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Insights into the early Christian Desert Fathers and Mothers
Light on the Ancient Worlds: A Brief Survey of the Book by Frithjof Schuon
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William C. Chittick explores "The Sufi Doctrine of Rumi"
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  Frithjof Schuon on Christianity Back to the List of Slideshows
Rose Window,
Strasbourg Cathedral
slide 6 of 17

It is not uncommon for Christians to have recourse to the term ‘mystery’ to justify what should rightly be considered absurdity. This is done to ‘defend the faith’ but ignores the fact that there is nothing absurd about the Mysteries. A Mystery is an esoteric formulation which, when applied exoterically:
…seems to attempt to justify or conceal the fact that Christian dogmas carry with them no direct intellectual proof.… (from “The Particular Nature and Universality of the Christian Tradition”, p. 13)

If one insists on maintaining that there are truths which are inherently supralogical, it ought to be made clear that this does not mean that they are intrinsically absurd de jure.…The logical absurdity of certain spiritual pronouncements is merely dialectical and elliptical; every formulation that is illogical for motives of profundity can be reduced to logical formulations of a subtle and complex character.…The inexpressible does not necessarily affirm itself in an illogical manner; silence is not an illogicality. (from “Evidence and Mystery”, p. 129)
Schuon rehabilitates the term ‘mystery’ and insists on reconnecting it with the esoteric, or initiatic, heart of Christianity.
This inaccessibility of the Christian dogmas is expressed by calling them “mysteries”, a word which has a positive meaning only in the initiatic domain to which moreover it belongs.… (from “The Particular Nature and Universality of the Christian Tradition”, p. 12)
This absence of direct intellectual proof is not illogicality and
To say that a truth is situated “beyond logic” can mean only one thing, namely, that it does not provide in its formulation the data which would allow logic to resolve an apparent antinomy.…It would be disproportionate and useless to provide them, since the formulation in question has the virtue and aim of awakening intellection in those who are capable of it. (from “Evidence and Mystery”, p. 110)
The appellation of Mystery does not mean that the devotee should refrain from contemplating these dogmatic formulations—else there is no possibility of intellection—but rather that the penetration of the Mysteries is not dialectical.
By “mystery” we do not mean something incomprehensible in principle—unless it be on the purely rational level—but something which opens on to the Infinite, or which is envisaged in this respect, so that intelligibility becomes limitless and humanly inexhaustible. A mystery is always “something of God”. (from “Christic and Virginal Mysteries”, p. 155)
The Mysteries consider the Reality of their subjects in divinis—in pre-eminent Reality and constitute the esoteric heart of Christian thought.
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