Light on the Ancient Worlds




Whether it be the domain of religion, art, theology or epistemology, the perspective of Schuon remains always metaphysical. He is first and foremost a metaphysician concerned with the reality of religion, art, human society or the cosmic order.

In this book, Schuon deals with a wide range of metaphysical, doctrinal and practical matters. His profound insights into the great religious traditions elucidate with remarkable clarity the essential aspects of spiritual wisdom, which he says can be found in every true and complete way. In a time of increasing scepticism or anxious bewilderment and confusion in relation to the realm of the spirit this book will repay thoughtful study. Some readers will find that religious ‘problems’ when related to their appropriate levels will disappear; others that new questions and perceptions will awake. Whatever the religion a man may follow Schuon’s remarkable writings should provide much material for thought and no small measure of spiritual stimulus.


“If I were asked who is the greatest writer of our time. I would say Frithjof Schuon without hesitation.” –Martin Lings


Frithj of Schuon

(Shaykh ‘Īsa Nūr al-Dīn)


Frithjof Schuon was born in Basle, Switzerland. At sixteen, he interrupted his classical education to earn a living as a designer in Paris, where he studied Arabic and Arabic calligraphy. Subsequent visits to North Africa and the East, prompted by his profound interest in the great religions of the world, resulted in many contacts with Sufi, Hindu and Buddhist authorities, in addition to important links he established with representatives of the spiritual legacy of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches; and two visits to the North American Plains Indians (he was officially adopted by the Lakota tribe) won him a number of close friends, particularly among the Sioux and the Crow.

Of his first book, The Transcendent Unity of Religions, which has been published in six different languages, T. S. Eliot wrote: “I have met with no more impressive work in the comparative study of Oriental and Occidental religion.” In addition to his books, he was a regular contributor to Studies in Comparative Religion, and also contributed to Etudes Traditionnells for over twenty years.


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