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 “Silence and Word”

A word presupposes silence: it cannot be heard in the midst of noise. Silence must be perfect to the extent the word is noble. This is why dhikr requires faqr: the Name Allāh is fully pronounced only if the soul is extinguished for it.

When there is extinction of soul there is virtue. The soul is virtuous when it is as God created it: vices are privations, or they are superimposed defects. The primordial soul—extinguished, silent—is the “lotus” (padma) that contains the “jewel” (mani); it is this lotus the Blessed Virgin personifies. She is the “peace” (salām) that conveys “blessing” (salāt). Or she is the holy “silence” (hesychia) that contains the divine Word (Logos), the Name.

But in reality this “silence” is life: “I am black, but beautiful.” Let the fallen soul remain silent—vacare Deo—and the divine Qualities will be mirrored in it, Qualities whose traces it bears in its very substance.

Truth and beauty are paths toward holy silence: they bring about the remembrance of our paradisiacal substance. For this silence is made of truth and beauty; it is an emptiness that in reality is plenitude.

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