The Play of Masks

Frithjof Schuon

The underlying divine substance does not abolish the human mask, any more than the mask prevents the divine manifestation.

Symbolism transmits the heavenly Message and at the same time dissimulates the provisionally unassimilable mystery.

There is a difference in function, in principle at least, between the veil and the mask: the latter is positive in the sense that it expresses, affirms, manifests, whereas the former is negative because it dissimulates and thus renders inaccessible.

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Originally a chapter in the book The Play of Masks (World Wisdom, 1992), this essay is republished here with thanks to the Frithjof Schuon Archive.