F RITHJOF   S CHUON   A rchive

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Selected Books by
Frithjof Schuon

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A Resource On Frithjof Schuon's Life & Teachings
Extract from “Faith Is to Say ‘Yes’”

In speaking of the “obscure merit of faith”, one has in mind an effort that makes up for the absence of objective certainty: faith is a merit because we do not see God and because it is difficult for the exteriorized and passional man, who is therefore worldly in nature, to believe in what he does not see. When the Koran speaks of those who are close to God in Paradise and who “believe in Him”, it is referring to the element of approbation or fervor, or adoration, which is the very substance of the attitude of faith and is independent of the earthly accident that is relative ignorance.

In metaphysics, good dialectic is what draws the virtuous man toward realization, hence a perfume of holiness; bad dialectic on the contrary is what blocks the way by suggesting to a man, if he lacks objectivity, that he is terribly intelligent. Beauty and doctrine do not have the function of satisfying an insatiable and therefore profane need for logical satisfaction—nor in the case of beauty of satisfying a need for harmony that is no less insatiable on the strictly earthly plane—but of bringing about a liberating intuition of essences, or Platonic remembrance if one prefers.

Faith means that love of God is the necessary complement of certainty, just as the Infinite is the complement of the Absolute.

The very act of faith is the remembrance of God; now “to remember” is recordare in Latin—that is, re-cordare—which indicates a return to the heart, cor. As an act of faith, invocation in fact actualizes the immanent and paracletic certitude of the heart. The heart is faith.

Faith requires us to keep ourselves before God and to look straight ahead in the direction of God—neither to the left or right, nor into the abysses of the world, which lead to vertigo and precipitate falls. It is necessary to walk straight ahead on the crest of faith and say “yes” to the Sovereign Good, which lights our way and is the Goal.

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