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The Play of Masks
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Play of Masks, The
Play of Masks, The
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Author(s): 
Subjects(s): 
Comparative Religion
Metaphysics

Price:  $9.00

ISBN:  0-941532-14-3
Book Size:  5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
# of Pages:  90
Language:  English



Description

"The great ambiguity of the human phenomenon resides in thefact that man is divine without being God."

Schuon's point of departure—far from being his own personal message—is the Vedantic discernment between the Real and the illusory, then concentration upon the Real. This collection of essays provides an unusually rich descriptionof what constitutes the prerogatives and fulfillment of the human state.Schuon is indispensable in providing the conceptual framework for the readerwho is seeking a perspective that is rooted in tradition, integrally humanand above the impasses of confessional theologies.

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Detailed Description of The Play of Masks

"The great ambiguity of the human phenomenon resides in thefact that man is divine without being God."

Schuon's point of departure—far from being his own personal message—is the Vedantic discernment between the Real and the illusory, then concentration upon the Real. This collection of essays provides an unusually rich descriptionof what constitutes the prerogatives and fulfillment of the human state.Schuon is indispensable in providing the conceptual framework for the readerwho is seeking a perspective that is rooted in tradition, integrally humanand above the impasses of confessional theologies.


About the Author(s)

Frithjof Schuon

Frithjof Schuon (1907-1998) is best known as the foremost spokesman of the “Traditionalist” or “Perennialist” school and as a philosopher in the metaphysical current of Shankara and Plato. He wrote more than two dozen books on metaphysical, spiritual, artistic, and ethnic themes and was a regular contributor to journals on comparative religion in both Europe and America. Schuon’s writings have been consistently featured and reviewed in a wide range of scholarly and philosophical publications around the world, respected by both scholars and spiritual authorities. Besides his prose writings, Schuon was also a prolific poet (see a listing of Schuon's poetry books) and a gifted painter of images that always portrayed the beauty and power of the divine, and the nobility and virtue of primordial humanity.

World Wisdom features a series titled "The Writings of Frithjof Schuon", which includes many new editions of classic books by Schuon in new translations and with additional materials. Our online Library contains many articles and poems written by Frithjof Schuon, allowing readers to see a representative sample of his remarkable body of work.

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Reviews of The Play of Masks

“The title of this book refers, in its most general sense, both to its metaphysical theme and to its dialectics. It most fundamentally expresses the multiplicity of the aspects of Mâyâ, the Universal Relativity, as they mask—both to veil and to reveal—the Supreme and Only Subject, the Divine "I", Atmâ. Dialectically speaking, this title suggests the variety of ways in which Schuon proposes to approach the Ultimate Reality and its spiritual correlates. The diversity of approaches is motivated by a desire for clarity and integrality. In this work, maybe more emphatically than in others, Schuon deals with the human condition both in the "cosmogonic projection," as manifestation of Atmâ through Mâyâ, and in relation to the spiritually liberating doors—truth, prayer and beauty—which give to human existence its meaning and its prerogatives. Transcendence and objectivity are the fundamental prerogatives of the human on the levels of intelligence, will and love. Objectivity is understood by Schuon as an integral conformity to the nature of things through which man reaches his "celestial potentiality." That potentiality is in a sense already included in the mystery of Manifestation which sees Atmâ become Mâyâ so that Mâyâ may become Atmâ: the Divine Whole Possibility entails that of being known "from outside," that is by a being who is "illusorily" different from God while being actively participant in the Divine Intellect. The intellective faculty is the very center of man and it can be identified as such with the "inner man", by contrast with the "outer man" who lives on the periphery of being. In that sense, the "outer man" is the "mask" of the "inner man." Only the Sage is fully aware of the relationship between these two dimensions because he identifies perfectly with the "inner man," which allows him to objectify his human "mask."

“Man must be a witness of Necessary Being in the world of contingency, and he does so, first by remembering the Absolute—in prayer—through the "liberating passage" of the Divine Symbol—the sacramental vehicle of the Divine Presence—, and secondly by "bringing back" the positive contents of Mâyâ—inner and outer beauty—to their roots in God. When unfaithful to this vocation, man remains "exteriorized" and "horizontal." These two vices characterize and manifest the Fall, or Original Sin, to which Schuon devotes an enlightening chapter. Dealing with the necessary spiritual and moral climate of man's return to God in two chapters on "intention" and "charity," Schuon dispels a series of modern prejudices which eliminate or vitiate the spiritual meaning of veracity and compassion by reducing them to psychological or political categories. The object of this book is, once again, to provide contemporary seekers with fundamental keys to help them rediscover their true nature: the awareness of the Real with their whole intelligence, will and soul.”
Patrick Laude, Georgetown University, and author of Singing the Way: Insights in Poetry and Spiritual Transformation


Table of Contents for The Play of Masks

CONTENTS
    Foreword

  • Prerogatives of the Human State
  • Man in the Cosmogonic Projection
  • The Play of Masks
  • Ex Nihilo, In Deo
  • In the Face of Contingency
  • Delineations of Original Sin
  • On Intention
  • Remarks on Charity
  • No Initiative without Truth
  • Being Conscious of the Real
  • The Liberating Passage

    Index



Excerpts from The Play of Masks

FOREWORD

Like most of our books, this new volume is not dedicated to one clearly delimited subject, but rather represents a general survey; the chapters are small independent treatises which often summarize the entire doctrine. The third article of this collection has given its name to the whole book; coincidentally, this title is well suited to a dialectic which presents the same fundamental theses in diverse aspects, repeated out of concern for clarity as much as for completeness.

Without a doubt, metaphysics aims in the first place at the comprehension of the whole Universe, which extends from the Divine Order to the terrestrial contingencies—this is the reciprocity between Atma and Maya—yet it offers in addition intellectually less demanding but humanly crucial openings; which is all the more important in that we live in a world wherein the abuse of intelligence replaces wisdom.

Even if our writings had on the average no other result than the restitution, for some, of the saving barque that is prayer, we would owe it to God to consider ourselves profoundly satisfied.


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