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Old 03-30-2011, 03:01 AM   #1
BronUVT

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Default On Frithjof Schuon, The Messenger of Perennialism
The Swiss-German philosopher Frithjof Schuon, also known as Shaykh `Isa Nur al-Din Ahmad to his followers, is perhaps the foremost representative of the mystical perennialist school*. He is the founder of "The path of Mary" (Tariqah Maryamiyyah) and among his well-known disciples are people like Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Martin Lings and Rama Coomaraswamy.

The following should be enough proof of his deviance from the religion of our Prophet . This is Frithjof Schuon speaking on the topic of "sacred nudity":

Sacred nudity -- which plays an important role not only with the Hindus but also with the Red Indians -- is based on the analogical correspondence between the "outmost" and the "inmost": the body is then seen as the "heart exteriorized," and the heart for its part "absorbs" as it were the bodily projection; "extremes meet." It is said, in India, that nudity favors the irradiation of spiritual influences; and also that feminine nudity in particular manifests Lakshmi and consequently has a beneficial effect on the surroundings. In an altogether general way, nudity expresses -- and virtually actualizes -- a return to the essence, the origin, the archetype, thus to the celestial state: "And it is for this that, naked, I dance," as Lalla Yogishvari, the great Kashmiri saint, said after having found the Divine Self in her heart. To be sure, in nudity there is a de facto ambiguity because of the passional nature of man; but there is not only the passional nature, there is also the gift of contemplativity which can neutralize it, as is precisely the case with "sacred nudity"; similarly, there is not only the seduction of appearances, there is also the metaphysical transparency of phenomena which permits one to perceive the archetypal essence through the sensory experience. St. Nonnos, when he beheld St. Pelagia entering the baptismal pool naked, praised God for having put into human beauty not only an occasion of fall, but also an occasion of rising towards God. Know that Frithjof Schuon was a man who practiced what he preached. He claimed to have had several visions of the mother of sayydina 'Isa , the Virgin Mary, and he describes one of these visions in his Memoirs as follows:

"On my way to Morocco in 1965, when I was suffering from asthma and feeling ill to the point of death - owing to causes of a moral order - there occurred on the ship...a blessed contact with the Heavenly Virgin. And this had as its immediate result the almost irresistible urge to be naked like her little child; from this event onwards I went naked as mush as possible, indeed, most of he time...it was as if the contact with the Virgin had sanctified my body...A few years later - in the summer of 1973 - this mystery came upon me once again, and it did so in connection with the irresistible awareness that I am not a man like other men... This degenerate cultist was also quite fond of painting nude women and even made a nude painting of the Umm al-Masih (this is a well-known fact and can easily be documented, but I know you understand my hesitation in posting the relevant links).

May Allah give Schuon and his admirers their just deserts.


* Followers of Perennialism or "Integral traditionalism" claim that that a variety of religions present today, like Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and even Hinduism, share the same Divine origin and are based on the same metaphysical principles, sometimes called philosophia perennis.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:07 PM   #2
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Asalamu 'alaykum,

Schuon believed that the naked form of Insan is a direct symbol of the fitrah or primordial nature, and this since God fashioned Adam on His own form (khlaqa Allahu al-Adama 'ala suratihi)--this may also explain the report wherein the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "I saw my Lord in the form of a beardless youth (amrad)" and other similar traditions.

Concerning the plight of Adam and his wife God says: Thus did he [Iblis] lead them on with guile. And when they tasted of the tree their shame was manifest to them and they began to hide (by heaping) on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden. And their Lord called them, (saying): Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you: Lo! Satan is an open enemy to you? (7:22) It follows that the pre-lapsarian state can be legitimately thought of, symbolically speaking, as preceding the "vestment of leaves."

This isn't to say that everything Schuon did is reconcilable with Islam--though India has known sky-clad (naked) Sufis since the medieval period. I personally believe he was something of a majdhub and that certain of his precedents should be censored; but I don't condemn him, for he devoted his whole life to the dhikr.


Wa 'Llahu alam
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:40 PM   #3
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the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "I saw my Lord in the form of a beardless youth (amrad)" and other similar traditions.
I challenge you to corroborate this claim.

Brothers and sisters take note, especially those who are particularly antagonistic towards Salafis, that these so called traditionalists are far worse and more dangerous to Islam than even the most staunch of Salafi.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:26 PM   #4
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I asked a senior mureed of shaykh Nuh about him who also spent much time with these people in the UK and met Schuon and told me basically that sCHUon had gone astray as had his tariqa in the States.

However he did say that Schuon had a very powerful haal for anyone who met him due to the enormous amount of dhikr that he did.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:40 PM   #5
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I challenge you to corroborate this claim.

Brothers and sisters take note, especially those who are particularly antagonistic towards Salafis, that these so called traditionalists are far worse and more dangerous to Islam than even the most staunch of Salafi.
It's a real hadith, concerning a dream of Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). Shuayb, of course, failed to mention that it was a dream.

Also, he failed to explain how Rasulullah seeing Allah (subhanu wa ta'ala) in a dream has anything to do with Schuon running around naked and painting an image of Maryam in the nude.

The bigger problem here is that Schuon believed in the transcendant unity of all religions, ie. that all religions, no matter what their "exoteric" practices or beliefs, all contain the same truth esoterically, and remain valid paths to God. This is rubbish. Anyone who knows the least bit about Islamic aqeedah (that is, the aqeedah of Abu'l Hasan al-Ash'ari) knows that this is nonsense, and anyone who has read what Shah Wali Allah wrote about Islam abrogating all other religions knows it in detail. Shuayb once tried to defend the claim that Shirdi Sai Baba was a Wali Allah, despite his having taught a syncretism of Islam with Hindu doctrine. Shu'ayb also claimed that someone can be a Wali without following "our shari'ah" (which should rightfully be called His shari'ah), audhubillah. Another perennialist tried to defend him as well, claiming that "As long as Sai Baba adhered to the formless Truth expressed in Islam as well as in Advaita Vedanta, he might be a real 'friend of God'."

http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31979

Well, I hate to break it to Shuayb and Isa Abdullah (if the latter is still around), but there is no "formless truth" to be found in all religions. Islam is the only true religion. There is no truth and no salvation in any other. The only truth in the religion of the Ahl al-Kitab has been mixed with falsehood and distorted beyond all recognition, and there no truth whatsoever in that mass of superstition and savagery known as Hinduism.

To deny that Islam is the only valid path to salvation, and that only the only valid means of obeying Allah is the shari'ah, is to deny the second part of the shahadah, "Muhammadun Rasulullah".
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:54 PM   #6
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To deny that Islam is the only valid path to salvation, and that only the only valid means of obeying Allah is the shari'ah, is to deny the second part of the shahadah, "Muhammadun Rasulullah".


These people have no problem with this.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:28 PM   #7
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I personally believe he was something of a majdhub...
If "majdhubiyyat" is a type of wilayat then I certainly do not see how it can compel a man to make nude paintings of sayyidatuna Maryam - "the daughter of ‘Imraan who guarded her chastity." [al-Tahreem 66:12]
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:05 PM   #8
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I asked a senior mureed of shaykh Nuh about him who also spent much time with these people in the UK and met Schuon and told me basically that sCHUon had gone astray as had his tariqa in the States.

However he did say that Schuon had a very powerful haal for anyone who met him due to the enormous amount of dhikr that he did.
Dhikr huh????

Some of these posters probably envy his "Dhikr" circles as they were certainly something unusual....he certainly made Berlusconi's Bunga Bunga parties look boring by comparison.

A testimony from a former male member of his cult who had been with him for more than a decade:

Stefan Lambert, at the request of Aldo Vidali, wrote the following notorized affidavit describing these Primordial Gatherings on October 9, 1992:

"In June or July of 1991 while visiting Bloomington, Indiana, I was invited to several "Primordial" occasions initiated by Mr. Frithjof Schuon of Inverness Farms, in which the following was observed. In these gatherings both women and men appear semi-nude and dance alternately, although occasionally in mixed mode, to Plains Indians chants and drumming. The participants assume the configuration of a circle at the center of which stands Mr. Schuon in a semi-nude state crowned with a feathered war bonnet or a horned headdress of one kind or another."

"During the women's dance, Mr. Schuon invariably embraces each woman in turn encircling their upper bodies with his arms, momentarily pressing them to himself while the women's husbands (a minority of the women and of the men were unmarried) stood in an outer circle as spectators to this enactment. At no time during the occasion did Mr. Schuon extend his attention in any specific act or gesture of presumed "blessing" that may have been appropriate for the men's culture."

"In one small gathering of four couples which I attended, the women were completely nude and performed dances which were approximations of various Far and Middle Eastern dance forms. Then to popular East Indian devotional songs, Mr. Schuon -- standing as above described, but without American Indian vestimentary, rather in the presumed regalia of an East Indian "rajah" -- embraced each woman in turn, pressing them to himself in full body contact by first clasping them about the upper torso and then about the buttocks."

Mr. Lambert also writes, in "my concrete experience in these occasions amounted to no more than a man indulging his taste for and preoccupation with women". He concludes, "I claim the right to make these judgments as one who has been closely and intimately associated with the group for more than twelve years, even at its upper echelons, and who has since severed all relations exactly because of the evidence of its spiritual bankruptcy and the consequent machinations that result to obscure this fact"

http://www.naturesrights.com/knowled...jof_Schuon.asp
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:59 PM   #9
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'Asalamu alaykum,

If "majdhubiyyat" is a type of wilayat then I certainly do not see how it can compel a man to make nude paintings of sayyidatuna Maryam - "the daughter of ‘Imraan who guarded her chastity." [al-Tahreem 66:12]
As stated above, nudity in connection with the spiritual life is not the nudity recognized by ordinary, passional men, for whom only notions of lust and desire can be evoked. We must remember that Schuon was a mystic. I do think that at the end of his life things fell out of balance in his order in Bloomington and that he had, for all intents and purposes, lost his footing in this world (blackflagsarfaraz cites from a website hosted by a rabbid atheist who had a personal falling out with Schuon. Much of what he writes and collects is colored by his allegiance to secular values over religious ones). This is actually a point of contention among his followers. Furthermore, nudity in the context of the spiritual life was commonplace in many religious cultures, not the least of which is India where the Naga Sadhus continue this tradition. Do you say that the African village girl who goes naked, or the pre-modern American Indian who did the same, that they lack modesty? They might say reply that your sense of "modesty" is in proportion to the degree of your "civilization."

In my former post I had neglected to mention in connection with the Prophet's vision of God (peace be upon him) that Schuon wasn't painting the historical Maryam Umm al-'Isa (peace be upon her), but instead was painting his "dream" visions of the celestial Lady Wisdom, such as one finds in Proverbs and the Book of Sirach. The image of the mother with child can be found in one way or another in nearly all the religious traditions, from ancient Egypt to Buddhism. This is not to say that Muslims will find it to their tastes, but to fit it in its respective context.

Well, I hate to break it to Shuayb and Isa Abdullah (if the latter is still around), but there is no "formless truth" to be found in all religions. Islam is the only true religion. There is no truth and no salvation in any other. The only truth in the religion of the Ahl al-Kitab has been mixed with falsehood and distorted beyond all recognition, and there no truth whatsoever in that mass of superstition and savagery known as Hinduism. To be sure Islam is the true religion, but we have two senses in which "Islam" might be thought of that have a sound basis in the Wahy. One is formless in that it may take upon itself any form God wills for it; this accounts for the formal divergences and multiple sharai' among God's messengers, not only within the Abrahamic world, but also in other revealed worlds, some of which are told to us by God in the Qur'an, such as the Sabi'un (Mandaeans) and Maju (Zoroastrians), and so which are not. The other sense in which we might think of "Islam" is that formal representation bequeathed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and this is by far the more conventional way of employing the term. In brief, the formless "Islam" is merely universal surrender to God, and formal "Islam" is its particular manifestation in this or that revealed tradition.


Wa 'Llahu a'lam
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:15 AM   #10
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Shuayb's posts are so pretentious, it's hard to read them.

We have to remember that Schuon was a mystic!?

And that's why it was okay for him to grope women, right?
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:28 AM   #11
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Reading these intriguing posts all I can say is that if the principle of perennialism is valid for people like Shuayb, and all religions are valid as they have a common source (re: sai baba), then Shuayb is ok to drink milk mixed with a few drops of urine. Whilst he's at it, he can drink milk mixed with a little of every type of impurity known to man....after all the SOURCE is the udder right shuayb?

i guess THAT analogy is stupid huh?.......
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:33 AM   #12
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Reading these intriguing posts all I can say is that if the principle of perennialism is valid for people like Shuayb, and all religions are valid as they have a common source (re: sai baba), then Shuayb is ok to drink milk mixed with a few drops of urine. Whilst he's at it, he can drink milk mixed with a little of every type of impurity known to man....after all the SOURCE is the udder right shuayb? I've never expressed the view that "all religions are valid"; I have expressed the view that validity rests in more than one religious tradition. Moreover, the Qur'an states this rather emphatically. . . Why this is so scandalous speaks more to our insecurities than it does to my espousal of some sort of arch-heresy.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:48 AM   #13
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I've never expressed the view that "all religions are valid"; I have expressed the view that validity rests in more than one religious tradition. Moreover, the Qur'an states this rather emphatically. . . Why this is so scandalous speaks more to our insecurities than it does to my espousal of some sort of arch-heresy.
The Qur'an does not state that validity rests in more than one religious tradition, it says the religion with Allah is Islam. Now, I know you're a baatini and thus you interpret Islam in that statement as meaning "the primordial, formless truth" rather than the religion of Sayyidina Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), but that is not how Muslims have traditionally interpreted that verse, or any other referring to the exclusiveness of Islam.

I strongly suggest you read a book called Hujjatullah al-Balighah by Shah Wali Allah (rahimahullah). It includes a detailed and brilliant explanation of the relation of Islam to the other religions, and why it is that Islam abrogates all previous religions.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:17 AM   #14
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The Qur'an does not state that validity rests in more than one religious tradition, it says the religion with Allah is Islam. Now, I know you're a baatini and thus you interpret Islam in that statement as meaning "the primordial, formless truth" rather than the religion of Sayyidina Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), but that is not how Muslims have traditionally interpreted that verse, or any other referring to the exclusiveness of Islam.

I strongly suggest you read a book called Hujjatullah al-Balighah by Shah Wali Allah (rahimahullah). It includes a detailed and brilliant explanation of the relation of Islam to the other religions, and why it is that Islam abrogates all previous religions.
Thank you for the recommendation. Can you summarize Shah Wali Allah's argument? Also I understand "Islam" as both "the primordial, formless truth" and the religion of Sayyidina Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). The problem here is between a theological, hence "rational" and kalamite (in the sense of the inherited Aristotelianism) perspective which works in a strictly linear "either/or" mode of logic, and the metaphysical, hence "intuitive" and "Platonic" perspective. The subtleties are both in terms of the epistemological and ontological assumptions we bring to the table. This later understanding has been given expression by the metaphysicians of the Akbari school. I've cited them before in the various threads devoted to this subject.


Shuayb
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:14 AM   #15
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Shuayb's posts are so pretentious, it's hard to read them.

We have to remember that Schuon was a mystic!?

And that's why it was okay for him to grope women, right?
Hey hey go easy on the mystics will ya...... it takes a special kind of mystic to stand naked in a room with a full indian head dress on- and touch up naked dancing non mahrem women in a" spiritual" way.

seriously though.... in his defence i will say that all this took place in the days before vi-agra became a cure for impotency. Had he been alive today who knows...
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:08 AM   #16
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SubhanAllah...maybe this kind of thinking shows we truly are in the Last Days...a Trinity-defending "Sufi", the source of whose "aqeedah" is the Advaita Vedanta, whose behaviour cannt be "reconciled" with the Shariah is held up by "traditional Muslims" as having reached the epitome of spirtitual understanding from which he surveys (below him) the spiritual contours (i.e. limitations) and content of all religions. Luckily for us Muslims, his gaze fell upon Islam in a kindly manner and he pronounced it "Traditional". Maybe the lesson from all of this is that beware beautiful words that convey blatant errors of belief and justify ugly actions.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:42 PM   #17
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Do you say that the African village girl who goes naked, or the pre-modern American Indian who did the same, that they lack modesty?
Do you even have to ask such silly questions? Of course I would say that they lack modesty, because the Prophet ordered men and women to cover up and because he said: "Modesty is part of Iman"! Muslims are not relativists. Wrong behaviour does not become right simply because a person wasn't reached by wahy (though he might be excused because of his ignorance), there is proof for this in surat 'l-jumua:

It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered a messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom,- although they had been, before, in manifest error;-
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:01 PM   #18
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SubhanAllah...maybe this kind of thinking shows we truly are in the Last Days...

Maybe the lesson from all of this is that beware beautiful words that convey blatant errors of belief and justify ugly actions.
Degenerates are being given respect and foul beliefs are clothed in elegant words.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:14 PM   #19
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as-Salamu 'alaykum,

The sacred story of Dhu'l-Qarnayn from Surat al-Kahf helps to shed light on this issue. He clearly does not imitate the practices of the people he encounters, but he leaves them in peace:

AND THEY will ask thee about the Two-Horned One. Say: "I will convey unto you something by which he ought to be remembered."

Behold, We established him securely on earth, and endowed him with [the knowledge of] the right means to achieve anything [that he might set out to achieve];

and so he chose the right means [in whatever he did].

[And he marched westwards] till, when he came to the setting of the sun, it appeared to him that it was setting in a dark, turbid sea; and nearby he found a people [given to every kind of wrongdoing].
We said: "O thou Two-Horned One! Thou mayest either cause [them] to suffer or treat them with kindness!"

He answered: "As for him who does wrong [unto others] – him shall we, in time, cause to suffer; and thereupon he shall be referred to his Sustainer, and He will cause him to suffer with unnameable suffering.

But as for him who believes and does righteous deeds – he will have the ultimate good [of the life to come] as his reward; and [as for us,] we shall make binding on him [only] that which is easy to fulfill."

And once again he chose the right means [to achieve a right end].

[And then he marched eastwards] till, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found that it was rising on a people for whom We had provided no coverings against it:

thus [We had made them, and thus he left them]; and We did encompass with Our knowledge all that he had in mind.

And once again he chose the right means [to achieve a right end].


(Quran 18:83-92, trans. Muhammad Asad) Wa Salam,
Nur Muhammad
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:31 PM   #20
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blackflagsarfaraz and others. We should avoid listening to hearsay and speculate about someones personal life. Schuons deviancy is as clear as daylight and its much better to just refer to published works and other reliable sources in refuting it. Let´s keep it civil, brothers
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