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The Great Triad (New)
by Guenon, Rene
Publisher: Sophia Perennis
Book ID: 9780900588075, 0900588071
Guenon's The Great Triad was the last book to appear during his lifetime. Even for his regular readers, this book contained largely new material. The author here refers especially to the Chinese tradition, principally in its Taoist form (though touching on Confucianism as well), in which the 'Great Triad' is defined as Heaven-Man-Earth. It is as much a cosmological as a metaphysical doctrine that is implied in this ternary of the 'three worlds'. In spite of its Taoist title, however, the work draws heavily on Hermetic teachings, Hindu and Buddhist metaphysics, and Masonic symbolism, not to mention doctrines from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is also Guenon’s most comprehensive exposition of the science of Alchemy.
The classical Triad of the Chinese tradition is Heaven-Man-Earth. Guenon here places this ternary in the context of universal metaphysics by identifying Heaven with Essence and Earth with Substance, the mediator between them being Man, whose cosmic function is to embody spirit (Heaven) while simultaneously spiritualizing matter (Earth). Exploring Chinese cosmology further, Guenon sheds light on such archetypal polarities as Heaven and Earth, Yin and Yang, Solve et Coagula, Celestial and Terrestrial Numbers, the Square and the Compass, the Double Spiral, and the Being and the Environment, while pointing to their synthetic unity in terms of ternaries, such as the Three Worlds, Triple Time, Spiritus, Anima, and Corpus, Sulfur, Mercury and Salt, and God, Man, and Nature. Perhaps more completely than in any other work, Guenon demonstrates in The Great Triad how any integral tradition is both a mirror reflecting universal themes found in all other intact traditions and an entire conceptual cosmos unto itself, unique and incomparable.
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