Greetings of Peace. This blog contains selections from my correspondence and other sources on a variety of subjects related to religion, philosophy, and spirituality. I hope that they may be of benefit to the interested reader. Concerning the title of the blog, read this entry.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Quotes on Discerning Orthodoxy

Greetings of Peace. The following are a few pertinent extracts from traditional writings. I include them, not as some sort of dogmatic pronouncement, but rather to aid you in becoming oriented to the traditional perspective as it concerns the consideration of orthodoxy. I hope that you may find them helpful.

"It may be said that religion essentially entails the conjunction of three elements belonging to different orders, a dogma, a moral law and a cult or form of worship ; wherever one or other of these elements happens to be wanting, there can no longer be any question of religion in the proper sense of the word. We will add forthwith that the first element forms the intellectual part of religion, the second its social portion, while the third, which is the ritual element, participates in both these functions …"

(Rene Guenon - Introduction to the Study of Hindu Doctrines)

"For a religion to be considered intrinsically orthodox … it must be founded on a doctrine of the Absolute which, taken as a whole, is adequate; this religion must then advocate and achieve a spirituality that is proportioned to this doctrine, which is to say that it must comprise sanctity both in notion and in fact. Therefore, the religion must be of divine and not of philosophical origin, and consequently it must be the vessel for a sacramental or theurgic presence made manifest notably in miracles and also—though this may be surprising to some—in sacred art. Specific formal elements, such as apostolic personages and sacred events, are subordinated inasmuch as they are forms to the principial elements just mentioned; their meaning or value can therefore change from one religion to another—human diversity making such fluctuations inevitable—without this constituting any contradiction with regard to the essential criteriology that concerns both metaphysical truth and salvific efficacy, and secondarily—and on that basis—human stability …"

(Frithjof Schuon - Form and Substance in the Religions)

"Every complete tradition implies three elements, utilizable by all concerned and at all degrees of knowledge though in differing proportions. These elements are: (a) a form of doctrine, expressed in the appropriate “spiritual dialect” (which, to some extent at least, will exclude other dialects), the vehicle of that doctrine being not only the spoken or written word, but also arts, manners and indeed everything great or small forming part of the tradition in question: and (b) certain “means of Grace”, whether transmitted from the origins or else revealed at some subsequent time, these being the specific supports of the spiritual influences animating that tradition: and (c) a traditional law regulating the scope of action, positively and negatively, in various ways."

(Marco Pallis - On Soliciting and Imparting Spiritual Counsel)

"Tradition as used in its technical sense … means truths or principles of a divine origin revealed or unveiled to mankind and, in fact, a whole cosmic sector through various figures envisaged as messengers, prophets, avatāras, the Logos or other transmitting agencies, along with all the ramifications and applications of these principles in different realms including law and social structure, art, symbolism, the sciences, and embracing of course Supreme Knowledge along with the means for its attainment."

(Seyyed Hossein Nasr - What is Tradition?)

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