The King of the World
This remarkable book grew out of a conference headed by René Guénon, the sinologist René Grousset, and the neo-Thomist Jacques Maritain on questions raised by Ferdinand Ossendowski’s thrilling account in his Men, Beast and Gods of an escape through Central Asia, during which he foils enemies and encounters shamans and Mongolian lamas, whose marvels he describes. The book caused a great sensation, especially the closing chapters, where Ossendowski recounts legends allegedly entrusted to him concerning the ‘King of the World’ and his subterranean kingdom Agarttha. The present book, one of Guénon’s most controversial, was written in response to this conference and develops the theme of the King of the World from the point of view of traditional metaphysics.
Table of Contents
Western Ideas about Agarttha—Royalty and Pontificate—Shekinahand Metatron—The Three Supreme Functions—Symbolism of the Grail—Melki-Tsedeq—Luz: Abode of Immortality—The Supreme Center concealed during the Kali-Yuga—The Omphalos and Sacred Stones—Names and Symbolic Representations of Spiritual Centers—Location of Spiritual Centers—Some Conclusions
Sacred geography and geometry as they were treated by Guenon in his The King of the World and elsewhere remain entirely valid. The symbolism of the Center or of centers that represent it in the respective traditions—together with the associated practices of pilgrimage, sites of celestial influence and, at the microcosmic level, the means of concentration—all this falls concordantly together at the same time as does the quest, through corresponding forms, for the lost Gateway and the lost Word.
Marco Pallis, author of Peaks and Lamas