The Simple Life of René Guénon

Paul Chacornac

Hillsdale, NY: Sophia Perennis, 2005.
128 pages
ISBN: 0-900588-76-4
Price: $18.95 US
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ISBN: 1-59731-055-7
Price: $33.95 US
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René Guénon (1886–1951) is undoubtedly one of the luminaries of the twentieth century, whose critique of the modern world has stood fast against the shifting sands of recent philosophies. His oeuvre of 26 volumes is providential for the modern seeker: pointing ceaselessly to the perennial wisdom found in past cultures ranging from the Shamanistic to the Indian and Chinese, the Hellenic and Judaic, the Christian and Islamic, and including also Alchemy, Hermeticism, and other esoteric currents, at the same time it directs the reader to the deepest level of religious praxis, emphasizing the need for affiliation with a revealed tradition even while acknowledging the final identity of all spiritual paths as they approach the summit of spiritual realization. The present volume, first published in 1958 by Guénon’s friend and collaborator Paul Chacornac, whose bookstore, journal (first called Le Voile d’Isis, later changed to Études Traditionnelles), and publishing venture—Éditions Traditionnelles—were so instrumental in furthering Guénon’s work, was the first full-length biography of this extraordinary man to appear, and has served as the foundation for the many later biographies that have appeared in French, as well as the lone biography in English, René Guénon and the Future of the West, by Robin Waterfield. Its translation and publication in conjunction with The Collected Works of René Guénon represents an important step in the effort to bring Guénon’s work before a wider public.

Table of Contents

Preface—Childhood and Adolescence—In Search of the 'Lost Word'—Ex Oriente Lux—First Conflicts—Silent Meditation—The Call of the East—Revolt Against the Modern World—In the Land of the Sphinx—The Messenger—The 'Servant of the Unique'—After the Death of the Sower