To have a center
Frithjof Schuon


Part One: Integral Anthropology
To have a Center
Survey of Integral Anthropology
Intelligence and Character
The primacy of Intellection
Gnosis is Not Just Anything

Part Two: Ontology and Cosmology
Universal Categories
Concerning an Onto-Cosmological Ambiguity

Part Three: Spiritual Perspectives
Degrees and Scope of Theism
"Our Father Who Art in Heaven"
"David, Shankara, Honen"
Fundamental Keys

Part Four: Various Subjects
On the Art of Translating
Message of a Vestimentary Art
Concerning a Question of Astronomy


It is sometimes more difficult to find a title than to write a book
This book contains subjects which are very unequal
Is "Sophia Perennis" a humanism?

Part One: Integral Anthropology
To have a Center
Normal man has a center
Reminder about India's anthropology
The three spiritual types
The man who lacks a center (the pariah)
There is hope for the man who has no center
Women and center, feminism, female psychology
The mixture between two very different races
The cult of the "genius"
Example of a man with two heredities
Schizoid artist, paranoiac politician, psychopath
The profane genius as medium of a cosmic quality
What is blameworthy in the exteriorized and worldly genius
Humanistic narcissism responsible for the profusion of geniuses
What is the initial contradiction of humanism?
Beethoven, Wagner, Bach, Mozart, Rodin
Michelangelo, Donatello, Cellini and the sensual cult of the human body
Comparison between Michelangelo's Last Judgment and Rodin's Gate of Hell
Nietsche's volcanic genius
Goethe's misfortune
Schiller, Cervantes, Balzac, Dickens, Tolstoy
19th century's "poètes maudits"
Oscar Wilde, Lenau
Van Gogh, Gauguin
Portraitists and Landscapists
Ibsen, Strindberg
Victor Hugo
The philosophical production, a particularly problematical sector of humanist culture
Extenuating circumstances of profane philosophy
Characteristics of "bourgeois culture"
Cultural sterility of Oriental Civilizations?
Profound ethnic heterogeneity of the West
Concerning a characteristic trait of Western Culture
Men who are genius in a single domain: Einstein, Montherlant
Concerning Nobel prize winners
The mania for seeing genius where there is none
Concerning literary "realism"
The question of originality
The true genius of which people are unaware: Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi
Concerning the racist argument that the whites have more genius than other races
True "Demosthenes" among the Red Indians
The Zulus
The marvels of traditional culture are the swan songs of the celestial messages
Do non-literate people have a culture?
Humanism, individualism and narcissism
Does talent or genius constitute a value in itself?
Man is always free to chose his center

Survey of Integral Anthropology
Human nature distinguished from animal nature
The individual value of a man
Intelligence and virtuous character
Differentiation by sex and age
Racial and astrological types
Reminders about races and sub-races
Against some racist analysis
Are astral determinations everything?
Concerning physiognomy and the three regions of the face
Is the individual fatally limited by his form?
Individual possibility and circumstances
Eschatological types: pneumatic, psychic and hylic types
Concerning the "stopgap" theory of transformist evolutionism
To say homo sapiens is to say Homo religiosus

Intelligence and Character
A person's character is part of his intelligence
Sentiment versus sentimentalism
To have the sense of immanence
What is to be intelligent?
Discernment and contemplation
About those who are modestly gifted
What is the ideal for Homo Sapiens?
Impious intelligence versus pious stupidity

The primacy of Intellection
Why atheists should not prove that God does not exist?
Misinterpretation of the ontological proof
Is there a need to "prove" Atma or Maya?
What is the proof of the pure logician?
Ramanuja / Shankara
To ask for the proof of intellection is to prove that one does not have access to it
What happens when God is removed from the universe?
Concerning the "exact thought" of pure rationalism: Kant
It is possible to determine the limits of reason
Pascal's wager

Gnosis is Not Just Anything
Gnosis and gnosticism
What is Gnosis?
What is Gnosticism in Christian, Moslem or other climate?
Illumination versus Intellection
Is intelligence operative in a spiritual society?
The usual pious sophistries of voluntaristic and moralistic doctrines versus gnosis
What the Asharites have not understood...
Logical certitude and quasi-ontological certitude

Part Two: Ontology and Cosmology
Universal Categories

Concerning Aristotle's categories
Are all categories equal?
How many existential categories are there?
The notion of the Good and the crucial problem of evil
Are Good and evil existential categories?
The "subject"and "object" categories
What is, on the plane of knowledge, the complementary "object-subject"?
Physical object and meta-physical Object
"Other" and "oneself"
What is the world in this perspective?
Cataphatic and apophatic theosophy
Concerning the asymmetry between existence and consciousness
Space and time
Place and moment
Point and instant
Matter, form, numbers
There is something quasi-divine about the first four numbers
Geometric figures, rhythm
The cross, a figure of primary importance
Quality, quantity, simplicity, complexity
What implies the notion of "size"?
What are, for human nature, the infinitely great and the infinitely small?
"largeness" and "smallness"
Simplicity and complexity
Possible in principle and possible in fact
Being and nothingness
The notion of "nothing"
Content and mechanism of things: primacy of the divine intention
"reality of fact" and "reality of appearance"
Existential categories and universal conditions
What are the prefigurations of the couples "Matter-Energy", "Space-Time" etc.. in God?
Why the consideration of the existential categories is important?

Concerning an Onto-Cosmological Ambiguity
God's "will" and His "actions"
Relations between Essence, Person and Demiurge
Who is Satan, metaphysically speaking?
What is the meaning of the "primordial pact" between God and man?
Why is there no devil for the Shamanists?
What is the meaning of the myth of Lucifer's fall?
Goethe's Mephisto
The truth symbolized by the seal of Solomon
The All or the nothing, and the profound meaning of the Zoroastrian dualism

Part Three: Spiritual Perspectives
Degrees and Scope of Theism

Theism and atheism
The "metatheism" of the Vedanta or Taoist idea of a supra-ontological Reality
"pneumatotheism" or "uranotheism"
Traditional pantheism (Shamanism) versus modern pantheism (Spinoza)
Hinduism's pantheism
Pantheism and Immanence
"logolatry", the worship of an Avatara
Regarding Zoolatry, the worship of animals
One positive influence of Christianity in the case of American Indians
In the face of the risks of pneumatotheism and angelolatry
The Hindu "polytheism"?

"Our Father Who Art in Heaven
The symbolism of paternity in the monotheistic Semitic world
What does Christ attests in calling God "Father"?
"our Father" and "my Father" in Christ's language
Digression about the Virgin Mary in the Gospel
Element of esoterism in the Christian notion of "child of God"
Jew and Christian
Explanation of each phrase of "Our Father"
Transcendence and Immanence
Regarding the idea of the divine "Father"
Does religion have no reason for including the idea of "Beyond-Being"?

David, Shankara, Honen
What they have in common
David, the great personification of prayer
David an Solomon, two inseparable poles
Shri Shankaracharya, a Prophet, the great personification of metaphysical Truth
About the false assimilation of the Shankarite advaitism with mahayanic Buddhism
Shankara and the Buddha
Shankara, one of the most eminent metaphysical authorities who has ever lived
Honen Shonen, the great personification of Faith and Invocation
"tariki" and "jiriki"
A "way of merit" and a "way of grace"

Fundamental Keys
Meditation, concentration, prayer
What is the function of Intelligence in spiritual life?
Metaphysical reminders
Concentration and "deiformity" of the human microcosm
Mental activity
Man possesses a soul, and to have a soul means to pray.

Part Four: Various Subjects
On the Art of Translating

No science of the spiritual without a science of the human
Regarding the two rather different meanings of the notion of translation
What should a translator always convey?
Translation of the Bible
The question of "purism"
Example of translation between French and English
Should we count on the good will of the reader?
Should translation be as literal as possible?
Regarding the linguistic differences that the translator cannot take into account
Long sentences and short ones
Comparison between languages, French/Italian, French/German, etc.
Qualitative differences between languages
Modern languages and liturgical languages
European languages
Sacred nature of human language
Language is man, and it is therefore our deiformity
Man's first word was a prayer.

Message of a Vestimentary Art
What is the meaning of dress
What does prove the existence of princely and priestly garments?
Regarding the vestimentary style of the American Indians (North Plains)
A cross inscribed in a circle
The eagle feather sun : a combination of circles and radii
What does represent the eagle feather?
Regarding the majestic headdress made of eagle feathers
The garb of the chief
The symbolism of fringes
The bag containing the "peace pipe"and the ritual tobacco
Pictorial art
Art in general, a way of expression and a way of assimilation
Why many people do love the Indians?
About the tragic destiny of the Indians
"civilized" and "savage", "city dweller" and "nomad"
The red man, victim of the democratic system
Who is responsible for this unmistakable and organized genocide?

Concerning a Question of Astronomy
Can we legitimately confront Ptolemy's astronomy with that of Copernicus?
On which respect the geocentric system is right?
But this does not mean that the heliocentric system is false
What does it mean that the sacred Scriptures have always made common cause with geocentricism?
Regarding scientific curiosity
Another argument in favor of the geocentricism
Why the theory of relativity cannot come to aid to Ptolemy?
About the efficacy of the so-called "exact" science
Regarding two kinds of appearances

To buy this book: World Wisdom Books