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The Reign of Quantity & The Signs of the Times (New)
by Guenon, Rene
Publisher: Sophia Perennis
Book ID: 9780900588679, 0900588675
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The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times is Rene Guenon’s most prophetic work, which only becomes more relevant with each passing year. Having seen his telling analysis of Western culture, The Crisis of the Modern World, swiftly overtaken by events, Guénon based this his final and most profound critique squarely on changeless metaphysical principles. But to unite social criticism with metaphysics is to beget eschatology, and so, whereas in Crisis Guenon foresaw the end of Western civilization, in Reign he presents us with the end of a vaster world-age, or Manvantara, that began before the dawn of history as we know it.
Guenon bases his critique on 'abstract' principles, but his examples are satisfyingly concrete. His chapter 'The Degeneration of Coinage' could easily be updated to include the transformation of money into a web of electronically-stored information, while in its treatment of the occult dangers of metallurgy 'The Significance of Metallurgy' points directly to our own well-founded fear of such man-made elements as plutonium. And his 'Fissures in the Great Wall' gives solid metaphysical grounding to our twentieth-century century demonology, including the UFO phenomenon. The Reign of Quantity presents a vision of the End Times that in no way contradicts traditional eschatologies, but is one key to their deeper meaning. Guenon sees history as a descent from Form (or Quality) toward Matter (or Quantity); but after the Reign of Quantity -- modern materialism and the 'rise of the masses' -- Guenon predicts a reign of ‘inverted quality’ just before the end of the age: the triumph of the 'counter-initiation', the kingdom of Antichrist. This text is considered the magnum opus among Guenon’s texts of civilizational criticism, as is Symbols of Sacred Science among his studies on symbols and cosmology, and Man and His Becoming according to the Vedanta among his more purely metaphysical works.
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