Mirror of the Intellect: Essays on Traditional Science and by Titus Burckhardt

By Titus Burckhardt

Titus Burckhardt used to be Swiss and an eminent member of the traditionalist institution. he's might be top recognized to the English-speaking public because the writer of the subsequent books: Sacred artwork in East and West; Siena, urban of the Virgin; Moorish tradition in Spain; and Alchemy: technology of the Cosmos, technological know-how of the Soul. A iteration in the past, he gained a lot approval for generating and publishing the 1st profitable, full-scale facsimiles of the e-book of Kells and different historic manuscripts. in additional fresh years, he acted as a consultant consultant to UNESCO, with specific connection with the maintenance of the original architectural historical past of Fez, which used to be then at risk. the current quantity is an entire selection of Burckhardt’s essays, initially released in numerous German and French journals. they vary from glossy technology in its numerous types, via Christianity and Islam, to symbolism and mythology. it's a wealthy assortment. Burckhardt blends an obtainable variety with a penetrating perception. He translates the metaphysical, cosmological, and symbolic dimensions of those sacred traditions from the point of view of undying, religious knowledge.

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This mathematical selection from out of total reality does not only eliminate the 'secondary' qualifies of perception, it also removes what the Greek philosophers and the Scholastics called 'form', in other words, the qualitative 'seal' imprinted on matter by the unique essence of a being or a thing. For modern science, the essential form does not exist: 'Some rare Aristotelians', writes a theoretician of modern science,7 'still perhaps think they can intuitively attain, through some illumination by the active intellect, the essential ideas of the things of nature; but this is nothing but a beautiful dream...

That the movement of light is the fundamental 'measure' of the corporeal world we willingly believe, but why should this measure itself be a number, and even a definite number? Moreover, do the experiments which are supposed to prove the constant character of the speed of Page 28 light really get beyond the earthly sphere, and do they not imply both space and time as usually imagined by us? Thus '300,000 km per second' is stated to be the speed of light, and it is held that here is a value which, if it be not necessarily everywhere expressed in this manner, does nonetheless remain constant throughout the physical universe.

This means that all the 'bundles' of sensible qualities, everything that constitutes the world for us, except space and time, have to be reduced, scientifically speaking, to a series of atomic 'models' definable in terms of the 9 René Guénon, The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times (Penguin Books, Baltimore, Maryland, 1972), Chapter 2, 'Materia Signata Quantitate'. 10De Unitate et Uno. Page 30 number, mass, trajectories, and speeds of the minute bodies concerned. It is obvious that this reduction is in vain, for although these 'models' still comprise certain qualitative elementsif only their imaginary spatial formit is nonetheless a question of the reduction of quality to quantityand quantity can never comprehend quality.

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