Rudhyar on Personhood, Schuon on the Underlying Unity

Dane Rudhyar filtered astrology through Jung’s archetypal and alchemical psychology, emerging with a vision of wholeness that’s never found a more effective expression.

From his final book, The Fullness of Human Experience:

What is to be meant by being a person? Why are human beings today determined to operate as autonomous individuals characteristically able to make responsible decisions? Another question inevitably follows: How does a person arrive at what he or she considers a valid basis for the decision? This basis evidently depends on the particular nature of the choice being made; yet, whether or not the person realizes it, any decision implies the acceptance of an approach to life and the meaning of existence which has metaphysical and/or religious roots.

Most religions or spiritual philosophies assume as an incontrovertible fact of inner experiences (particularly in states of intense meditation or ecstasy) that human persons are essentially spiritual entities (Souls or Monads) that, having emerged from “the One” (God or the Absolute), return to their source after a long and dangerous “pilgrimage” through a series of material states. Individuality, and therefore a state of at least relative separateness which allows for basic differences in beingness, are the essential factors in the human condition.

I would add that it is this “state of at least relative separateness” that is at the root of our 21st Century existential crisis — which is why a revival of Religio Perennis is essential to both the survival and wellbeing of the human species on planet Earth.

Why?

Because, without a metaphysical structure, we are left without a context through which this material reality may gain meaning. And without meaning, what’s the point in living?

It is this dirth of meaning that ends up pitting humans against humans, each projecting suffering onto the other, mindless of their essential unity.

On the other hand, with metaphysical meaning comes a recognition of our brotherhood and sisterhood — our collective status as children of The One — and it is this recognition that invites heaven on earth.

From Frithjof Schuon’s definition (.pdf) of Religio Perennis:

One of the keys to understanding our true nature and our ultimate destiny is the fact that the things of this world are never proportionate to the actual range of our intelligence. Our intelligence is made for the Absolute, or else it is nothing; among all the intelligences of this world the human spirit alone is capable of objectivity, and this implies—or proves—that the Absolute alone confers on our intelligence the power to accomplish to the full what it can accomplish and to be wholly what it is. If it were necessary or useful to prove the Absolute, the objective and trans-personal character of the human Intellect would be a sufficient testimony, for this Intellect is the indisputable sign of a purely spiritual first Cause, a Unity infinitely central but containing all things, an Essence at once immanent and transcendent. It has been said more than once that total Truth is inscribed in an eternal script in the very substance of our spirit; what the different Revelations do is to “crystallize” and “actualize”, in different degrees according to the case, a nucleus of certitudes that not only abides forever in the divine Omniscience, but also sleeps by refraction in the “naturally supernatural” kernel of the individual, as well as in that of each ethnic or historical collectivity or the human species as a whole.

(…) The essential function of human intelligence is discernment between the Real and the illusory or between the Permanent and the impermanent, and the essential function of the will is attachment to the Permanent or the Real. This discernment and this attachment are the quintessence of all spirituality; carried to their highest level or reduced to their purest substance, they constitute the underlying universality in every great spiritual patrimony of humanity, or what may be called the religio perennis; this is the religion to which the sages adhere, one which is always and necessarily founded upon formal elements of divine institution.

(…) A civilization is integral and healthy to the extent it is founded on the “invisible” or “underlying” religion, the religio perennis, that is, to the extent its expressions or forms are transparent to the Non-Formal and tend toward the Origin, thus conveying the recollection of a Lost Paradise, but also—and with all the more reason—the presentiment of a timeless Beatitude. For the Origin is at once within us and before us; time is but a spiral movement around a motionless Center.

This last line says it all.

It is something toward which our species once aspired — our fallible, frail species — and with any luck, it’s an aspiration we’ll discover once again.

Soon, before it’s too late.

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4 thoughts on “Rudhyar on Personhood, Schuon on the Underlying Unity

  1. Nick Raaum says:

    It sure does seem like Religio Perennis is a crucial realization mankind must make to move forward out of our mess. I wonder though how this will look.

    Even if it is true that the Absolute truth of most religions is the same, the outwardly practiced relative form of different religions are almost all in oppostion to each other. The only resolution I can see is for each of us to get busy and realize the Absolute truth of our respective religion. Then perhaps if many people have penetrated the inner truths a new and deeper dialogue between religions can begin.

  2. adreampuppet says:

    I don’t know if the world is ready, Nick. We’ll just have to follow our hearts and hope that others wake up within themselves, God willing….

  3. Gariban says:

    Hello All,
    I liked this line of Frithjof Schuon on above writing:

    “the presentiment of a timeless Beatitude. For the Origin is at once within us and before us; time is but a spiral movement around a motionless Center.

    See the representation of motionless Center what my master calls “Secret of Zero/ Aqdas point / Noor al-mim/ Black hole/Light of Muhammad (PBUH)/ First Manifestation point/ Black Stone in Kaabah” in the link.

    I tried to translate and make it as clear as possible for english readers. But some words are difficult to translate. This document sheds some light on the Muhammadian adhan recited from the minarets of the mosques. The Adhan has been seen by the followers of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in their dreams before it was put in to practice. This is the morning adhan for the ones who are sleeping to wake them up to stand on prayer. One of my colleagues in England went to Turkey for a holiday and came back to me with a complaint that imams were shouting from the minarets in the morning and he could not sleep because of them. This reminds me one of the sufi master , “Dr.Munir Derman’s ” saying: “Son, Do not sleep much, one day you will already sleep for a long time”.

    http://www.muhammedinur.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=3905

    With Peace and Love
    Gariban

  4. Thanks once again, Gariban, for all the work you do in translating, and for the amazing work you put into comments at this blog. You are a good friend on top of all that. I still plan to post some of your translations on the front page here — you work deserves as wide an audience as possible!

    Blessings,
    Michael

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