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What is the Sun Dance Religion? Video Presentation
World Wisdom's Spiritual Classics series
Interview with Frithjof Schuon - on Art
A Definition of the Perennial Philosophy
Exploring "Timeless in Time" - a biography of Sri Ramana Maharshi
How can we understand Native American traditions?
Where to look to "see God Everywhere"?
The Sermon of All Creation: Christians on Nature
Science and the Myth of Progress
Spiritual Masters - East & West Series
  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 7 of 10

Chapter 7:   Man in the Universe

When we look around, what do we see? For modern man, the answer generally would be "matter." Schuon sees the manifestations of the state of Universal Substance: first, existence; second, differences; third, movements, modifications, transformations; and fourth, disappearances.
Modern science, which is rationalist as to its subject and materialist as to its object, can describe our situation physically and approximately, but it can tell us nothing about our extra-spatial situation in the total and real Universe. Astronomers know more or less where we are in space, in what relative “place”, in which of the peripheral arms of the Milky Way, and perhaps they may know where the Milky Way is situated among other assemblages of star-dust; but they do not know where we are in existential “space”, namely, in a state of hardening and at the center or summit of it, while at the same time being on the edge of an immense “rotation”, which is none other than the current of forms, the “samsaric” flow of phenomena, the panta rhei * of Heraclitus. Profane science, in seeking to pierce to its depths the mystery of the things that contain—space, time, matter, energy—forgets the mystery of the things that are contained: it tries to explain the quintessential properties of our bodies and the intimate functioning of our souls, but it does not know what existence and intelligence are; consequently, given its principles, it cannot be otherwise than ignorant of what man is. (Excerpted from page 86.)

* The Greek term panta rhei can be translated as "Everything is in flux," or "Everything is (always) flowing," or "Everything is (constantly) in a state of change."

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