- “That is sacred which in the first place is attached to the transcendent order, secondly, possesses the character of absolute certainty and, thirdly, eludes the comprehension and control of the ordinary human mind. Imagine a tree whose leaves, having no kind of direct knowledge about the root, hold a discussion about whether or not a root exists and what its form is if it does: if a voice then came from the root telling them that the root does exist and what its form is, that message would be sacred. The sacred is the presence of the center in the periphery, of the immutable in the moving; dignity is essentially an expression of it, for in dignity too the center manifests outwardly; the heart is revealed in gestures. The sacred introduces a quality of the absolute into relativities and confers on perishable things a texture of eternity.” — Frithjof Schuon, Understanding Islam
- To deny the root is to deny the sacred, to alienate oneself from oneself, to separate oneself from the universe, to be cast out into the barren deserts of time and space.
- Tradition: Know thyself (to actualize one’s given nature; to become what one essentially is; to remember; to reconnect with a principle that is beyond the contingent events of time and space)
- Modernity: Construct thyself (to be deprived of one’s essence; to become what one is not; to forget; to degenerate into materialism)
- The traditional worldview seeks to harmonize human will with Nature, without intermediary.
- The modern worldview seeks to dominate Nature through the intermediary of technology and other gods.
- “What then is the sacred in relation to the world? It is the interference of the uncreate in the created, of the eternal in time, of the infinite in space, of the supraformal in forms; it is the mysterious introduction into one realm of existence of a presence which in reality contains and transcends that realm and could cause it to burst asunder in a sort of divine explosion. The sacred is the incommensurable, the transcendent, hidden within a fragile form belonging to this world; it has its own precise rules, its terrible aspects and its merciful qualities; moreover any violation of the sacred, even in art, has incalculable repercussions. Intrinsically the sacred is inviolable, and so much so that any attempted violation recoils on the head of the violator.” — Frithjof Schuon, Language of the Self
- Desacrelization ultimately leads to destruction.
- Man’s role is crucial in the actualization of the sacred.
Source: Title from Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion: The Significance of Religious Myth, Symbolism, and Ritual within Life and Culture (1961), translated from the French by William R. Trask, [first published in German as Das Heilige und das Profane (1957).
Glossary of Terms Used by Frithjof Schuon, Compiled and Edited by Deon Valodia, http://www.frithjof-schuon.com/Glossary%20Schuon%20Revised.pdf