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The Yearbook on History and Interpretation of Phenomenology 2016

Vocations, Social Identities, Spirituality: Phenomenological Perspectives


Jana Trajtelová

The fourth volume of the «Yearbook on History and Interpretation of Phenomenology: Vocations, Social Identities, Spirituality: Phenomenological Perspectives» presents variety of contemporary authors who explore the problem of vocation and closely related phenomena of personal, social, cultural (and transcultural) identity. They, altogether, point to its indispensable significance for our deeper understanding of the philosophical category of a «person», and a personal community, with all of its moral and axiological weight. The elucidation of our personal and social identities also unavoidably accompanies an ongoing, mutually respectful dialogue with other distinctive cultural life-worlds.

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Theomorphic Vocation and the Non-Dual Identity: Frithjof Schuon’s “To Know Is To Be” (Patrick Laude)


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Patrick Laude

Theomorphic Vocation and the Non-Dual Identity: Frithjof Schuon’s “To Know Is To Be”

Abstract: This essay is a meditation on the human vocation to transcendence and its metaphysical roots in non-duality through the works of perennialist philosopher Frithjof Schuon (1907–1998). What spiritual traditions the world over arguably share in terms of their understanding of mankind lies in their recognition of a need for transcending the purely natural sphere of interest of the human ego. This essay examines the ways in which Schuon’s exposition of this vocation to transcendence relies on the principles of the objectivity and totality of human intelligence and the human will. Schuon’s meta-religious point of view, together with his intellectual and spiritual position at the confluence of several traditions, such as Hindu Advaita, Sufi gnosis and Rhineland Christian Mysticism, offers an unusually rich and fruitful way of elucidating the insights of the central streams of both European and Asian traditions. It also provides keys for enlightening the meaning of the duality within the human self and two postulations of mankind toward transcendence and immanence. Schuon’s meditations allow one to consider the ways in which metaphysical non-dualism, such as Advaita Vedānta, does not contradict the religious impulse of devotion but in fact coincides with its deepest ground.

Keywords: Self, Non-Duality, Metaphysics, Mysticism, Spiritual Anthropology, Gnosis

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