“It is less the pettinesses of the world that poison us than the fact of thinking of them too much.” This and hundreds of other excerpts from the writings from the internationally renowned theologian and author Frithjof Schuon are presented in this newly revised edition by his long-term assistant, Patrick Casey. Thoughtful and inspiring spiritual statements such as “To give oneself to God is to give God to the world” originate from a leader of the Perennialist school, but can resonate with people across faith traditions. Schuon’s poetic and artistic abilities infuse these spiritual writings: “Life is a dream, and to think of God is to awaken.”
This collection of Schuon’s sayings, some a sentence in length, some paragraphs in length, is drawn from his many published books, articles, and letters. Intentionally compiled without thematic chapters or subject headings, the book presents stand-alone quotations, with each excerpt able to be read alone and then reflected upon for application. While the inclusion of a chapter organization, topic index, or explanatory essay unifying the teachings or placing them into a greater context would have made this collection a useful reference, such was not the stated intention of the editor. Instead, having each statement set apart prompts the reader to meditate on the wisdom in the teaching and the poetry in its phrasing.
This revised and expanded edition adds much to the prior 1992 World Wisdom printing, including twenty pages of excerpts from previously unpublished documents, citations for all of the excerpts in the book, and retranslations from the original French and German. Biographical sketches of Schuon and the editor and lists of related books are also included.
Echoes of Perennial Wisdom is highly recommended for anyone looking for a collection of thought provoking spiritual statements, including this beautiful example: “The Way is simple; it is man who is complicated.”
C. William Gee
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