Mirror of the Intellect: Essays on Traditional Science and by Titus Burckhardt

By Titus Burckhardt

Titus Burckhardt was once Swiss and an eminent member of the traditionalist institution. he's probably most sensible recognized to the English-speaking public because the writer of the subsequent books: Sacred artwork in East and West; Siena, urban of the Virgin; Moorish tradition in Spain; and Alchemy: technological know-how of the Cosmos, technological know-how of the Soul. A new release in the past, he received a lot approval for generating and publishing the 1st profitable, full-scale facsimiles of the publication of Kells and different old manuscripts. in additional fresh years, he acted as a consultant consultant to UNESCO, with specific connection with the renovation of the original architectural historical past of Fez, which used to be then at risk. the current quantity is a whole selection of Burckhardt’s essays, initially released in numerous German and French journals. they vary from glossy technology in its quite a few types, via Christianity and Islam, to symbolism and mythology. it's a wealthy assortment. Burckhardt blends an obtainable kind with a penetrating perception. He translates the metaphysical, cosmological, and symbolic dimensions of those sacred traditions from the point of view of undying, religious knowledge.

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4 Whence the use, in modern aesthetics, of the term 'realism'. 5 For the overwhelming majority of moderns, the signs and characteristics of science are complex pieces of apparatus, endless reportings, a 'clinical' approach, etc. Page 16 the traditional sciences, may reveal an aspect of artless beauty. Conversely, the ugliness of Modern science deprives it of any value from the point of view of the contemplative and inspired sciences, for the central object of these sciences is the unicity of everything that exists, a unicity that Modern scientists cannot in fact denysince everything implicitly affirms itbut which it nevertheless, by its dissecting approach, prevents one from 'tasting'.

When modern historians look at traditional cosmologywhether this be the cosmological doctrines of ancient and oriental civilizations, or the cosmology of the medieval Westthey generally see in it merely childish and groping attempts to explain the causation of phenomena. In so doing, they are guilty of an error in their way of looking at things which is analogous to the error of those who, with a 'naturalistic' prejudice, judge medieval works of art according to the criteria of the 'exact' observation of nature and of artistic 'ingeniosity'.

It is deliberately ignored that the subject is the guarantor of the logical continuity of the world and, in its intellectual essence, the witness of all objective reality. In fact, a knowledge that is 'objective', and thus independent of particular subjectivities presupposes immutable criteria, and these could not exist if there were not in the individual subject itself an impartial background, a witness transcending the individual, in other words the intellect. After all, knowledge of the world presupposes the underlying unity of the knowing subject, so that one might say of a voluntarily agnostic science what Meister Eckhart said about atheists: 'The more they blaspheme God, the more they praise Him'.

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