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A Definition of the Perennial Philosophy
Science and the Myth of Progress
The Sermon of All Creation: Christians on Nature
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The Fullness of God: Frithjof Schuon on Christianity
Quranic perspective on the nature of man: Video clips of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
Treasures of the World's Religions
Martin Lings: Video Clips on his Early Spiritual Influences
The Sacred Worlds Series
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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 6 of 10

Chapter 6:   Naïveté

One of the remarkable qualities of Schuon as a writer is his use of images to illustrate his point and to make the idea he is trying to convey very clear. His astonishing observations of the absurdity of current ideas are sometimes better conveyed through his illustrative analogies. In this chapter this brilliant skill comes to the surface several times, maybe because of the subject at hand which is the “accusation” of naïveté that modern man makes against our ancestors.
If the men of old sometimes appear ingenuous, it is often because they are considered from a distorted point of view, which is the result of a more or less generalized corruption; to accuse them of being naïve amounts to applying a law to them retroactively, to express ourselves in legal terms. Likewise, if an ancient writer can give the impression of simplemindedness, this is largely because he did not have to take account of a thousand errors still unknown nor of a thousand possibilities of misinterpretation, and also because there was no need for his dialectic to be like the Scottish dance between eggs, seeing that such an author could in a large measure dispense with nuances; words still possessed a freshness and a fullness—or a magic—which is difficult for us to imagine, living as we do in a climate of verbal inflation. (Excerpted from page 86.)


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