Sacred Web 30

To order this issue of Sacred Web and other back issues, click here.

Sacred Web 30

Sacred Web 30


Editorial: On Volition and Desire
by M. Ali Lakhani
Free will is a gift to be exercised in conformity with our primordial nature and our fiduciary obligation to God and His creatures, yet it is subject to the influence of our baser desires. This essay reflects on the sacred and profane tendencies within human volition and desire.     Read more...

Conforming to the Real: Frithjof Schuon on Morality
by Magnus Bradshaw
Drawing on Frithjof Schuon's writings, this article, the first of two parts, presents largely in his own words, Schuon's teachings on the subject of morality. This first section examines his understanding of morality in its sacred context, including related themes such as virtue, the nature of sin and trangression, and how morality may be envisaged differently according to esoteric and exoteric perspectives. Little studied and easily misunderstood, this important theme in Schuon's work has much of practical value to teach us.     Read more...

Giants in the Earth: Titans, Gigantism & Modernity
by Nigel Jackson
Our societies have developed titanic structures (both figuratively through globalism, corporatism, and virtual reality, for example; and literally, through our hubristic technologies and concrete skyscrapers, modern versions of the Tower of Babel). This piece explores the traditional symbolism of the giants—from the Titans of classical lore to the Nefilim of the Bible—to define those characteristics of a pervasive 'titanism' which can be seen to underlie many aspects of the modern world. Traditional metaphysical themes of 'gigantism' are seen as cautionary in the context of humankind's present situation.     Read more...

Adepts, Yogis, & Masters in the Works of René Guénon
Drawing principally upon René Guénon's own writings on the subject, this article seeks to explore what he meant by the 'elite' responsible for the safeguarding of the 'ark' of tradition, the location of 'spiritual centers' of tradition and initiation, and by the term 'initiation' itself, including the ranks and hierarchies of the initiates and their governance by the "King of the World". This is an important subject for those who wish to seek initiation within a modern world in which the traditional pathways to initiation have largely eroded and, in many places, have entirely disappeared.     Read more...

Reading Shakespeare Cross-Culturally: An Islamic Approach
by Muna Al-Alwan
This pioneering article aims at presenting an Islamic reading of certain metaphysical aspects of Shakespeare's works, and compares their biblical echoes with their parallel Qur'anic resonances. The author places her survey within the context of Tillyard's 'Elizabethan World Picture', of Lovejoy's 'Great Chain of Being', and the Christian tradition exemplified by Richard Hooker, identifying parallels with the Islamic world view. Drawing from Martin Lings and others, the author reviews the essential religiosity that permeates Shakespeare's works, especially in the depictions of his tragic characters. The essay ends with a brief survey of Shakespeare's imagery and its Biblical and Qur'anic similarities.     Read more...

Our Father Abraham
Text and Photography by Adam Shamash
Abraham, whose very name etymologically denotes compassion, is revered as the founder of the three faiths that are central to the monotheistic tradition. This essay by a contemporary documentary filmmaker emphasizes the common patrimony of Abraham to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and the importance of his influence as a potentially unifying force among the divisive elements within religion. The extraordinary photographs that accompany this text invite the reader to meditate on the pluralistic message of Abraham, so vital to heed in our fractious times.     Read more...

A Craft as a Fountain of Grace and a Means of Realization
by Aristide Messinesi
This essay, published as a Festschrift in in 1947 in honor of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, is reprinted here because of the value of its perennial message, particularly in our times when modern man has lost the deeper meaning of his Vocation. Focusing on the craft of weaving, the author draws on its metaphysical symbolism and discusses the practice of craft as a means of self-realization or the art of living.     Read more...

'Be Ye Lamps unto Yourselves': Interview with Jacob Needleman
Interviewed by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos
Jacob Needleman, distinguished religious scholar and philosopher, will be known to most perennialists because of his anthology published in the Penguin Metaphysical Library series (of which he was the general editor) titled "The Sword of Gnosis", and to the general public through his extensive publications and Bill Moyers' feature of him on "The World of Ideas". This interview of Professor Needleman focuses on his views on psychology and modernity in relation to Tradition.     Read more...

Book Reviews

Outline of Sufism: The Essentials of Islamic Spirituality
By William Stoddart
Foreword by R.W.J. Austin

Reviewed by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos

Letters to the Editor

Notes on Contributors


Designed by Samco Printers Ltd.