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"Islam And The Destiny Of Man" By Frithjof Schuon

3078 words - 12 pages

Short Biography of the AuthorThe noble man is one who dominates himself.The noble man is one who masters himself and loves to master himself; the base man is one who does not master himself and shrinks in horror from mastering himself. The noble man always maintains himself at the centre; he never loses sight of the symbol, the spiritual gift of things, the sign of God, a gratitude that is both ascending and radiating. The noble man is naturally detached from mean things, sometimes against his own interests; and he is naturally generous through greatness of soul.Transcending oneself: this is the great imperative of the human condition; and there is another that anticipates it and at the same time prolongs it: dominating oneself. The noble man is one who dominates himself; the holy man is one who transcends himself.Intelligence, since it distinguishes, has the faculty of perceiving proportions. The spiritual man integrates these proportions into his will, into his soul and into his life. All defects manifest a lack of proportion; they are errors that are lived.To be spiritual means not to deny with one's 'being' what one affirms with one's 'knowledge', that is to say, what is accepted by the intelligence. Truth lived: incorruptibility and generosityFor the sage, every star, every flower, is metaphysically a proof of the Infinite.In the Middle Ages there were still only two or three types of greatness: the saint and the hero, and also the sage; and then on a lesser scale and as it were by reflection, the pontiff and the prince; as for the "genius" and the "artist", those glories of the Lay universe, their like was not yet born.SUMMARY AND DISCUSSIONOther subjects may lend themselves, in varying degree, to objective study, and in some cases personal commitment serves only to distort what should be a clear and balanced picture. Religion is a different matter because here objectivity only skims the surface, missing the essential. The keys to understanding lie within the observer's own being and experience, and without these keys no door will open. This is particularly true of Islam, a religion which treats the distinction between belief and unbelief as the most fundamental of all possible distinctions, comparable on the physical level to that between the sighted and the blind. Believing and understanding complement and support one another. We do not seek for an adequate description of a landscape from a blind man, even if he has made a scientific study of its topography and has analyzed the nature of its rocks and vegetation. In Islam every aspect of human life, every thought and every action, is shaped and evaluated in the light of the basic article of faith. Remove this linchpin and the whole structure falls apart.For the unbeliever this article of faith is meaningless and, in consequence, nothing else in the life of the Muslim makes sense. Even for the faithful Christian the 'sublime' and the 'mundane' relate to different dimensions, and he is...

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