F RITHJOF   S CHUON   A rchive

Skip Navigation Links

Selected Books by
Frithjof Schuon

Français | English | Deutsch

A Resource On Frithjof Schuon's Life & Teachings
Extract from a letter from Frithjof Schuon of 18 January 1982

The blanket of snow presently covering our region reminds me of the spiritual significance of snow as a crystalline element: it is illustrative of heavenly blessing, heavenly descent—falling snow has indeed something paradisiacal about it—and a purifying heavenly Presence, far removed from the throes of passion; this is how I experience the Call to Prayer in Islamic countries, as it floats down from Heaven and extinguishes as it were all earthly noise.

Speaking of the winter miracle of Nature, I would also like to say something about the other forms water takes. First about rain, which the Koran compares to life-bestowing Grace: it symbolizes vertical enlightenment coming down directly from Heaven; this is distinct from Tradition, which conveys the Sacred in a horizontal and indirect way and is symbolized by the river. The river in turn comes from the spring—that is, the historical, once-occurring Revelation—whereas rain has no determinable earthly origin; “the wind bloweth where it listeth”; in this way rain signifies the timeless or ever-actual Grace of the Spirit. This Grace “falls from Heaven”, and this Heaven is “within you”.

The lake conveys a message similar to that of the snow, which blankets all in its peace: it is heavenly Presence, the Presence of the Sacred, far above all that is petty, and it is Sakīnah, even closer to life and earth than the blanket of snow and yet altogether holy in its contemplative repose and stillness. Water lily and swan are akin to the lake, as are rushes and weeping willows and the reflection of the moon, or by day the golden path of the sun.

And then there is the sea, which bears witness to the Infinite itself; it is divine primordial Power, and yet also Peace in its immeasurable motionlessness; it is not without meaning that all rivers flow into the ocean.

© World Wisdom, Inc / For Personal Use Only

Skip Navigation Links

© 2010 - 2015