This is the complete text of “Rites and Symbols”, an essay by René Guénon, which If the fundamental identity of rites and symbols is more closely examined . In this work, Guénon deals with the metaphysical and cosmological meaning of symbols, drawn from traditions as far-ranging as the Greek, the Buddhist, the. In this work, probably the most significant in a modern Western language concerning symbolism, Guénon deals with the metaphysical and cosmological.

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The other meanings which this sa m e figure comprises are all derived from this one. La Kabbale julve, 1, p. Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines, Part n. There is a complete parallelism here between two modes of expres- sion, geometric symbolism and numerical symbolism, so that it makes no difference which is used, and it is perfectly natural to pass from the one to the other. Sumbols is not a departure from our subject, for the Grail itself — as is clear from all we have just said — originally had no other signification than that which the sacred vase has wherever it is to be 7.

Rites and Symbols

A correspondent had written to the journal: All cyclic movement is, strictly speaking, indefinite, so the limit cannot be reached successively and analytically by running through all the points that correspond to each moment of the development of manifestation. It is true that we are in the habit of giving them the credit for many more or less hypothetical things, but the very affirmation of their existence at such a remote time appears to us still more questionable.

Be sure to check out our cook books and food section of our rare book room. Traversing the Waters See our article in Le Voile d’Isis. The Exit from the Cave These rays can of course be depicted in a variety of numbers, since they really are indefinitely numerous, as are the points on the circumference which are their extremities.

The other figure above figure 8 often appears in a circular form: Sensitive readers will be enriched by the immense perspective which is here offered them, both in time and space; and they will see that the book above all as an introduction to the spiritual life, an introduction which fascinates and compels.

This is expressly affirmed of the Veda and of the Qur’an. A favourable sign, in spite of appearances, is the fact that this lack is now more widely recognized than it has been for some time. IO The sphere, which represents the development of possibilities by the expansion of the primordial point, is transformed into a cube when this development is completed and when the final equilibrium is attained by the cycle in question.

Fundamental symbols ; The Universal Language of Sacred Science

The summit is encircled with a Greek key design. Doubtless, this reintegration will not be fully effected for collective humanity until “the new Jerusalem will descend from heaven to earth” Apocalypse xxias this will be the perfect consummation of Christianity, coinciding with the no less perfect restoration of the state that preceded the Fall.


The Triple Enclosure of the Druids 55 There again is an example of the fact that magic, even sorcery, is what subsists as the last vestige of vanished traditions. The primordial revelation which symnols, like Creation, a work of the Word, is itself incorporated, so to genon, in symbols which have been transmitted from age to age ever since the origin of humanity: The truth is that it was not always felt desirable to declare expressly that something else was involved, something which, on gueno contrary, guneon was precisely the function of the symbolism to veil; and if subsequently there were those who did declare it, this was above all in view of degeneration traceable to the fact that there were then men who, ignorant of the value of symbols, understood everything literally and in an exclusively material sense.

Explore the Home Gift Guide. It has hardly any actual influence on their behaviour or on their thought; it is as if separated from the rest of their existence.

See The Symbolism of the Cross, ch. Victory over the dragon has, as its immediate consequence, the conquest of immortality, which is represented by some object the approach to which is guarded by the dragon; and this conquest essentially implies the reintegration into the centre of the human state, that is, into the point where communication is established with the higher states of the being. The first, trustees and dispensers of the doctrine, remain at the source which gueonn strictly the centre itself.

On the other side there is another no less interesting symbol: The particular question that arises here is: Let us add that nature is given its full significance only if it is looked at as offering us a means of rising up to the knowledge of divine truths, which is precisely the essential function which we have recognized in symbolism.

Is not this a consequence of that democratic spirit which is one of the characteristic aspects of the modern mentality? And as this search progresses, the points of comparison multiply as if of themselves, and new proofs appear at every moment. This leads to another question of interest: It is of course a genuine and true intellectuality which is in question here, which could also be called spirituality; for we refuse to give the name intellectuality to what is currently so called today, namely, the culti- vation of the experimental sciences in view of the practical applications to which these sciences lend themselves.

The truth is that wherever something genuinely traditional is concerned, everything must already be there from the very beginning; the later developments only serve to make it more explicit, without adding new elements from some other source.


To bring these notes to a close, we will mention several symbols which, in different traditions, are sometimes substituted for that of the cup and which are ultimately identical with it. Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life. In a general way, that the arts and sciences have become profane by just this kind of degeneration which deprives them of their traditional nature and, by way of consequence, of any higher significance.

Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. What is altogether certain is that the collective mentality, in so far as it corresponds to any reality, is reduced to nothing more than a memory, which is expressed in astrological symbolism by saying that it is of a lunar nature.

Fundamental symbols: the universal language of sacred science – René Guénon – Google Books

It seems to be admitted, on the contrary, that tradition actually has a non-human character, but the term non-human is given an altogether new slant.

Vain attempts have been made to explain this symbol by the most fantastic theories, even to the point of seeing in it the outline of a primitive instrument for making fire.

Fraser, author of The Golden Bough. The Symbolism of the Cross. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. The Sanskrit Deva and the Latin deus are one and the same word.

It has been thought that it must then be considered as a sign of the Antichrist; this intention may have existed in certain cases, but there are other cases where it is manifestly impossible to admit it for example, in the catacombs. Similarly, facts of the same kind must have been produced in the case ugenon other scripts in more or less distant times, notably for the Sanskrit alphabet and, in some measure, for Chinese ideograms.

This allocation is not peculiar to India; many examples of it are to be found among the most diverse peoples; and most often each cardinal point is placed in correspon- dence with one of the elements and one of the seasons, as well as with an emblematic colour of the caste there located. The immediate conclusion which results from these considerations is that as long as the being is not only in the human state but in any manifested state whatsoever, individual or supra-individual, there can be for him no real dif- ference between Spirit and Intellect, nor consequently between true spiritual- ity and true intellectuality.

The ‘Wisdom of the Serpent’, to which the author alludes in this connection, could, in a certain sense, be identified with the seven polar Rishis.