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The Transfiguration of Man

The Transfiguration of Man

by Frithjof Schuon, Frithjof Schoun

Schuon proposes a view of man contradictory to the image of modern psychology; he views human nature in relationship to God.


Schuon proposes a view of man contradictory to the image of modern psychology; he views human nature in relationship to God.

Product Details

World Wisdom
Publication date:
The Library of Traditional Wisdom
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 8.41(h) x 0.41(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Following Excerpt is taken from the Author's Foreword

The image of man presented to us by modern psychology is not only fragmentary, it is pitiable. In reality, man is as if suspended between animality and divinity; now modern thought—be it philosophical or scientific—admits only animality, practically speaking.

We wish, on the contrary, to correct and perfect the image of man by insisting on his divinity; not that we wish to make a god of man, quod absit; we intend simply to take account of his true nature, which transcends the earthly, and lacking which he would have no reason for being.

It is this that we believe we can call—in a symbolist language—the "transfiguration of man."

The Following Excerpt is Taken from Part III: The Garden
A man sees a beautiful garden, but he knows: he will not always see these flowers and bushes, because one day he will die; and he also knows: the garden will not always be there, because this world will disappear in its turn. And he knows also: this relationship with the beautiful garden is the gift of destiny, because if a man were to find himself in the middle of a desert, he would not see the garden; he sees it only because destiny has put him, man, here and not elsewhere.

But in the innermost region of our soul dwells the Spirit, and in it is contained the garden, as it were, like a seed; and if we love this garden—and how could we not love it since it is of a heavenly beauty?—we would do well to look for it where it has always been and always will be, that is to say in the Spirit; maintain yourself in the Spirit, in your own center, and you will have the garden and in addition all possible gardens. Similarly: in the Spirit there is no death, because here you are immortal; and in the Spirit the relationship between the contemplator and the contemplated is not only a fragile possibility; on the contrary, it is part of the very nature of the Spirit and, like it, it is eternal.

The Spirit is Consciousness and Will: Consciousness of oneself and Will towards oneself. Maintain yourself in the Spirit through Consciousness, and approach the Spirit through the Will or through Love; then neither death nor the end of the world can take away the garden from you nor destroy your vision. Whatever you are in the Spirit now, you will remain so after death; and whatever is yours in the Spirit now, will be yours after death. Before God there is neither being nor ownership except in the Spirit; whatever was outward must become inward and whatever was inward will become outward: look for the garden within yourself, in your indestructible divine Substance, which then will give you a new and imperishable garden.

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