The Vedanta, the Chariot, a Qur’anic Response and Christian-Muslim Dialogue

This week we bring four new additions to our online library. From Frithjof Schuon’s classic Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts, an audio recording of two chapters on “The Vedanta”, affording precious insight into the heart of the Sanatana Dharma:

The sacred formula, the mantra, symbolizes and incarnates the Subject by objectivizing It; and by ‘covering’ the objective world, this dark cavern of ignorance, or rather by ‘substituting’ itself for it, the mantra leads the spirit lost in the labyrinth of objectivation back to the pure Subject.

By Elliot R. Wolfson, a world authority on the essence of the Jewish tradition, we present gratefully his article “Letter Symbolism and Merkavah Imagery in the Zohar”, dealing with some of the most central themes of sacred linguistics, the “cosmogonic mystery of the Name of God”.

“…man is said to be able to recreate the creative process by combining through prayer the various levels of reality… Language—and in particular liturgical language—is the medium by which one can again participate in the creative process of uniting cosmic forces, the act of ma’aseh merkavah.”

By highlighting and interpreting some key Qur’anic themes, Reza Shah-Kazemi offers an interiorizing response to the contemporary crises of fanaticism, fundamentalism and extremism that we are all facing. Click here to watch the video of this recent lecture given in Karachi in December 2012.

Finally, drawing from his experience at the front-lines of Christian-Muslim dialogue, Julian Bond offers his article “Religion, Prayer, Dialogue and Appreciating the Other”:

When extremists take over, when excessive (impersonal) religious demands are made which do not respect and value others, when there is no place for the ‘other’—and we are all ‘other’—there is an urgent need for us to speak well of each other, to be gracious and generous, to model good relations, to be loving people committed to dialogue and living the heart of our traditions.