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The Writings of Frithjof Schuon
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  Seeing God everywhere—the sanctity of nature Back to the List of Slideshows
    
slide 3 of 17

Symbolism is one of the means by which man can “see” God.  Frithjof Schuon in his essay "Seeing God Everywhere" elucidates:
Symbolism, whether it resides in nature or is affirmed in sacred art, also corresponds to a manner of “seeing God everywhere”….

How, then, do things symbolize God or “Divine aspects”? One cannot say that God is this tree, nor that this tree is God, but one can say that the tree is, in a certain aspect, not “other than God,” or that, not being non-existent, it cannot not be God in any fashion. For the tree has firstly existence, then the life which distinguishes it from minerals, then its particular qualities which distinguish it from other plants, and finally its symbolism; all of these are for the tree so many manners, not only of “not being nothingness,” but also of affirming God in one or another respect: life, creation, majesty, axial immobility, or generosity.

Symbolism would have no meaning if it were not a contingent, but always conscious, mode of perception of Unity; for “to see God everywhere” is to perceive above all the Unity—Âtmâ, the Self—in phenomena.
A tree in the gardens of Washington National Cathedral (in Washington, DC)

photo by Muniyba Khan,
who also conceived this slideshow
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