Adastra, the Cosmic Luth and Confessional Accounting

Our first library novelty this month is a small selection of poems by Frithjof Schuon, including audio recordings of his original German. These poems belong to the numerous collections of contemplative and sapiential verse published by Schuon towards the end of his life.

O süsse Lied, das alles Sehnen stillt —
Das Gnadenlicht; schein in das Herz hinein!
Der Herr ist unsre Zuflucht, unser Schild —
Sei du mit Ihm, und Er wird mit dir sein.

O sweet song that stills all longing —
The Light of Grace; shine into my heart!
The Lord is our Refuge, our Shield —
Be thou with Him, and He will be with thee.

• A French article on the cosmology of string instrument design by Luc Breton, considered by some experts to be one of the greatest living authorities on the traditional craft and theory of lutherie. “The beauty of a work of art,” he explains, “is proportional to its degree of truth.”

L’habileté n’est pas traditionnellement un critère. «L’ouvrier habile n’a jamais suffi à faire le bon ouvrier», dit le compagnonnage. Si une œuvre est vraie, il se dégage toujours d’elle une beauté proportionnelle à son degré de vérité, sans rapport obligatoire avec l’habileté mise en œuvre pour son exécution.

• Finally, we have put together a selection of passages from Confession and Bookkeeping, a fascinating work by James Aho showing how what appears to be simply another mathematical technology, namely double-entry bookkeeping, once had great religious and moral significance. Among other facts, we learn how business ledgers used to be opened with the Cross, and business conducted in the “sweet name of Jesus.”