Site menu:


Does modern science know what man is?

Frithjof Schuon

Modern science, which is rationalist as to its subject and materialist as to its object, can describe our situation physically and approximately, but it can tell us nothing about our extra-spatial situation in the total and real Universe. Astronomers know more or less where we are in space, in what relative "place", in which of the peripheral arms of the Milky Way, and they may perhaps know where the Milky Way is situated among the other assemblages of stardust; but they do not know where we are in existential "space", namely, in a state of hardness and at the center or summit thereof, and that we are simultaneously on the edge of an immense "rotation", which is not other than the current of forms, the "samsaric" flow of phenomena, the panta rhei of Heraclitus. Profane science, in seeking to pierce to its depth the mystery of the things that contain -- space, time, matter, energy -- forget the mystery of the things that are contained: it tries to explain the quintessential properties of our bodies and the intimate functioning of our souls, but it does not know what intelligence and existence are; consequently, seeing what its "principles" are, it cannot be otherwise than ignorant of what man is. [Light on the Ancient Worlds, p. 111].