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The Mystery of Individuality
The Mystery of Individuality: Grandeur and Delusion of the Human Condition - Description, cover, author, contents, more
Mystery of Individuality, The: Grandeur and Delusion of the Human Condition
Mystery of Individuality, The: Grandeur and Delusion of the Human Condition
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Author(s): 
Subjects(s): 
Modernism
Perennial Philosophy
Spiritual Life
Tradition

Price:  $24.95

ISBN:  978-1-936597-13-0
Book Size:  6" x 9"
# of Pages:  328
Language:  English



Description
This book explores the nature of human individuality through twelve chapters, whose main focal points are spirituality, psychology, sociology, and love, as well as the meaning of sacred art. The issues of leadership and justice, as well as of politics, and even crime, are also examined in depth, along with the roles of sexuality and marriage. Finally, man and woman are defined in the context of both cosmology and society, with a special emphasis on the divine nature of a human being and what this entails morally and socially. Perry bases his assessments on the guiding image of archetypal man; that is, of a being created in the image of God. However, the book also clearly traces what occurs when this archetype is no longer embodied, as God and nature originally decreed, in human beings and their societies. The basic thesis of the book is that in creating man, God lent man something of His own immortal personhood, which explains why we find the most profoundly lovable thing about another person to be his or her personality. But finally the question for each of us comes down to remembering our divine essence without forgetting our human nothingness.
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Details on “The Mystery of Individuality”

The Mystery of Individuality: Grandeur and Delusion of the Human Condition is an in-depth philosophical and spiritual exploration of the two-sided phenomenon of human individuality—the condition of having an existence separate from other beings but which also is mysteriously connected with them and, at the root of all, with God. Author Mark Perry is a professional editor and the translator of several works by eminent philosopher Frithjof Schuon into English. He is the son of American Perennialist author Whitall Perry. Mark Perry has previously published numerous articles, as well as the book On Awakening and Remembering.

This book explores the nature of human individuality through twelve chapters, whose main focal points are spirituality, psychology, sociology, and love, as well as the meaning of sacred art. The issues of leadership and justice, as well as of politics, and even crime, are also examined in depth, along with the roles of sexuality and marriage. Finally, man and woman are defined in the context of both cosmology and society, with a special emphasis on the divine nature of a human being and what this entails morally and socially. Perry bases his assessments on the guiding image of archetypal man; that is, of a being created in the image of God. However, the book also clearly traces what occurs when this archetype is no longer embodied, as God and nature originally decreed, in human beings and their societies. The basic thesis of the book is that in creating man, God lent man something of His own immortal personhood, which explains why we find the most profoundly lovable thing about another person to be his or her personality. But finally the question for each of us comes down to remembering our divine essence without forgetting our human nothingness.


The author of “The Mystery of Individuality”

Mark Perry

Mark Perry is an author and professional translator. Although of American parents, he was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1951 and raised in Switzerland close to Frithjof Schuon. He is the son of eminent American Perennialist author Whitall Perry. He is the author of the book On Awakening and Remembering (Fons Vitae, 2000). Perry is currently in the process of updating the translations of all of Frithjof Schuon’s books from the original French into the English language, and has also translated a large number of Schuon’s French and German letters. Perry has authored a book for World Wisdom, The Mystery of Individuality: Grandeur and Delusion of the Human Condition, that was published in 2012.


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William Stoddart

William Stoddart is a perennialist author, editor, and translator who has been active in advancing the understanding of the writings of Frithjof Schuon, Titus Burckhardt, and others, for many years. Dr. Stoddart's most recent publication with World Wisdom are An Illustrated Outline of Buddhism: The Essentials of Buddhist Spirituality, What Does Islam Mean in Today’s World?, and Outline of Sufism: The Essentials of Islamic Spirituality. A compilation of his writings, Remembering in a World of Forgetting, was edited by M. Soares de Azevedo and A. Vasconcellos Queiroz. Stoddart also edited The Essential Titus Burckhardt, and is perhaps the greatest authority on the work of this great Swiss traditionalist. Dr. Stoddart's other contributions in World Wisdom books include:
 

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Contents of “The Mystery of Individuality”

Preface

Introduction

1. The Wound of Duality

2. Who Am I

3. The Iconic Figure

4. Kingdoms and Nations

5. Individuality is not Individualism

6. Beyond Good and Evil

7. Satan is not an Atheist

8. Capital Punishment

9. On Authority

10. Primacy of Character

11. The Forbidden Door

12. Hierosgamos: the Sacred Marriage

Glossary

Index



An excerpt from “The Mystery of Individuality”

The following is from William Stoddart’s “Foreword” to The Mystery of Individuality

In this wise and insightful book, the author defines what a human being is according to his perennial archetype in divinis while, at the same time, situating him in the context of the spiritual wasteland of the contemporary world which he contrasts with what an integrally sacred tradition is meant to be.  His writing exhibits an unusual succinctness and clarity, coupled with a profound compassion.  The author’s viewpoint is based on the ideas of the “perennialist school”, of which the exponent par excellence was Frithjof Schuon.

The term “perennialist school” (also known as “the traditionalist” or “esoterist” school) calls for some explanation. It was first used by the American Academy of Religion in the 1980s. The founders of this current of intellectuality and spirituality were the French philosopher and orientalist René Guénon (1886-1951) and the German philosopher, poet and artist Frithjof Schuon (1907-1998). It was further expounded by Ananda Coomaraswamy (1877-1947) and Titus Burckhardt (1908-1984). The principal characteristics of this school include the fundamental and essential principles of metaphysics (with its cosmological and anthropological ramifications), intellectual intuition, orthodoxy, tradition, universality, the science of symbolism; spirituality in the broadest sense; intrinsic morals and esthetics; and the meaning and importance of sacred art. A very important characteristic is a deep-reaching critique of the modern world, on the basis of strictly traditional principles. “Universality” means what Schuon has called“the transcendent unity of the religions”, and these words became the title of his first book.  Universality thus signifies the Supreme Truth that underlies each of the great religious revelations.

It is this supra-formal truth that constitutes the religio perennis. This term, which does not imply a rejection of the similar terms philosophia perennis and sophia perennis, nevertheless contains a hint of an additional dimension which is unfailingly present in Schuon’s writings, and which Perry eloquently restates, while expanding its application to a number of different domains: and this is that intellectual understanding entails a spiritual responsibility, that intelligence requires to be complemented by sincerity and faith, and that “seeing” (in height) implies “believing” (in depth). In other words, the greater our perception of essential and saving truth, the greater our obligation towards an effort of inward or spiritual “realization”. The religio perennis, by its very nature, is something “secret”; it is a “still small voice”, a hidden presence, sought out and found only by those with a hunger and thirst for it, and known only to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Like Pythagoras and Plato, Guénon and Schuon derive their doctrinal expositions directly from intellectus purus — a process which lends to these expositions an unsurpassable lucidity, not to say infallibility.

It is from this intellectual and spiritual current that Perry derives his inspiration. Schuon’s intellectual teachings have already been the subject of many studies, but I know of no other author who expounds and reflects the specifically spiritual teachings of Frithjof Schuon as intimately and authentically as does Mark Perry, who, all his life, had the advantage of being a close associate of Schuon. The reader will enjoy Perry’s rich vocabulary and eloquent and evocative prose and, at the same time, will receive powerful spiritual encouragement.




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