Swiss philosopher, poet and painter (1907-1998)
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The Transcendent Unity of Religions (1953; revised edition 1984)Edit
- Whoever participates in universal Knowledge will regard two apparently contradictory truths as he would two points situated on one and the same circumference that links them together by its continuity and so reduces them to unity; in the measure in which these points are distant from and thus opposed to one another there will be contradiction and this contradiction will reach its maximum when the two points are situated at the extremities of a diameter of the circle; but this extreme opposition or contradiction only appears as a result of isolating the points under consideration from the circle and ignoring the existence of the latter.
- Pure and absolute truth can only be found beyond all its possible expressions; these expressions, as such, cannot claim the attributes of this truth, their relative remoteness from it is expressed by their differentiation and multiplicity, by which they are strictly limited.
- If Christ has been the only manifestation of the Word, supposing such a uniqueness of manifestation to be possible, the effect of His birth would have been the instantaneous reduction of the universe to ashes.
- The reason for the existence of a religion, from one point of view at least, is to be found precisely in those things wherein it differs from other religions.
- The truth is, however, that every religion form is superior to the others in a particular respect, and it is this characteristic that in fact indicates the sufficient reason for the existence of that form.
Understanding Islam (1963)Edit
- What most men do not know - and if they could know it, why could they be called on to believe it? - Is that this blue sky, though illusory as an optical error and belied by the vision of interplanetary space, is nonetheless an adequate reflection of the Heaven of the Angels and the Blessed and that therefore, despite everything, it is this blue mirage, flecked with silver clouds, that is right and will have the final say; to be astonished at this amounts to admitting that it is by chance that we are here on earth and see the sky as we do.