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Our community is devoted to the discussion of Tradition, a term that has been most adequately defined by Seyyed Hossein Nasr as "truths or principles of a divine origin revealed or unveiled to mankind and, in fact, a whole cosmic sector through various figures envisaged as messengers, prophets, avataras, the Logos or other transmitting agencies, along with all the ramifications and applications of these principles in different realms including law and social structure, art, symbolism, the sciences, and embracing of course Supreme Knowledge along with the means for its attainment."

Topics for discussion include the orthodox doctrines, spiritual methods, and artistic forms of the worlds great religions, especially as they are represented in the Traditional School comprised of such authorities as Rene Guenon, Frithjof Schuon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Marco Pallis, Titus Burckhardt, Martin Lings, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, William Chittick, Huston Smith, James Cutsinger and many others. Although these writers will serve as our primary focus, all traditional orthodox religions and philosophies are appropriate subjects for discussion. It is our hope that the encounter with the traditional perspective on this forum will allow participants to penetrate further into the depths of their respective traditions and enter into mutually supportive and enriching dialogue with the adherents of other religions.

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 Post subject: The fall of man
PostPosted: January 27th, 2016, 1:52 am 

Joined: December 11th, 2013, 7:54 am
Posts: 2
Salam everyone,

What is the meaning and the nature of the fall of man according to the perspective of Frithjof Schuon and the perennial philosophy in general ? When we talk about creation of man and his fall, Eden and all this story as we read in the scriptures, what is to be understood literally and metaphorically ?

 Post subject: Re: The fall of man
PostPosted: January 31st, 2016, 12:07 pm 
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Joined: August 29th, 2008, 9:51 pm
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Location: Riverside, CA
wa-alaykum as-salaam.

A few succinct passages from Schuon's writings summarize his understanding of the fall. He wrote:

"The problem of the fall evokes the problem of the universal theophany, the problem that the world presents. The fall is only one particular link in this process; moreover it is not everywhere presented as a “shortcoming” but in certain myths it takes the form of an event unconnected with human or angelic responsibility. If there is a cosmos, a universal manifestation, there must also be a fall or falls, for to say “manifestation” is to say “other than God” and “separation” ... The prototype of the fall is in fact the process of universal manifestation. The ideas of manifestation, projection, “alienation”, egress, imply those of regression, reintegration, return, apocatastasis ..." (In the Wake of the Fall / Fall and Forfeiture)

One way of looking at it according to an Islamic perspective is that the fall consists of the soul succumbing to the dream of negligence, separation, and forgetfulness of God due to becoming enmeshed in the world of flesh and the contingencies of material existence.

Schuon also comments on the story of the fall of Adam in the same writing as follows:

"This transition from objectivism to subjectivism reflects and repeats in its own way the fall of Adam and the loss of Paradise; in losing a symbolist and contemplative perspective, founded both on impersonal intelligence and on the metaphysical transparency of things, man has gained the fallacious riches of the ego; the world of divine images has become a world of words. In all cases of this kind, heaven—or a heaven—is shut off from above us without our noticing the fact and we discover in compensation an earth long unappreciated, or so it seems to us, a homeland which opens its arms to welcome its children and wants to make us forget all Lost Paradises; it is the embrace of Maya, the sirens’song; Maya, instead of guiding us, imprisons us ...

"In a certain sense, Adam’s sin was a sin arising from inquisitiveness, if such an expression be admissible. Originally, Adam saw contingencies in the aspect of their relationship to God and not as independent entities. Anything that is considered in that relationship is beyond the reach of evil; but the desire to see contingency as it is in itself is a desire to see evil; it is also a desire to see good as something contrary to evil. As a result of this sin of inquisitiveness—Adam wanted to see the other side of contingency—Adam himself and the whole world fell into contingency as such; the link with the divine Source was broken and became invisible; the world became suddenly external to Adam, things became opaque and heavy, they became like unintelligible and hostile fragments. This drama is always repeating itself anew, in collective history as well as in the life of individuals."

These final comments pertaining to the unfoldment of the cosmic drama within the life of individuals is very pertinent to an aspect of the Islamic understanding of the Quran as telling the story of the soul through a description of various personas. The fall of Adam is thus not only (or primarily) a historical event but one that is enacted interiorly through our individual and collective lives.



Be outwardly on land and inwardly at sea.
~ Shaykh Muhammad al-Būzīdī

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