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 a letter from Frithjof Schuon dated 11 September 1945.

I deplore the fact that a certain number of those who claim to subscribe to an esoteric science believe that human virtues can be neglected or even scorned when in fact they form a part of initiatic qualification and of the way itself, as Sufi treatises tirelessly reiterate; my point of view may strike some people as strange, but it is no more moralistic than that of the Yoga Shāstras, for example, which also set a high value on virtue. If it is true that every perfection has primarily a symbolic meaning, this hardly means that perfection itself is superfluous, quite the contrary: the symbol is the necessary support for the reality symbolized, and it is above all a modality of this reality. Every virtue is an eye that sees God.

When I receive a jumble of a letter, for example, full of petty, sterile, impotent, and futile concerns, written hastily and with a worried tone, I do not see in it the reflection of a soul that is a receptacle of the Real Presence; the “structure”, “style”, or “rhythm” of the soul must correspond to the object of its aspirations, and this object is the divine Reality, free from all infirmity. The Divine is Beauty, Grandeur, Solitude; thus the soul must realize these qualities not by imaginative improvisation, which would be fatal, but in conformity with divine truths; thus “greatness” of soul must not be sought by means of a hollow and sentimental attitude, as the Vivekanandists do, but by hierarchizing the psychic or mental contents and suppressing what opposes the “one thing needful”. Abu al-Mawahib al-Shadhili says: “Purify thyself of thy vulgar and contemptible traits and adopt His qualities, worthy of praise and full of glory.”

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