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Interview with Frithjof Schuon - on Spirituality
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Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas,
painting by Francesco Traini
on Santa Caterina, Pisa,
14th c. (C.E.)
    
slide 8 of 17

For the impious, Existence is a world of passion that man justifies by a philosophy “after the flesh”; for the elect, it is a world of trial transpierced by grace, faith, gnosis. (from “The Cross”, p. 161)

In the eyes of the Christians the attitude of the Greeks consisted in taking thought for an end in itself, outside of any personal relation to God; consequently it was a “wisdom according to the flesh”, since it cannot by itself regenerate the fallen and impotent will, but on the contrary by its self-sufficiency draws men away from the thirst for God and for salvation. (from “The Dialogue Between Hellenists and Christians”, p. 63)
‘Wisdom of the Flesh’ is a charge laid by Christians against thinkers or traditions that appear, at least superficially, incompatible with the Christian vision. It has also been used to defend absurdity, forgetting that:
An irreducible opposition between intellection and grace is as artificial as it could be, for intellection is also a grace, but it is a static and innate grace.… (from “The Dialogue Between Hellenists and Christians”, p. 71)
This is not to say that the ‘wisdom of the flesh’ does not exist, but that this charge cannot be automatically hurled at all non-Christian wisdom.
For the “wisdom after the flesh”…does not embrace every form of metaphysics that does not know the Gospels, nor is it logic as such, for the Apostle was logical; what it denotes is the reasonings whereby worldly men seek to prop up their passions and pride, such as the teaching of the Sophists and Epicureans and…the current philosophy of the world. “Wisdom after the flesh” is also the gratuitous philosophy that does not lead us inwards and that contains no door opening to spiritual realization; it is philosophy of the type “art for art’s sake”, which commits one to nothing and is vain and pernicious…. (from “Evidence and Mystery”, p. 108)
Christianity has more in common with the other great forms of Traditional Wisdom—Islam, Hinduism, Platonism and so on—than with atheistic scientism, to which, in the West, it has generally aligned itself.
Religion has accepted and almost “Christianized” the machine, and it is dying from this, whether through absurdity and hypocrisy, as in the past, or through capitulation and suicide, as today. It is as if there were only two sins, unbelief and unchastity; the machine is neither an unbeliever nor is it unchaste; therefore one may sprinkle it with holy water in good conscience. (from “Christian Divergences”, p. 95)
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