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Initiation and Spiritual Realization (New)
by Guenon, Rene
Publisher: Sophia Perennis
Book ID: 9780900588358, 0900588357
Initiation and Spiritual Realization is the closest thing to a work on 'spiritual direction' Rene Guenon ever wrote, touching as it does upon such vital topics as the transmission of initiatic grace, the various types and functions of the spiritual master, obstacles the aspirant is likely to encounter, different modes of contemplation, and the degrees of spiritual realization. A companion volume to Perspectives on Initiation, where Guenon had defined the nature of initiation and of the organizations qualified to transmit it, Initiation and Spiritual Realization was the first thematic collection of Guenon's articles to appear after his death. And one doctrine expressed in this book stands out as particularly timely: that esoterism is not and cannot be a religion in itself, since to take it as such is to reduce it to an 'alternative' exoterism, and a heterodox one at that. Initiatic esoterism can only be legitimately and effectively practiced within the context of one of the established, revealed religions.
In Perspectives on Initiation, Guenon defined the precise nature of initiation, which is essentially the transmission by appropriate rites of a spiritual influence intended to permit a being in the human state to attain the spiritual degree designated in several Traditions as the 'edenic state', thence to rise to higher states, and finally to what has been called both 'Deliverance' and the state of 'Supreme Identity'. Initiation and Spiritual Realization further clarifies these themes in several ways. The text falls naturally into four parts. The first examines the mental and psychological obstacles that may hinder comprehension of the initiatic point of view and the quest for initiation. The second clarifies and develops several key points concerning the nature of initiation and certain of its preconditions -- one of the most commonly misunderstood being the need to conform to the essentials of a traditional exoterism. The third and in many respects most important part considers certain degrees of that spiritual realization which everything preceding it aims to make more easily understandable, and, to a certain degree, more easily accessible. And finally, the last three chapters, the real keys to both books, provide a comprehensive metaphysical account of the possibility of a total spiritual realization starting from our corporeal state, a realization that belonged by nature and function to the Divine Messengers called by the various traditions Prophet, Rasul, Bodhisattva, and Avatara.
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