Insights Into Christian Esoterism

Insights Into Christian Esoterism

Insights Into Christian Esoterism

One of René Guénon's lifelong quests was to discover, or revive, the esoteric, initiatory dimension of the Christian tradition. In the present volume, along with its companion volume The Esoterism of Dante, Guénon undertakes to establish that the three parts of The Divine Comedy represent the stages of initiatic realization, exploring the parallels between the symbolism of the Commedia and that of Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, and Christian Hermeticism, and illustrating Dante's knowledge of traditional sciences unknown to the moderns: the sciences of numbers, of cosmic cycles, and of sacred astrology. In these works Guénon also touches on the all-important question of medieval esoterism and discusses the role of sacred languages and the principle of initiation in the Christian tradition, as well as such esoteric Christian themes and organizations as the Holy Grail, the Guardians of the Holy Land, the Sacred Heart, the Fedeli d'Amore and the 'Courts of Love', and the Secret Language of Dante. One chapter in the present volume, 'Christianity and Initiation', is of special interest with regard to the history of the Traditionalist School. When first published as an article, it gave rise to some controversy because Guénon here reaffirmed his denial of the efficacy of the Christian sacraments as rites of initiation, a point of divergence between the teachings of Guénon and those of other key perennialist thinkers. Both The Esoterism of Dante and Insights into Christian Esoterism will be of inestimable value to all who are struggling to come to terms with the fullness of the Christian tradition.

The Esoterism of Dante

The Esoterism of Dante

The Esoterism of Dante

Especially since the Renaissance, some in Western Christendom have suspected that the deeper dimension of their tradition has somehow been lost, and have therefore sought to discover, or create, an 'esoteric' or 'initiatic' Christianity. In the middle of the nineteenth century two scholars, Gabriele Rossetti and Eugène Aroux, pointed to certain esoteric meanings in the work of Dante Alighieri, notably The Divine Comedy. Partly based on their scholarship, Guénon in 1925 published The Esoterism of Dante. From the theses of Rosetti and Aroux, Guénon retains only those elements that prove the existence of such hidden meanings; but he also makes clear that esoterism is not 'heresy' and that a doctrine reserved for an elite can be superimposed on the teaching given the faithful without standing in opposition to it. One of René Guénon's lifelong quests was to discover, or revive, the esoteric, initiatory dimension of the Christian tradition. In the present volume, along with its companion volume Insights into Christian Esoterism (which includes the separate study Saint Bernard), Guénon undertakes to establish that the three parts of The Divine Comedy represent the stages of initiatic realization, exploring the parallels between the symbolism of the Commedia and that of Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, and Christian Hermeticism, and illustrating Dante's knowledge of traditional sciences unknown to the moderns: the sciences of numbers, of cosmic cycles, and of sacred astrology. In these works Guénon also touches on the all-important question of medieval esoterism and discusses the role of sacred languages and the principle of initiation in the Christian tradition, as well as such esoteric Christian themes and organizations as the Holy Grail, the Guardians of the Holy Land, the Sacred Heart, the Fedeli d'Amore and the 'Courts of Love', and the Secret Language of Dante. In addition to Dante, various other paths toward a possible Christian esoterism have been explored by many investigators-the legend of the Holy Grail, the Knights Templars, the tradition of Courtly Love, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, and Christian Hermeticism-and Guénon deals with all of these in the present volume as well as his Insights into Christian Esoterism. In the latter, one chapter in particular, 'Christianity and Initiation', will be of special interest with regard to the history of the Traditionalist School. When first published as an article, it gave rise to some controversy because Guénon here reaffirmed his denial of the efficacy of the Christian sacraments as rites of initiation, a point of divergence between the teachings of Guénon and those of other key perennialist thinkers. Both The Esoterism of Dante and Insights into Christian Esoterism will be of inestimable value to all who are struggling to come to terms with the fullness of the Christian tradition.

Insights Into Islamic Esoterism and Taoism

Insights Into Islamic Esoterism and Taoism

Insights Into Islamic Esoterism and Taoism

René Guénon (1886-1951) is undoubtedly one of the luminaries of the twentieth century, whose critique of the modern world has stood fast against the shifting sands of recent philosophies. His oeuvre of 26 volumes is providential for the modern seeker: pointing ceaselessly to the perennial wisdom found in past cultures ranging from the Shamanistic to the Indian and Chinese, the Hellenic and Judaic, the Christian and Islamic, and including also Alchemy, Hermeticism, and other esoteric currents, at the same time it directs the reader to the deepest level of religious praxis, emphasizing the need for affiliation with a revealed tradition even while acknowledging the final identity of all spiritual paths as they approach the summit of spiritual realization. This small volume brings together a number of Guénon's early articles relating to Sufism (tasawwuf), or Islamic esoterism. The later article 'Islamic Esoterism' has also been included, since it so well articulates the particularities of initiation in Islam by defining the fundamental elements of tasawwuf: shari'ah, tariqah, haqiqah. The first constitutes the necessary fundamental exoteric basis; the second, the Way and its means; the third, the goal or final result. In the other chapters, Guénon expresses with his usual synthetic clarity what tawhid and faqr are, and gives examples of traditional sciences, relating angelology to the Arabic alphabet, and chirology to the science of letters ('ilm al-huruf). A number of book and article reviews give interesting insights into traditional orthodoxy. The Collected Works of René Guénon brings together the writings of one of the greatest prophets of our time, whose voice is even more important today than when he was alive. Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions, etc.

Studies in Freemasonry and the Compagnonnage

Studies in Freemasonry and the Compagnonnage

Studies in Freemasonry and the Compagnonnage

René Guénon (1886-1951) was one of the great luminaries of the twentieth century, whose critique of the modern world has stood fast against the shifting sands of intellectual fashion. His extensive writings, now finally available in English, are a providential treasure-trove for the modern seeker: while pointing ceaselessly to the perennial wisdom found in past cultures ranging from the Shamanistic to the Indian and Chinese, the Hellenic and Judaic, the Christian and Islamic, and including also Alchemy, Hermeticism, and other esoteric currents, they direct the reader also to the deepest level of religious praxis, emphasizing the need for affiliation with a revealed tradition even while acknowledging the final identity of all spiritual paths as they approach the summit of spiritual realization. Studies in Freemasonry and the Compagnonnage is both an attempt to rediscover the lost roots of Masonry and a fascinating look into the many controversies swirling around the subject of Masonry in serious intellectual circles during the first half of the twentieth century. It must also be classed, along with Symbols of Sacred Science, Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power, Traditional Forms and Cosmic Cycles, The Esoterism of Dante, Insights into Christian Esoterism and Insights into Islamic Esoterism and Taoism-not to mention related sections in many of his other books-as one of René Guénon's masterful excursions into esoteric myth, symbolism, and secret history. Freemasonry may indeed be, as Guénon ultimately concluded, a largely degenerated and thus no longer strictly 'operative' offshoot of a true initiatory lineage; yet its symbolism, like that of the original Rosicrucians, remains profound, traditional, and therefore ultimately legitimate. And given that the 'Spirit bloweth where it listeth', it is always possible that symbolism of this order may awaken in a receptive soul intimations of the Truth and the Way, which can be of inestimable of value in 'the path to the Path', the quest for a living initiatory spirituality.

Christ the Original Mystery

Christ the Original Mystery

Christ the Original Mystery

In Christ the Original Mystery (a republication of the work issued in 2004 as Guénonian Esoterism and Christian Mystery), René Guénon's insights into the problems of the modern world, symbolism, and metaphysics are masterfully situated by Jean Borella within the horizons of the Christian Mystery, the sacraments, and the mystical way.

Mountain Path

Mountain Path

Mountain Path


Esotericism Art and Imagination

Esotericism  Art  and Imagination

Esotericism Art and Imagination

Esotericism, Art, and Imaginationis a uniquely wide- ranging collection of articles by scholars in the field of Western esotericism, focusing on themes of poetry, drama, film, literature, and art. Included here are articles illuminating such diverse topics as the Gnostic fiction of Philip Pullman, alchemical images, the Tarot, surrealism, esoteric films, and much more. This collection reveals the richness and complexity of the intersections between esotericism, artistic creators, and their works. Authors include Joscelyn Godwin, Cathy Gutierrez, M. E. Warlick, Eric Wilson, and many others.