“The Cross” (Frithjof Schuon)

Quoting Frithjof Schuon:

gnosis“If the Incarnation has the significance of a “descent” of God, Christ is thus equivalent to the whole of creation, containing it in a way; he is a second creation, which purifies and “redeems” the first. He assumes with the cross the evil of Existence; to be able to assume this evil, it was necessary that God should become Existence. The cross is everywhere because creation is necessarily separated from God; Existence affirms itself and blossoms out through enjoyment, but enjoyment becomes sin to the extent that God is not its object, although all enjoyment contains a metaphysical excuse in the fact that it is directed to God by its existential nature; every sin is broken at the foot of the cross.  But man is not made solely of blind desire; he has received intelligence that he may know God; he must become conscious of the divine end in everything, and at the same time he must “take up the cross” and “offer the other cheek”, which means he must rise even above the internal logic of the existential prison; his logic, which is “foolishness” in the eyes of the world, must transcend the plane of this prison:  it must be “vertical” or celestial, not “horizontal” or earthly.

“Existence or “manifestation” has two aspects: the tree and the cross; the joyful tree, which bears the serpent, and the sorrowful cross, which bears the Word made flesh.  For the impious, Existence is a world of passion that man justifies by a philosophy “after the flesh”; for the elect, it is a world of trial transpierced by grace, faith, gnosis.  Jesus is not only the new Adam, but also the new Creation. The old is totality and circumference; the new, unicity and center.

* * *

“We can no more escape the cross than we can escape Existence. At the root of all that exists, there is the cross. The ego is a downward path that leads away from God; the cross is a halting of this path. If Existence is “something of God”, it is also something “which is not God”, and it is this that the ego embodies.  The cross brings the latter back to the former and in so doing permits us to vanquish Existence.

“What makes the problem of Existence so complex is that God shows through everywhere since nothing could exist outside Him; the whole object is never to be separated from this distant perception of the Divine.  And this is why enjoyment in the shadow of the cross is conceivable and even inevitable; to exist is to enjoy, even though at the foot of the cross.  This is where man must keep himself since such is the profound nature of things; man can violate this nature only in appearance.  Suffering and death are none other than the cross reappearing in the cosmic flesh; Existence is a rose signed with a cross.”



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1 Response to “The Cross” (Frithjof Schuon)

  1. Pingback: The World is Reborn in Bethlehem – The Orthosphere

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