Sacred Web 25

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Sacred Web 25

Sacred Web 25


“Such stuff as dreams are made on”: Existence and the Flight from Reality

by M. Ali Lakhani
In a passage that is full of metaphysical significance, Shakespeare’s Prospero alludes in The Tempest to a spiritual reality behind the “insubstantial pageant” of this cosmic dream. This editorial reflects on the nature of that dream and the underlying Reality, and on the human métier of awakening to this immutable Reality, an enterprise that lies at the heart of all traditional teachings.     Read more ...

Coming Into the World: Henry Corbin & the Exegesis of the Soul Part One: Cyclical Time
by Tom Cheetham
This essay is the first of a two-part study on Henry Corbin’s hermeneutics which emphasizes the theophany of Presence—and consequently of the Eternal Present in which it resides. Part One focuses on Corbin’s understanding of cyclical time and of the soul’s quest for the Eternal Being, and shows how Corbin was influenced by Mazdean and Ismaili theosophy—in particular Mazdean angelology and Ismaili cosmological doctrines of origination and return—fusing these elements into a hermeneutics of being, which emphasizes the personal without the reductive tendency to devalue the person, and allows for pluralism without the relativistic tendency to subjectivize being by divorcing it from its archetypal reality.

The Eliatic Function in the Islamic Tradition: Khidr and the Mahdi
by Zachary Markwith
This article takes as its starting point Leo Schaya’s seminal article “The Eliatic Function,” where he examines the figure and archetype of the prophet Elias/Elijah/Ilyas in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Elias exemplifies the esoteric pole of religion and ascended directly to Heaven while remaining perpetually alive to guide seekers on the spiritual path. The Eliatic function is extended by Schaya to other prophets and friends of God in the Islamic tradition, including Khidr and the Mahdi. This article highlights the significance of Khidr and the Mahdi. Khidr, the companion of Moses, drank from the fountain of eternal life gaining direct knowledge from God, and continues to appear to solitary wayfarers in need of guidance. The Mahdi or the Twelfth Imam in Shi’ism also remains miraculously alive, although in occultation, and is expected to reappear and openly restore peace and justice on earth for a number of years before the second coming of Jesus the Messiah. This study underscores the function, lives and teachings of those who best exemplify the esoteric and spiritual heart of Islam, and in doing so demonstrates important links between Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

On the Prophethood of Seth in the Abrahamic Traditions
by Nigel Jackson
Seth’s prophethood and teachings constitute a common foundation within the Abrahamic religions. This article surveys the esoteric significance of Seth in each of these religions, and argues that his prophethood is a fundamental manifestation of that integral and plenary esoterism which underlies the religio perennis depicted through the orthodox Abrahamic traditions. The article concludes by touching on the significance of Seth’s prophethood and its solar symbolism for contemporary man.

Peter Kingsley’s Philosophical Mysticism and Mystical Philosophy
by Donald H. Sanborn
Peter Kingsley’s writings on traditional philosophy, particularly on pre-Socratic philosophers such as Parmenides and Empedocles, have resonated deeply with Traditionalists who view philosophy in terms of its metaphysical foundations that link reality to the spiritual core of which these ancient philosophers taught. Traditional philosophy poses challenges to secular and rationalistic academic approaches to philosophy insofar as it raises questions about the spiritual foundations of reality, and the legitimacy of mysticism as an aspect of philosophy. This article by a retired professor of philosophy, while not written from a Traditionalist perspective, provides an overview of Kingsley’s work and illustrates the kinds of challenges that traditional philosophy poses to conventional academic philosophy.

Living in Truth: Virtue and Prayer:
Frithjof Schuon on the Spiritual Life

by Harry Oldmeadow
This specially revised paper from Professor Oldmeadow’s most recent book, Frithjof Schuon and the Perennial Philosophy, draws from Schuon’s own writings to distill his essential message which places virtue and prayer at the heart of the spiritual life.

Tradition, Orthodoxy and the Interfaith Movement:Where do the Traditionalists Stand?
by Charles Upton
This article begins with the text of an “open letter” that raises certain concerns about what Traditionalists mean by “Tradition”. The sections that follow consider how certain forces are acting to drive a wedge between esoteric and exoteric religion, as well as the possible and actual consequences of the inevitable misunderstanding of the transcendent unity of religions, including the perversion of orthodoxy. The author raises concerns about the liaison between Traditionalists and the Interfaith Movement.     Read more ...

Going Home: Reflections on the Death and Life of Hasan Charles Le Gai Eaton
by Reza Shah-Kazemi
Charles Le Gai Eaton (1921-2010), after converting to Islam nearly 50 years ago, was a prominent British Muslim and the author of several influential works on Islam and on living a spiritual life in the modern world—including King and the Castle, Islam and the Destiny of Man, and Remembering God: Reflections on Islam. This essay, based on a talk given by Reza Shah-Kazemi, reflects on Sidi Hasan and on the theme of “Going Home”.

Book Reviews:

Frithjof Schuon: Messenger of the Perennial Philosophy
By Michael Oren Fitzgerald

Frithjof Schuon and the Perennial Philosophy
By Harry Oldmeadow

Reviewed by M. Ali Lakhani
Read more ...

Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self
By Marilynne Robinson

Reviewed by M. Ali Lakhani
Read more ...

The Return of the Perennial Philosophy: The Supreme Vision of Western Esotericism
By John Holman

Reviewed by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos
Read more ...

Notes on Contributors


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