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  1. Alberto Martin
    February 5, 2017 @ 4:07 pm

    My apologies if this comment is rather long. I was a member of F.Schuon’s Sufi brotherhood for a long time. At the end I had several differences with his teachings (plus other things) which obliged me to leave the group. As you will see below, he equated integral metaphysics with universal esoterism (hard to distinguish from what he later called ‘religio perennis’). Under his influence – and that of Guénon and Coomaraswamy – I decided to call my own blog ‘Unanimous Tradition’ – a misnomer too late now to change for some other.

    Schuon: ‘Esoterism as such is metaphysics, to which an appropriate method of realization is necessarily added… the ultimate reality of metaphysics is a Supreme Identity in which the opposition of all contraries, even of being and not-being is resolved’ – F. Schuon, Two Esoterisms, in Survey of Metaphysics and Esoterism, p.115).

    ‘Authentic esoterism’ which, Schuon wrote, stems from the nature of things, ‘is the way which is founded on total and essential truth and not merely on partial or formal truth’ (‘Human Premises of a Religious Dilemma’).

    The following excerpt is from an essay I wrote titled ‘Frithjof Schuon and Advaita Vedanta’, published by ‘Sacred Web’ in 2010, and which addresses this very question:

    ‘If we speak of different metaphysics or esoterisms , we are at a higher level of discourse than when dealing with the various religions, and thus we will find at least some cognitive approximations, if not identity, between them; but differences there are. Unquestionably, the esoterisms of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism differ from each other, including, of course, the doctrinal aspects, and we could say of them, though the comparison is only approximate, what Reza Sha-Kazemi writes about spiritual realization and the religions: “… Is the summit of the mystical quest one and the same, or are there as many summits as there are religions? The overriding conclusion is that… one can justifiably speak of a single, transcendent essence of spiritual realization, whatever be the religious starting-point. The stress here is on the word ‘transcendent’; anything short of this level inescapably entails multiplicity and hence differences as well as similarities, but not unity: unity in an absolute sense is only to be found at the level of the Absolute, that is, at the transcendent level, precisely.”’ ( ‘Paths to Transcendence – according to Shankara, Ibn Arabi, and Meister Eckhart, 2006 – p. xiv).


    • Greg Goode
      February 5, 2017 @ 4:27 pm

      Thanks for your note, Alberto!


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