Articles on this Page
- 10/14/11--10:53: _Round-table on "Tra...
- 11/01/11--04:36: _After the Tradition...
- 12/14/11--10:03: _Gianluca Casseri a ...
- 01/02/12--09:37: _Anarchist Tradition...
- 01/28/12--04:15: _Blog redesign
- 02/11/12--06:48: _Dugin and "occult d...
- 02/12/12--04:54: _Dugin in Turkey
- 02/23/12--08:13: _Ivan Aguéli's art
- 03/18/12--02:26: _Coomaraswamy and th...
- 03/22/12--00:58: _On Prince Charles
- 04/25/12--01:39: _Nasr's autobiograph...
- 05/03/12--06:54: _Evola's paintings
- 05/03/12--07:07: _Evola poised to ent...
- 07/18/12--01:37: _"Modern Anti-Modern...
- 07/22/12--03:08: _Il Barone in fiction
- 09/04/12--07:31: _Études Traditionnel...
- 11/04/12--02:19: _Schuon in an Indone...
- 11/23/12--08:40: _Études Traditionnel...
- 12/04/12--01:07: _Other journals seek...
- 12/10/12--02:12: _Geometric patterns
moderated by Mark Sedgwick
- 11/01/11--04:36: After the Traditionalist Conference in Moscow
- 01/02/12--09:37: Anarchist Traditionalism: Hakim Bey
- 01/28/12--04:15: Blog redesign
- 02/11/12--06:48: Dugin and "occult dissident culture"
- 02/12/12--04:54: Dugin in Turkey
- 02/23/12--08:13: Ivan Aguéli's art
- 03/18/12--02:26: Coomaraswamy and the Beats
- 03/22/12--00:58: On Prince Charles
- 04/25/12--01:39: Nasr's autobiography (plus)
- 05/03/12--06:54: Evola's paintings
- 05/03/12--07:07: Evola poised to enter Greek parliament?
- 07/18/12--01:37: "Modern Anti-Modern Discourse"
- 07/22/12--03:08: Il Barone in fiction
- 09/04/12--07:31: Études Traditionnelles 1960-85 seeks new home
- 11/04/12--02:19: Schuon in an Indonesian doctoral dissertation
- 11/23/12--08:40: Études Traditionnelles 1960-85 finds new home
- 12/04/12--01:07: Other journals seeking new home
- Symbolos: Arte, Cultura, Gnosis: Complete run of nos. 1 (1990) through 32 (2007: ceased publication) in 20 volumes. Page counts from 190 pp. (no. 1) to 576 pp. (double no. 31-32).
- Studies in Comparative Religion: Unbroken run from vol. 4, no.1 (1970) through vol. 17, nos. 1-2 ("1984"; actually some years later, and therewith ceased publication). Bound as six volumes in red library buckram. Plus loose numbers as follows: 1/1, 1/4, 2/1, 2/2, 2/4, 3/1, 3/2.
- 12/10/12--02:12: Geometric patterns
Another conference, or rather a round table, on "Traditions and Traditionalism," scheduled for November 11, 2011, at the Donetsk National Technical University, Ukraine. The Call follows normal academic protocol, and the round table is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and the Center for Religious Studies, but is actually organized by a group called Aghlaqin that describes itself as "Thelemic"--i.e. inspired by Aleister Crowley. Conference languages are announced as Ukrainian, Russian and English, but the Call is only in Ukrainian.
There seems to be quite an interest in Tradititionalism in Ukraine. One of the websites carrying the Call is that of the Ukrainian Traditionalist Club, based in Kiev.
As previously announced, a major Traditionalist conference was arranged in Moscow by Natella Speranskaya, 15-16 October 2011. This featured the leading Russian Traditionalists, Alexander Dugin and Gaydar Jamal.
As can be seen in the photograph, among the guests were Abd al WahidPallavicini and his son Yahya, of the of the CO.RE.IS (Comunità Religiosa Islamica, Islamic Religious Community). Although Italian "political" Traditionalists such as Claudio Mutti (who was also in Moscow) have been interested in Dugin for some time, interest in Dugin on the part of "spiritual" Traditionalists with their origin in Schuon's Maryamiyya is new. Perhaps a sign that Dugin's influence is now so great that the spiritual and political branches may not always remain as separate as they have been in recent decades?
As well as something new, something old: the verse of Yevgeny Golovin, one of the leading figures in the Soviet-era dissident circle from which Russian Traditionalism emerged. Among the cultural events arranged in connection with the conference was a "rock ballad" using the Golovin's verse, performed by Alexander Sklyar.
Topics discussed are reported to have included eschatology, the postmodern situation, neo-Platonism, chaos, Kabbalah, and "the sacredness of authority and metaphysical horizons of the revolution."
Gianluca Casseri, who shot three Senegalese street-vendors in Florence on December 13, killing two of them, and then killed himself to avoid capture, is being described by some press reports as “the Italian Breivik.” Both were from the radical right, both were enthusiasts of fantasy literature, and both seem to have thought themselves fighting in an apocalyptic clash of civilizations.
There are important differences between Casseri and Breivik, however. Breivik dismissed Traditionalism, while Casseri was a Traditionalist. And while Breivik’s writings make his acceptance of the clash of civilizations narrative very clear, Casseri’s writings barely refer to Islam. For Casseri, the important clash seems to have been that between Tradition and Modernity. And the important narrative may have been that of the warrior, Casseri’s interest in whom may owe something to Evola. This may help to explain his actions, but it does not explain his targets.
Something of Casseri’s ideology may be reconstructed from the four publications that can be found relatively easily: one novel, one short essay, one extended essay, and one long non-fiction book. The short essay, from 2010, argues for finding the “roots of Europe” not in Christianity or the Enlightenment but in paganism, Indo-European religion and ultimately the Vedas. It bases itself largely on Sul problema d’una Tradizione Europea (On the problem of a European Tradition, 1973) of the Evolian Traditionalist Adriano Romualdi (1940-73), and thus ultimately on Evola.
The extended essay, from 2000, “Dracula, il guerriero di Wotan” (Dracula, the warrior of Wotan), deals at length with what Casseri sees as a central figure in this tradition: the berserker, the bearskin-clad super-warrior of Norse myth. Casseri seeks to demonstrate the relationship between the Dracula myth and the berserker, with careful footnoting and references to Eliade, C. G. Jung, and Georges Dumézil, among others. Eliade and Dumézil, of course, have their own relationship to Traditionalism. The basic idea of Casseri’s “Dracula,” however, seems to come from a book by a scholar at the University of Cagliari, Marinella Lorinczi, author of Dracula & Co. Il richiamo del Nord nei romanzi di Bram Stoker (Dracula & Co.: The call of the North in the novels of Bram Stoker, 1998).
The non-fiction book, I protocolli del savio di Alessandria (The protocols of the Learned Elder of Alessandia, 2011) refers to Umberto Eco, who was born in Alessandria (Piedmont, Italy), and challenges the version of the origins of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion given by Eco in his Il Cimitero di Praga (The Prague Cemetery, 2010). Part of Eco’s novel places the origins of the Protocols in Eco's own picaresque occult-tinged story. Current resources do not allow me to see what Casseri’s alternative version is.
Casseri, then, appears as anEvolian Traditionalist with a taste for fiction, and also as a member of Italy’s Evolian milieu. De Turris writes introductions to his books. “Dracula” was published on the website of the Centro Studi La Runa, a mainstream Evolian group dating from 1994. The essay on the pagan roots of Europe was first published on the website of a mainstream non-Traditionalist neo-Fascist group, the CasaPound, but the Centro Studi La Runa then republished it. Although a member of the Evolian milieu, Casseri was also read outside it: La chiave del caos was published by a small but mainstream publisher specializing in books on personal growth and related topics, and I protocolli del savio di Alessandria was also published by a non-Traditionalist publisher, though a rather smaller one.
If Casseri’s ideological profile is reasonably clear, the relationship between this and his actions is not clear. To judge from his writings, he had little interest in Islam, and neither does the Centro Studi La Runa, or even the neo-Fascist CasaPound. Casseri wrote against the Christian myth of Europe to which Breivik subscribed. Perhaps the extended essay on the berserker, the hunter and the beast-warrior explains something?
Even though some websites and Facebook groups are now hailing Casseri as a “patriot” and casting Dracula as a hero of European resistance against Islam (on the grounds that he fought Turks), Casseri seems very different from Breivik. In Breivik’s case, the connection between ideology and action was clear. In Casseri’s case, the connection is far from clear. Casseri was clearly a committed Traditionalist, but this seems to have nothing to do with the deaths in Florence. Normally, ideology is a key to understanding terrorism, but ion this case, the explanation evidently lies somewhere else.
Lamborn Wilson was born in 1945, and after developing an interest in Sufism in New York, dropped out of Columbia University and left the US in 1968. He settled in Tehran in 1970, and stayed there until 1978, editing the journal of Nasr’s Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, Sophia Perennis. It is unlikely that someone in this position would not have been a Maryami, and although Lamborn Wilson has never described himself as a former Maryami, everything about his biography suggests this. Lamborn Wilson certainly became Muslim, and still describes himself as a Shi’i Muslim, if only on the basis that he sees himself as still being everything that he has ever been. It seems, however, that he does not now follow mainstream Muslim practice.
Lamborn Wilson left Iran at the revolution, as did Nasr, and over the next seven years moved from the Maryamiyya to anarchism, publishing CHAOS: The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchism in 1985 under the pseudonym Hakim Bey, which he still uses. Quite what happened between 1978 and 1985 is unclear. Part of the explanation is evidently intellectual, and Lamborn Wilson’s later views on Traditionalism are considered below. Another part of the explanation is evidently personal, as Lamborn Wilson participated in the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBA), and his first use of the pseudonym Hakim (though not yet Hakim Bey) was in 1983, when he published Crowstone: The Chronicles of Qamar, a Sword and Sorcery Boy-love Tale (Amsterdam: Spartacus). Although the Maryamiyya is reported to have tolerated some sexual behavior that mainstream Islam forbids, there are no reports of the Maryamiyya considering “man-boy love” acceptable.
Although some critics of Lamborn Wilson dismiss his work as no more than an attempt to justify his own practice of “man-boy love,” in my view that work is too substantial and influential to be so dismissed.
In the Versluis interview, Lamborn Wilson makes clear that what he now values in Traditionalism is its critique of modernity, not its “proposal” for responding to modernity. As an anarchist, Lamborn Wilson gives the state–and especially the all-powerful contemporary state–a prime position in his own critique of modernity. His own proposals lead in a number of directions, none of them revolutionary in the normal sense, given his perception that the state always manages to co-opt revolutions. He stresses that his proposals should be taken in a poetic as much as a literal sense. The most famous of them is the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ),“an uprising which does not engage directly with the State, a guerrilla operation which liberates an area (of land, of time, of imagination) and then dissolves itself to re-form elsewhere/elsewhen, before the State can crush it” (TAZ, quoted in Sellars 2011). A less famous proposal, more emphasized in his interview with Versluis, is a form of “even more traditional Traditionalism” reminiscent of that of Khozh-Akhmed Noukhaev: to go back even further into the past, to before the state, to the tribe, and to the form of religiosity associated with it: individual spirituality. The tribe, Lamborn Wilson, admits, is not perfect: “Violence is real, and it will always be real, and disappointment and death are always there.” But at least the tribe is not the state.
Lamborn Wilson distinguishes between religion and spirituality, between the organized and the individual. He associates organized religion with the state, as “part of the Babylonian scam.” Individual spirituality, in contrast, is associated with the tribe, and with the ever-present rebellion of the individual against the state, which produces “countertraditions or alternate traditions,” some of them spiritual, often Hermetic. Among these alternate traditions he counts Sufism, which is anarchist in that it understands that “this social world is illusory.” Lamborn Wilson thus prefers Henry Corbin’s vision of “the medieval manyness of Islam” to “the rigid systems of Neotraditionalism that stem from Guénon.” Guénon, then, stands with organized religion, and so does not stand against the state, and thus Lamborn Wilson stands against Guénon and, by extension, the Maryamiyya.
Although I have described the more traditional of Lamborn Wilson’s responses as separate from the more famous TAZ, the two can in fact be reconciled: the archetype of his TAZ is the “Republic of Salé,” an autonomous Moroccan city that flourished in the seventeenth century. Salé may be seen as a small-scale human society that resembled the tribe more than the state, and the TAZ may be seen as a transitory tribe.
Lamborn Wilson, then, is Traditionalist in his probable Maryami origins, and partly Traditionalist in the terms in which he sees the modern world–including, though this is not much emphasized, a general pessimism about the direction of history, and an apocalyptic vision of a possible future of “centuries of hideous darkness.” Rather as Evola sees the spiritual as the proper root of political action, Lamborn Wilson says that his proposals ultimately have their origin in “mystical inspiration” and “direct experiential perception.” If not the proper root of political action, the spiritual is the accompaniment of anti-state resitance.
Lamborn Wilson is furthest from Guénonian Traditionalism in the anarchism in his proposals, which derive also from thinkers in whom the Guénonians have no interest, notably Charles Fourier (1772-1837). He criticizes Guénon’s own proposals to the point of dismissing them. But even so, Lamborn Wilson can probably be seen as a Soft Traditionalist.
Leftist Traditionalism is rare, if only because the left generally stresses the practical sovereignty of the whole people, while Traditionalism stresses that the people as a whole are mostly wrong. Though a leftist more than a rightist, Lamborn Wilson does not see the whole people as mostly right, however. Membership of the TAZ is self-selecting, not universal.
Lamborn Wilson links up to two further aspects of the phenomena in which this blog is interested. One is the music scene, or rather the rave scene: for some, a rave is a TAZ. Another is contemporary Western Sufism: Lamborn Wilson is enthusiastic about the possibilities of the “Green Hermeticism” project, in which connection he has good relations with Zia Inayat Khan, who helped produce Green Hermeticism: Alchemy and Ecology (Great Barrington, MA: Lindisfarne, 2007, ed. Lamborn Wilson, Christopher Bamford, and Kevin Townley), for which he also wrote the introduction.
The main sources for this post are Arthur Versluis, “A Conversation with Peter Lamborn Wilson,” Journal for the Study of Radicalism 4, no. 2 (Fall 2010) pp. 139-165, from which all quotations are taken unless otherwise indicated, and Simon Sellars “Hakim Bey: Repopulating the Temporary Autonomous Zone,” Journal for the Study of Radicalism 4, no. 2 (Fall 2010), pp. 83-108. Most of Lamborn Wilson’s writings are available at http://hermetic.com/bey. My thanks to Jean-François Mayer for bringing the Versluis interview to my attention.
Regular visitors to this blog will notice that it has been redesigned. After almost six years, even a blog on Traditionalism and the Traditionalists needs a redesign.
The article argues that "A form of Traditionalism that is both distinctively Soviet and distinctively Russian ... lies at the heart of Dugin’s politics. This form of Traditionalism is, in important ways, a continuation into the post-Soviet era of one aspect of Soviet civilization, occult dissident culture."
Currently seems to be available only from the book's publisher, at www.kubon-sagner.de/opac.html?record=6019
Riexinger explains that IP is one of two major organizations on the Turkish nationalist left. It generally receives few votes in elections, but its importance comes not from its electoral activities, but from the fact that it--like Türk Solu, the other major left nationalist group--draws its support from "members of the army, the bureaucracy, the academe and the professions." Thus for the Eurasia Conference it organized in 2004 it attracted the support of Süleyman Demirel and the presence of diplomats from the Turkic republics, China and Iran, as well as of the former head of the National Security Council, General Tuncer Kılınç.
The IP was established out of the Sosyalist Parti in 1992 by Perinçek, formerly the leader of the Türkiye İhtilalcı İşçi ve Köylü Partisi (Revolutionary Workers' and Farmers' Party of Turkey), and before that a Maoist student leader. The IP's leftism now consists primarily in the use of some Marxist terminology and a "keen interest in workers' and farmers' protests" (despite its middle-class membership), and its nationalism consists primarily in its stance against the threats that the US-dominated New World Order allegedly pose to Turkish independence, and thus also in opposition to the EU. In this Perinçek needs allies, and this is the basis of his relationship with Dugin, whose stand against the US and globalization Perinçek shares and supports.
The IP is generally anti-religious, seeing religion as reactionary, and drawing on European post-Feuerbachian criticism of religions. It thus has no interest in Dugin's Traditionalism, which in Turkey is associated with the Nakşibendis and the Nurcus, the latter of whom are among the religious groups that the IP attacks. It also attacks the Islamists, Christian missionaries, and the Gülen movement, which emphasizes dialog with non-Muslims. Given the rapprochement between nationalist right and nationalist left that has already taken place, however, Riexinger considers that a future rapprochement between the nationalist left and some Islamists is not impossible, given that they both share the same enemies--the EU, the USA, missionaries, Jews, Freemasons, and homosexuals--and "subordinate the individual to the collective and ... cannot imagine something more horrible than a culturally heterogenous Turkey."
An interesting detail: Russian nationalists have generally been supporters of their fellow-Orthodox Greeks. Dugin, however, has supported Turkey rather than Greece in Cyprus, which has the important consequence of making him acceptable to Turkish nationalists, on the grounds that the Greeks are a maritime (and so an Atlantic) civilization rather than a Eurasian one.
|Aguéli, Landscape with tower|
|Aguéli, Palm grove|
Although Ivan Aguéli is best known to readers of this blog as the proto-Traditionalist who introduced Guénon to Sufism (and was also instrumental in introducing the French public to Ibn Arabi), he is still best known in his native Sweden as a painter. The Museum of Art in Gothenburg, Sweden's second city, is currently exhibiting six of his works, all small format, as part of its permanent exhibition of "Nordic art at the turn of the century." Pride of place is given to "Landscape with tower" (shown above, left), which may be an imaginary landscape, as there is something of the minaret about the tower. Then comes "Palm grove," which is probably an Egyptian scene, and some European landscapes (not shown here).
The same exhibition also has a large oil by Prince Eugen, the member of the Swedish royal family whose grant to the exiled Aguéli in Barcelona arrived too late, after Aguéli's death. It was Prince Eugeen who then took charge of and preserved Aguéli's paintings, some of which were acquired by the Gothenburg museum in 1920.
|Birger, Scandinavian Artists' Lunch|
|Bernard, Still life with jug|
Finally, the museum also has an oil by Emile Bernard, the French painter in whose studio Aguéli at one point worked in Paris, who is said also to have had an interest in esotericism and in Egypt, though I have not confirmed this. One can see the influence of Bernard on some of Aguéli's other paintings, though not those in the Gothenburg museum or in this blog post.
My thanks to Göran Larsson and Henrik Bogdan of the University of Gothenburg whose invitation to lecture in Gothenburg (on "Sufism as Western esotericism") is what led to my visit to the Museum of Art there.
In a new article (see below), David Need draws attention to the importance of Coomaraswamy's The Transformation of Nature in Art and of Coomaraswamy's readings of the Upanishads for the music of the avant-garde musician and artist John Cage. According to Need, it was this and the idea of sabdabrahman--of brahman or being as sound--"led Cage to focus on the spaces between the notes." Hence 4′33″, the famous 1952 composition in which the assembled musicians do not actually play their instruments at all.
David Need, "Spontaneity, Immediacy, and Difference: Philosophy, Being in Time, and Creativity in the Aesthetics of Jack Kerouac, Charles Olson, and John Cage," in The Philosophy of the Beats, ed. Sherin N. Elkholy (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky), pp. 195-210. See especially pp. 204-06.
Rod Dreher has just published an interesting article on Prince Charles in the American Conservative, "Philosopher Prince: The revolutionary anti-modernism of Britain’s heir apparent." The article is interesting both because it is a thoughtful profile that places the prince's Traditionalism within its wider context and because it provides food for thought about the political and ideological right. Dreher maintains that "Postwar American conservatism is a fusion of traditionalist and libertarian schools" (he is using 'traditionalist' in the general, little t sense, of course). I don't know to what extent this is true of American conservatism in particular (though the on-line comments on Dreher's article suggest that it is), but--more importantly--I suspect that it is true of the broad right as a whole.
The main topic, though, is Prince Charles, and my feeling is that Dreher has got that more or less right.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Ramin Jahanbegloo have published a book that is part Traditionalism, part Nasr's autobiography: In Search of the Sacred: A Conversation with Seyyed Hossein Nasr on his Life and Thought (Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2010).
The first 138 pages cover Nasr's life from childhood through his education in America, the establishment of the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy in Tehran, the revolution, and then on to his career in exile in America. The remainder of the book covers Tradition, the Sacred, modernity, Art, and Sufism. Guénon, Coomaraswamy, and Schuon are mentioned frequently, but the Maryamiyya is not.
Newly found: an excellent archive of Evola's paintings, at juliusevola.gr.
The label "neo-Nazi" is often used in polemic rather than analytic fashion, but in the case of the Golden Dawn its use is justified. The Golden Dawn's party emblem (shown below, left) resembles the swastika, party members use the fascist salute, and Joseph Goebbels is also to be found in the books section of their website, along with many of the works of Nikolaos Michaloliakos, the Golden Dawn's leader and a member of the Athens City Council since the municipal elections of November 2010, in which the Golden Dawn received 5% of the vote, a significant increase on the 0.29% they received in the 2009 general election.
These are the positions that emerge most clearly from a review of the Golden Dawn's website. However, the influence of Evola can also be found, though not so prominently. He is, as has been said, on the book list. Condemnation of modernity and of "the modern world" appears in the archive of "ideological texts," and the penultimate (11th) point to which members commit themselves is to "honor and respect Tradition." They also accept that "nationalism is the only absolute and real revolution because it seeks the birth of new ethical, spiritual, social and psychic values." We learn that the Golden Dawn's Youth Movement "is not a simple political formation, and requires of members a particular way of life based on honor, morality and virtue."
Evola, then, seems to be of importance to the Golden Dawn, if not to the platform that may be about to bring it into the Greek parliament. And Evola is also read elsewhere in Greece: although Essays on Tradition and the Modern World is the only book of Evola published by the Golden Dawn, Greek translations have been published elsewhere of The Aryan Doctrine of Battle and Victory(1985), The Metaphysics of Sex (2006), Revolt against the Modern World (2009), The Doctrine of Awakening (2010), and Orientamenti (2011).
My thanks to the Russian blogger Evolist for bringing this to my attention.
An unusual course is being offered this Fall, by Thomas F. Bertonneau, who teaches at SUNY Oswego (Oswego, NY). It is entitled "Modern Anti-Modern Discourse: The Critique of Pure Modernity from 1920 to 2001."
Unusually, Bertonneau has published an article about his forthcoming course: "'I Told You So': The Critique of Pure Modernity from 1920 to 2001," Academic Questions online first, July 13, 2012. The authors chosen for the course are Nicolas Berdyaev (author of The Fate of Man in the Modern World, 1935), T. S. Eliot, René Girard (for I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, 2001), René Guénon, José Ortega y Gasset, and Eric Voegelin. It seems from the article that Voegelin was Bertonneau's own point of introduction to anti-modernism.
As well as teaching at SUNY Oswego, Bertonneau has a blog at the conservative Brussels Journal and an amusing list of extracts from student essays at Taki's Magazine.
The Forbidden Book (The Disinformation Company, 2012).
The "forbidden book" in The Forbidden Book is non-fictional, Il mondo magico de gli heroi of Cesare della Riviera, an alchemical text printed in 1605, with a revised edition in 1932 by a non-fictional Italian baron, Julius Evola. According to the afterword to The Forbidden Book, Evola is the direct inspiration for a central lecture on transcendence and the castes, and the "general philosophy of magic" found in the book is based on the writings of the Gruppo di Ur.
So, a novel of interest to those interested in Evola--and also a novel of interest to those who like novels that deal with "sex, death, love, religion, politics, magic, and all that," as one review has described The Forbidden Book.
Currently only a kindle; those who want paper must either read it in Spanish, Russian, Danish, Greek, Polish, Rumanian or Bulgarian (translations into these languages preceded the English publication) or wait: I'm told an English non-kindle version is on its way early next spring, from Red Wheel/Weiser.
This is a revised and corrected version of an earlier post with the same title.
The volumes are currently in Stockholm, and are available to anyone who will look after them. The new home is to reimburse the cost of postage, but otherwise no payment is expected.
Please send expressions of interest to me (mjs at teo.au.dk) and I will forward your emails to the donor.
Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas is a venerable and celebrated neo-traditionalist philosopher in neighboring Malaysia, and thus in some ways close to Traditionalism, but not a Traditionalist. In her differtation, Dinar Dewi Kania compares the epistemology of Schuon with that of al-Attas, and finds some common ground: both affirm the position of metaphysical knowledge (gnosis) or ma’rifa as the highest knowledge to achieve the absolute reality that is God, and both also criticize the notion that separates the ratio from the intellect, stating that the intellect is a factor that will illuminate the ratio through intuition. The difference between them, she argues, is that they include their own conceptions in understanding reality, truth and intellect, resulting in a significant difference in the object of knowledge, sources of knowledge and the process of knowing.
According to Dinar Dewi Kania, Schuon defined things that may be known to humans as objects of knowledge, including the substance or essence of God, while al-Attas rejected this view and stated that the object of knowledge is limited to a permanent natural archetype in the form of the names and attributes of God. Schuon sees religious dogma as representing a relative truth, while the total truth obtained through esoteric gnosis that comes from the heart (intellect) is named subjective revelation. Perennialist epistemology is thus fundamentally different from Islamic epistemology, because it affirms the spiritual union between the substances of man and God and thus is a form of monism or pantheism. Schuon’s epistemology also places religious sciences that are derived from revelation in a lower position than metaphysical knowledge obtained by way of meditation, whereas in the view of al-Attas, an authentic revelation (the Quran and the sunna of the Prophet) is the highest source of knowledge which has absolute value to be used for guiding empirical and rational science. Al-Attas's epistemological thought is thus in accordance with Islamic epistemology, constructed by the worldview of Islam.
earlier post) has now found one.
It was interesting, if not surprising, to see the number and variety of people who offered those numbers of the journal a new home.
Those who are interested in buying individual copies of Études Traditionnelles 1950-92 might consult the website of the publisher, Éditions Traditionnelles.
Following the successful re-housing of Études Traditionnelles, 1960-85, two other journals are looking for a new home. They are Symbolos: Arte, Cultura, Gnosis, 1990-2007, and Studies in Comparative Religion, 1970-84.
Symbolos: Arte, Cultura, Gnosiswas a Spanish-language periodical of Traditionalist (Guenonian), Hermetic, and Masonic inspiration, edited by Federico González. Published from Guatemala City and printed in Barcelona, this was the chief vehicle for Traditionalist scholarship, speculation, and controversy in the Spanish-speaking world, and González himself its most authoritative spokesman in that world, with many separate publications to his name. Symbolos carries extremely rich and serious articles and reviews by Spanish, Latin-American, and (translated) foreign authors, especially on historic (cyclical), artistic, symbolic, and geographical topics. The editorial approach is non-dogmatic, more sympathetic to Hermetic, Pythagorean currents than to the monotheistic religions, and more respectful of Guenon's than of Schuon's example.Would those interested in giving either or both of these journals a new home please email me (email@example.com) a few sentences describing the proposed new home--that is, who you are and what you will do with them. I will then pass your name and those few sentences to the donor, who will make the final decision.
This is an established topic among Traditionalists, on which Keith Critchlow, Titus Burckhardt, and--most famously--Nader Ardalan and Laleh Bakhtiar have all written. I do not, however, know of a major recent contribution in this area, so the article, "Geometric proportions: The underlying structure of design process for Islamic geometric patterns," is of interest.
The article is also of interest because its author, Loai Dabbour, is head of Architectural Engineering at Alzaytoonah University in Jordan, a country in which interest in Traditionalism has been noted before.