By Titus Burckhardt
Titus Burckhardt was once Swiss and an eminent member of the traditionalist university. he's probably top identified to the English-speaking public because the writer of the subsequent books: Sacred paintings 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 iteration in the past, he received a lot popularity of generating and publishing the 1st profitable, full-scale facsimiles of the ebook of Kells and different old manuscripts. in additional fresh years, he acted as a expert consultant to UNESCO, with specific connection with the maintenance of the original architectural historical past of Fez, which was once then at risk. the current quantity is a whole selection of Burckhardt’s essays, initially released in quite a few German and French journals. they vary from sleek technology in its numerous types, via Christianity and Islam, to symbolism and mythology. it's a wealthy assortment. Burckhardt blends an available 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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Additional info for Mirror of the Intellect: Essays on Traditional Science and Sacred Art
1915). Page 24 tion'. To this a Plotinus, an Avicenna, or a St. Albert the Great would reply that in nature there is nothing more evident than the essences of things, since these manifest themselves in the 'forms' themselves. Only, they cannot be discovered by a 'laborious work of investigation' nor measured quantitatively; in fact the intuition that grasps them relies directly on sensory perception and imagination, inasmuch as the latter synthesizes the impressions received from outside. In any case, what is this human reason that tries to grasp the essences of things by a 'laborious work of investigation'?
In this way, the universe reveals its internal unity and at the same time shows the inexhaustible spectrum of its aspects and dimensions. That this vision should often have something poetic about it is obviously not to its detriment, since all genuine poetry comprises a presentiment of the essential harmony of the world; it was in this sense that Mohammed could say: 'Surely there is a part of wisdom in poetry'. If one can reproach this vision of the world for being more contemplative than practical and for neglecting the material connections of things (which in reality is hardly a reproach), it can on the other hand be said about scientism that it empties the world of its qualitative sap.
It is in crossing this limit that Dante obtains a new vision, one that is to some extent inverse to the cosmic order. Up to that point the hierarchy of existence, which goes from corporeal to spiritual, expresses itself through a gradual expansion of space, the container being the cause and master of the contained. At this point the Divine Being reveals itself as the centre around which the angels revolve in closer and closer choirs. In reality there is no symmetry 2 There has been much discussion as to whether the Divine Comedy was influenced by an Islamic model; though possible in itself, it is not necessarily so, given that the symbolism in question resulted on the one hand from the spiritual realities themselves and on the other from the Ptolemaic system that was common to both Christian and Moslem civilizations in the Middle Ages.
Mirror of the Intellect: Essays on Traditional Science and Sacred Art by Titus Burckhardt