Perspectives On Initiation

Overview

The present volume, first published at the close of World War II, and based on a series of articles on initiation originally written between 1932 and 1938 for Le Voile d'Isis (later renamed Études Traditionnelles), is unique in giving a comprehensive account both of the conditions of initiation and of the characteristics of organizations qualified to transmit it. Guénon's distinction between the initiatic and the mystical paths-the first requiring a formal relationship with a master, a set of specific ...
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Overview

The present volume, first published at the close of World War II, and based on a series of articles on initiation originally written between 1932 and 1938 for Le Voile d'Isis (later renamed Études Traditionnelles), is unique in giving a comprehensive account both of the conditions of initiation and of the characteristics of organizations qualified to transmit it. Guénon's distinction between the initiatic and the mystical paths-the first requiring a formal relationship with a master, a set of specific contemplative techniques, and a chain-of-transmission stretching back to the origin of the tradition in question, the second generally lacking these elements-led to some controversy between those who accept this distinction and others who believe that initiatory and mystical spirituality are one and the same. The book presents such central principles as the dangers and barrenness of syncretism, the often dire consequences of fostering 'psychic powers', and the superiority of sacerdotal initiation (into the Greater Mysteries) over 'royal' initiation (into the Lesser Mysteries), though both are necessary parts of the initiatic path. This last point precisely defines the rift between Guénon and Julius Evola, whose elevation of royal initiation over sacerdotal must be seen, according to Guénon's criteria, as a modern-day echo of the ancient revolt of the warrior caste against the priestly one. Whoever follows Guénon's argument will realize that a romantic warrior mysticism held no fascination for him, and is in fact explicitly contrary to his principles. But pre-eminently, Perspectives on Initiation provides indispensable points of reference for anyone attempting to distinguish between 'initiatic', 'pseudo-initiatic', and 'countert-initiatic' spiritualities in these profoundly uncertain times.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780900588327
  • Publisher: Sophia Perennis
  • Publication date: 3/16/2001
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)

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