Metaphysics 2

The Absolutely Stable, Permanent, Independent

  • 1.

    The truly metaphysical, let us repeat once more, can be really only be that which is absolutely stable, permanent, independent of all contingencies, and in particular of historical contingencies.

  • 2.

    That alone is metaphysical which does not change, and it is also this universality of metaphysic which constitutes its essential unity… and hence which confers on its profound immutability.

    R Guénon, IG150

  • 3.

    Metaphysics is what is beyond and above nature [becoming], therefore it is the one rightly to be called "the Supernatural."

    Metaphysics is the knowledge of the universal principles…

    The domain of principles extends much further than some Occidentals have thought, who - nevertheless …

  • 4.

    … have turned metaphysics but into a partial and incomplete mode.

    For the metaphysics of the Orient, pure Being is neither the first, nor the most universal of principles, because it is already a determination; it is therefore necessary to go beyond Being - this is after all what is most important.

    La Métaphysique Orientale, Éditions Traditionelles, Paris 1993, by Shaykh Abd al Wahid Yahya, René Guénon

  • 5.

    If one were to ask what is metaphysics, the primary answer would be the science of the Real or, more specifically, the knowledge by means of which man is able to distinguish the Real and the illusory and to know things in their essence or as they are, which means ultimately to know them in divinis.

    Seyyed Hossein Nasr

  • 6.

    For me, the subject matter of metaphysics is being/existence, and in this respect I am in fundamental agreement with Ibn Sina. But, I also side with Ibn ʿArabi and Qunawi, who maintain that immersion into metaphysics necessarily entails immersion into the content of revelation.

  • 7.

    It would not be possible, in other words, to understand metaphysical thinking without grasping the nature and scope of revelation. And this would, in keeping with Ibn ʿArabi’s fundamental insight, naturally lead to a more detailed study of man as such, or anthropology.

  • 8.

    It is also my position that the insights of the great Islamic metaphysicians can be brought into conversation with today’s most significant advances in the human sciences. Such an approach should offer some promise to our contemporaries, who are often disillusioned with simple-minded theological approaches to revelation and the content of religion.

    Ekrem Demirli

Cafes in Damascus, Syria 1830s

On Metaphysics

No Determination or Limitation With It

[In the West and increasingly in the East - there is this incomplete] understanding of metaphysic* - because people linked it with specific and contingent points of view.  Metaphysic is not a branch of philosophy - and to treat it that way (as Aristotle did) implies a profound misunderstanding of its real scope and of its character of universality: the absolute Whole cannot form part of something nor can anything else whatsoever enfold or comprise the Universal. 138

(*because Being (ontology) is already a determination and every determination is a limitation.
Being is not really the most universal of all principles. 157)
(*The translator used metaphysic in the singular, as in French ‘la metaphysique’, or German ‘die Metaphysik’.) 

Metaphysic must of necessity be self-sufficing, since it is the only kind of knowledge which is really direct, and it cannot be based on anything other than itself from the very fact that it consists of the knowledge of universal principles from which all else is derived, including the subject matter of the various sciences. 140

Metaphysical formal expression or exposition must always be formulated in such a way as to leave open possibilities of conception as limitless as the domain of metaphysic itself. 143

Pure metaphysic necessarily excludes all systematization, [quoting] Leibnitz: ’Every system is true in what it affirms and false in what it denies,’ - since a conception of this (systematic) kind leads inevitably to the negation of everything lying outside its scope. 148

The doctrine of non-dualism or non-duality. It has no equivalent in any European language.
Both terms of spirit and matter are considered simultaneously within the unity of a common but more universal principle - as complements, not opposition. 154

Thus ’non-dualism’ is the only type of doctrine that corresponds to the universality of metaphysic, [which in Islam corresponds to
tawhid - unity of the One.]
It is an expression of the most essential and fundamental character of metaphysic itself. 155

More on the expression of metaphysical doctrines:
Because of the absolute indetermination of the most universal principles (f ex the idea of the Infinite), one has better to resort to negative expressions (such as ’is not’).

The negation of a determination or of a limitation is properly the negation of a negation, and therefore a real affirmation, so that the negation of all determination is equivalent in reality to affirmation total and absolute. 157

It should never be forgotten that pure metaphysic is in itself absolutely independent of all the more or less imperfect terminologies in which we try to clothe it, in order to make it more accessible to human understanding. 158

Shaykh Abd Al Wahid Yahya - René Guénon

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