon undertakes to establish that the three parts of The Divine Comedy represent the stages of initiatic realization, exploring the parallels between the symbolism of the Commedia and that of Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, and Christian Hermeticism, and illustrating Dante's knowledge of traditional sciences unknown to the moderns: the sciences of numbers, of cosmic cycles, and of sacred astrology. In these works Guénon also touches on the all-important question of medieval esoterism and discusses the role of sacred languages and the principle of initiation in the Christian tradition, as well as such esoteric Christian themes and organizations as the Holy Grail, the Guardians of the Holy Land, the Sacred Heart, the Fedeli d'Amore and the 'Courts of Love', and the Secret Language of Dante. In addition to Dante, various other paths toward a possible Christian esoterism have been explored by many investigators-the legend of the Holy Grail, the Knights Templars, the tradition of Courtly Love, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, and Christian Hermeticism-and Guénon deals with all of these in the present volume as well as his Insights into Christian Esoterism. In the latter, one chapter in particular, 'Christianity and Initiation', will be of special interest with regard to the history of the Traditionalist School. When first published as an article, it gave rise to some controversy because Guénon here reaffirmed his denial of the efficacy of the Christian sacraments as rites of initiation, a point of divergence between the teachings of Guénon and those of other key perennialist thinkers. Both The Esoterism of Dante and Insights into Christian Esoterism will be of inestimable value to all who are struggling to come to terms with the fullness of the Christian tradition.

Insights Into Christian Esoterism

Insights Into Christian Esoterism

One of René Guénon's lifelong quests was to discover, or revive, the esoteric, initiatory dimension of the Christian tradition. In the present volume, along with its companion volume The Esoterism of Dante, Guénon undertakes to establish that the three parts of The Divine Comedy represent the stages of initiatic realization, exploring the parallels between the symbolism of the Commedia and that of Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, and Christian Hermeticism, and illustrating Dante's knowledge of traditional sciences unknown to the moderns: the sciences of numbers, of cosmic cycles, and of sacred astrology. In these works Guénon also touches on the all-important question of medieval esoterism and discusses the role of sacred languages and the principle of initiation in the Christian tradition, as well as such esoteric Christian themes and organizations as the Holy Grail, the Guardians of the Holy Land, the Sacred Heart, the Fedeli d'Amore and the 'Courts of Love', and the Secret Language of Dante. One chapter in the present volume, 'Christianity and Initiation', is of special interest with regard to the history of the Traditionalist School. When first published as an article, it gave rise to some controversy because Guénon here reaffirmed his denial of the efficacy of the Christian sacraments as rites of initiation, a point of divergence between the teachings of Guénon and those of other key perennialist thinkers. Both The Esoterism of Dante and Insights into Christian Esoterism will be of inestimable value to all who are struggling to come to terms with the fullness of the Christian tradition.

Guénonian Esoterism and Christian Mystery

Guénonian Esoterism and Christian Mystery

RenE GuEnon's explication of the principles of an interior understanding of sacred forms has established his reputation in the West as the master theorist of esoterism. But till now his doctrine has not been the focus of thorough study in Christian circles, and this has had serious consequences. GuEnonian Esoterism and Christian Mystery is the first major work to combine an analysis of GuEnon's ideas about esoterism with a critical examination of their application to Christianity in terms of data provided by Christianity itself. But to accomplish this, such data cannot simply be surveyed superficially-it must be known firsthand; hence the abundance of citations and references in this text. Such an approach not only lets us decide about certain issues, but may also help us rediscover an all too misunderstood facet of the revelation of Christ. Jean Borella taught philosophy at the University of Nancy until 1995. A Platonist by formation, he has been strongly influenced by GuEnon and Eastern metaphysics. But his deepest inspiration derives from unceasing meditation on the Christian faith, which led him to undertake the present searching critique of 'GuEnonian Christianity'. A religious philosopher, he strives to hear the reverberations awakened in human thought by revelation.

A Dictionary of Symbols

A Dictionary of Symbols

A valuable reference, this informative and entertaining volume presents a key to elucidating the symbolic worlds encountered in both the arts and the history of ideas. 32 black-and-white illustrations.

Insights Into Islamic Esoterism and Taoism

Insights Into Islamic Esoterism and Taoism

This small volume brings together a number of Guénon's early articles relating to Sufism (tasawwuf), or Islamic esoterism. A later article, 'Islamic Esoterism', has also been included, since it articulates so well 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, Guénon 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 further insights into Islamic cosmology. Some may feel that the essay 'Taoism and Confucianism' here included has little relevance to Sufism and Islam. However, such writers as Toshihiko Izutsu and Sachiko Murata have drawn many parallels between the two traditions. Confucianism, concentrating on social and interpersonal norms, functions as a kind of shari'ah in the context of Chinese religion, while Taoism, like Sufism, is precisely the esoteric Way.

Christianity and Islam

Christianity and Islam

An examination of the similarities and differences between Christianity and Islam, especially in the areas of ontology, philosophy and metaphysics. The integration of the heritages of Plato and Aristotle in the Church and in Islam is explored deftly and densely. This book invites adherents of Christianity and Islam to understand more deeply their own respective traditions and on this basis to understand and respect 'the other'. Several chapters are devoted to a comparison between both Sunnite Sufi and Shi'ite Gnostic esoteric traditions, especially in the area of Qur'anic exegesis. This book will be equally challenging and rewarding for the serious reader.

The Esoteric Path

An Introduction to the Hermetic Tradition

The Esoteric Path

Traditional esoterism, though capable of the highest degree of elaboration, is based on a few first principles - Absolute Reality, hierarchical manifestation, the necessity for initiation, the centrality of the spiritual Heart, etc.-which can be stated simply. In The Esoteric Path, Luc Benoist does just this for the monumental writings of the great metaphysician Ren Gunon. If ever there was a 'primer' on traditional metaphysics and esoterism, one that does not dumb down its subject but rather opens a door to profound spiritual depths waiting to be explored, it is this book. The first section deals in a general way with metaphysical principles, their modes of transmission and the spiritual practices based upon them. The second presents the central principles of such Eastern traditions as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam, and also various forms of Western Esoterism, including Eastern Orthodox Hesychasm, Freemasonry, Hermeticism, the Templars, Dante and the Fedeli d'Amore, Meister Eckhart and his 'school', etc. Far more than a bouquet of mystical teachings plucked from various sources, designed to titillate the reader's spiritual sensibilities, The Esoteric Path firmly situates that Path in its appropriate, traditional context, so that the seeker's first steps on the 'path to the Path' will be firm and confident, and point him or her in the right direction, away from the time- and soul-consuming attractions of those 'paths' that exhibit (in the author's words) 'the confusion between the spiritual and the psychic., the identification of the spiritual with what is most inferior in the psyche, the identification of religion with magic, totemism, and even sorcery, the popular dissemination of pseudo- or counter-initiatic rituals. A worthy companion to the biographical Ren Gunon and the Future of the West by Robin Waterfield and the Collected Works of Ren Gunon, also published by Sophia Perennis, The Esoteric Path will be of great value to scholars, seekers, and anyone searching for a clearer understanding of the great spiritual traditions. 'Luc Benoist is generally considered the most balanced and authentic exponent of Gunon's teaching. I know of no work in which true scholarship is combined so well with conciseness and comprehensiveness.' -Robin Waterfield