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Frithjof Schuon

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A Resource On Frithjof Schuon's Life & Teachings
Extract from a letter from Frithjof Schuon of 31 July 1975

I read in an unpublished letter of Coomaraswamy’s that “Jili had a vision of Plato filling all space with light” and that Meister Eckhart called Plato “the great priest”. This may not be to the liking of S., who persists in his perfectly absurd anti-Platonism in his new article; it is a veritable perversion of intelligence. I do not recall where I read that some Sufis, perhaps including Rumi, called Plato “Sayyidna Aflatun” and that his tomb—near Konya if I am not mistaken—is venerated by certain fuqarā'. Coomaraswamy also notes, “Plato approved of the fixed types of the Egyptian Gods, but rejected the (Greek) painters and sculptors who produced likenesses or worked according to their own imagining.” This is most significant.

In my youth I read somewhere that the Greeks called Plato “the divine” and even attributed a virginal birth to him; this second fact may have only a symbolic meaning. Be that as it may, if I were asked to choose between the “purely human” or “purely natural” wisdom of Plato and the “supernatural” wisdom of the anti-Platonist theologians—I have in mind those who revile Plato and Plotinus while claiming for their theology a right to holy absurdity—I would choose Platonism without hesitation, the logic of which does not trouble me in the least; for metaphysics is not true because it is logical but is logical because it is true. It is unnecessary to add that the Gospels are not intrinsically responsible for the abuses to which I have just referred; the “wisdom of the world” or “wisdom according to the flesh” is rationalism tending toward worldliness, not intellectuality tending toward the Absolute; Christian gnosis proves it. The attenuating circumstance for theologians is that they are bhaktas—I am speaking of doctrine—as well as exoterists.

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