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A Definition of the Perennial Philosophy
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  Light on the Ancient Worlds: A classic book by F. Schuon Back to the List of Slideshows
An excerpt from
the second chapter of
Light on the Ancient Worlds,
"Fall and Forfeiture,"
written by Frithjof Schuon
    
slide 5 of 10

Chapter 5:   Tracing Mâyâ

This chapter deals with metaphysics in a more direct manner than the other chapters. The degree of understanding that a civilization has of metaphysics has critical implications:
The mission of man is to introduce the Absolute into the relative, if one may use so elliptical an expression; since man has all too often failed in his mission, this is also therefore the role of Revelation and the Avatâras as well as of miracles. In a miracle as in other theophanies, the veil of Mâyâ is symbolically torn; the miracle, the Prophet, wisdom are metaphysically necessary, for it is inconceivable that they should not appear within the world of man; and man himself comprises all these aspects in relationship to the terrestrial world, of which he is the center and opening toward Heaven, or pontifex. The meaning of human life — to paraphrase a Christian formula expressing reciprocity between man and God — is to realize that Âtmâ became Mâyâ that Mâyâ might become Âtmâ. (Excerpted from page 82.)

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