Were René Guénon and Frithjof Schuon Biased against Love?
By Charles Upton
The writers of the Traditionalist School, notably René Guénon and Frithjof Schuon, have wrestled with the problem of the right relationship between love and knowledge in the spiritual life, and have not always emerged entirely victorious. In places they speak of knowledge and love as one in the Absolute and of love as intrinsic to knowledge in the soul of the spiritual man; in other places they seem to damn love with faint praise, giving rise in Schuon’s case to such pejorative epithets as “pietism” (in a world without piety), “fideism” (in a world without faith), “sincerism” (in a world that laughs at sincerity), warnings against “democratic bonhomie” (in a world filled with socially isolated paranoids to whom the most basic human fellowship has become next to impossible), and a devaluation of “mere bhakti” (in a world increasingly without love, either divine or human—though the exact term is not Schuon’s). Pietism and fideism may nonetheless be useful concepts since they refer to limited or even perverted versions of the virtues of piety and faith; sincerism, as long as it is not used to denigrate sincerity, is a valuable term, denoting the delusion that subjective sincerity can obviate the effects objective error; and it’s certainly true that the disease of the bhakta is to believe that all sacred knowledge is only intellectual pride—though we shouldn’t forget that it is the disease of the jñani to act in such a way as to seem to prove the bhakta right; in a post-Christian culture which apparently hates all expressions of sentiment and human tenderness, the plague of intellectual pride can develop relatively unchecked.
As for the dangers of democratic bonhomie, however, this is an extremely suspicious concept in my opinion, since it seems to falsely identify sanctity or sagacity with social rank. (As the Hindus say, “one of the signs of the Kali-yuga is that saints may appear in the lower castes”.) It is true that the spiritually-centered person will be careful not to “lose himself” in social intercourse, this being the Sufi virtue of “solitude in company”, and that may in fact be the actual meaning of the caution against “democratic bonhomie”, which sounds so strange to American ears. It remains true, however, that avoidance of association with people of a lower social class, or of those outside one’s spiritual circle, has nothing whatever to do with the development of virtue, much less of jñana; it may, in fact, be the vice of spiritual or intellectual snobbery, which is nothing but the sin of pride: Christ, Muhammad, Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi made no class distinctions, only spiritual ones. The traditional spiritual advice that the warning against democratic bonhomie takes the place of is the entirely legitimate caution against associating with “bad companions”. The one who is tempted to intemperance should avoid drunkards; the one whose weakness is lust should avoid loose associations—and the one whose besetting vice is social or spiritual arrogance should at all cost steer clear of snobs! The “spirit of modernity” (or rather post-modernity) is not only the denial of religious and metaphysical truth; it is also the vice of cold-heartedness. No matter how well-defended we may be against that spirit on the doctrinal level, if the coldness of the latter days seeps into our bones without our knowing it, then we will find ourselves among the losers. Postmodern society tends to take a dim view of love, identifying it with sloppy sentimentalism—and if those called to walk the path of jñana follow society in this judgment, seeing love as merely sentimental and knowledge alone as possessing the virtue of detachment, spiritual impassivity, apatheia—thus, in effect, falsely identifying apatheia with emotional coldness—then they have turned the whole spiritual life over to the Devil. The Greek Fathers recognized and worked against this error when they taught that, without apatheia, true love cannot exist.
The founder of the Traditionalists, René Guénon, has been called “an eye without a body.” This is certainly a good description of his writing style, but it will take a more thorough investigation of his writings to determine if a bias against love is really part of his doctrine. In his book Symbols of Sacred Science [Sophia Perennis, 2002], the chapter entitled “The Radiating Heart and the Flaming Heart,” Guénon deals directly with the relationship between love and knowledge. He shows how the Heart as a universal symbol is related to the Sun, and speaks of icongraphic representations of the Heart/Sun in which straight rays, standing for light, are combined with wavy rays or flames, symbolizing heat, as in the tarot card “The Sun” in the Ryder-Waite deck. Light is intelligence, heat is life, which is closely related to emotion. Guénon (without the use of footnotes) traces the supposed degeneration of the icon the Heart from earlier radiant forms with both straight and wavy rays or straight rays alone, to later forms where only wavy rays or flames appear. He says:
….the radiation, even when the two aspects are there united, seems generally to suggest a preponderance of the luminous aspect. This interpretation is confirmed by the fact that the representations of the flaming heart, with or without the distinction of the two kinds of rays, are the most ancient, dating for the most part from periods when the intelligence was still traditionally related to the heart, whereas representations of the flaming heart became wide-spread especially with modern ideas and reducing the heart to correspondence with sentiment alone….. the origin of this deviation is no doubt due to rationalism insofar as the latter claims to identify intelligence purely and simply with reason, for the heart is not related to this but to the transcendent intellect which is precisely what is ignored and even denied by rationalism. It is true, on the other hand, that once the heart is considered the center of the being, all modalities of the being can in a sense be related to it, at least indirectly, including sentiment or what psychologists call “affectivity”; but there is nonetheless every reason to observe the hierarchical relationships in all this and to uphold the true ‘centrality’ of the intellect, while all other modalities have only a more or less ‘peripheral’ character. However, intellectual intuition, which resides in the heart, being misunderstood, and reason, which resides in the brain, having usurped its ‘illuminating’ role, nothing remained for the heart but the possibility of being considered as the seat of affectivity.
Guénon informs us that Descartes viewed the heart as the seat of a “fire without light”—something undoubtedly true in his case—and sees in this a symbol of sentiment divorced from intellect, which “is why the ancients represented love as blind.”
So it would seem that Guénon is saying here that knowledge is essentially higher and more central than love. But a few lines later he apparently takes a different tack, reminding us (and possibly himself) that
…. in man one can also find light without heat, this being the light of reason, which is only a reflected illumination, cold like the lunar light which is its symbol. In the order of principles, on the contrary, these two aspects, like all complementaries, again join together and are indissolubly united, for they are parts of one same essential nature; and so also it is for pure intelligence which properly belongs to the principial order, thus confirming yet again, as we have previously indicated, that the symbolic radiation under its double form can be integrally related to it. The fire at the center of the being is at one and the same time both light and heat; but if these two terms are to be translated respectively as intelligence and love, although fundamentally they are but two inseparable aspects of one and the same thing, it will be necessary….to add that the love in question then differs as greatly from the sentiment that is given the same name as does pure intelligence from reason.
In my humble opinion, we have here a strictly accurate treatment of the relationship between love and knowledge from the perspective of pure metaphysics, plus some profoundly illuminating insights into the historical degeneration of this doctrine, coupled with just the shadow of a whisper of a bias not fully justified by the doctrine as presented. If I read Guénon correctly, he’s saying that the fact that the straight-rayed heart and the heart with both straight and wavy rays appear together in the same era means that intelligence (straight rays) can act as a valid synthesis of light and heat, intelligence and love, in a way that love (wavy or flaming rays) cannot, and thus that intelligence is the central faculty and love the peripheral one, which can only participate in the Center when subsumed under intelligence—though the fact that rationality, when separated from the higher spiritual faculties, moves to the brain, while emotion when so separated stays in the heart, might have led to the opposite conclusion. And that Guénon sees (and rightly so) the later icon of the flaming heart as representing a lower order of reality, where the heart is considered the site of sentiment alone, not the full synthesis of intelligence/love, but does not allow that the straight-rayed heart might sometimes represent rationality alone, is evidence of the same bias.
But although I can accept Guénon’s argument when it comes to his interpretation of the replacement of the straight-rayed heart by the flaming heart, I can’t agree with him that this proves the hierarchical superiority of intellect over love. As I read it, the reason why a later and lower order of understanding generates the image of the flaming rather than the radiating heart is not because love when polarized with intellect is lower than intellect, but because, as Guénon says, the seat of intellect, reduced to mere rationality, is now the brain rather than the heart. The brain is cold light; the heart eclipsed (love reduced to sentiment) is dark heat. Thus the flaming heart is not love fallen from the station of intellect, but one-half of the polarity of love (now sentiment) and intellect (now rationality) fallen, just like its counterpart, from the station of Love/Intellect, where the two exist in a higher synthesis.
I may seem to be splitting hairs here, but a hair badly split on the threshold of the Absolute casts a long shadow. On one level it is a question of tone, of feeling-values. Guénon is simply a little quicker to say that emotion is peripheral to intelligence, or that love is blind, than the reverse. Nonetheless the tone of our expressions is as important as their intellectual content, though not as easy to “present in court.”
But is love really blind, according to the ancients? Certainly the Greek tragedies are enough to prove that much was known in antiquity about the damage blind passion can do. And yet to simply say “the ancients represented love as blind” is incorrect. It is true that Eros was sometimes shown as blindfolded, but this was in no way a universal symbol. Furthermore, the blindfold, as with the more familiar emblem of Justice, can also symbolize “not judging by appearances,” but “seeing into the heart.” Plato’s Symposium, to take only one example, is based on the doctrine that Eros, defined as an attraction to Beauty, can be a road to the highest illumination. And in terms not of the ancient world but of the medieval one, Dante’s love for Beatrice in the Divine Comedy is his way to the fullest intellectual realization, which is represented by Beatrice herself as a reflection of Holy Wisdom. Elsewhere in “The Radiating Heart and the Flaming Heart” Guénon makes it clear that love is not simply “exoteric” but finds its place in the esoteric dimension as well, and nothing that pertains to esoterism can be intrinsically blind.
And again, is emotion really peripheral vis-a-vis the intellect? In terms of the greater mysteries, where “intellect” denotes Spirit as a synthesis of Intellect/Love, clearly it is. But insofar as the lesser mysteries, the psychic or alchemical mysteries are concerned, without the successful completion of which the greater mysteries cannot be approached, emotion is a necessary element. Nor is emotion simply cut out of the greater mysteries, but rather fully integrated. Just as the alchemical use of rationality is to fix, pacify and clarify the turbulence of the affective soul, so that it develops the ability to mirror the Spirit, so the purpose of feeling is to dissolve the opacities and imbalanced coagulations of rationality, allowing it be crystallized by the Spirit on a higher level till it becomes transparent to the light of the Intellect. Excess of emotion makes the soul turbulent and heavy; excess of rationality makes it scattered and filled with fixed ideas. Only a balance and synthesis between the two powers can prepare the soul for a full encounter with Spirit as the seamless union of Intellect and Love.
As opposed to this synthetic notion of love and knowledge, Guénon speaks of them as in some sense mutually exclusive:
It should also be noted ….that when fire is polarized into these two complementary aspects of light and heat, they are so to speak the inverse of one another in their manifestation; and even from the simple point-of-view of physics, it is known that the less light a flame gives the hotter it is.
But is this really so? When a wood fire burns down to coals it can become darker and hotter, since flame is no longer carrying as much heat up the chimney by convection, and wood coals, and especially mineral coal (anthracite in particular), can radiate more heat into the room in the invisible infra-red spectrum; but to enunciate “the less light the more heat” as a general law of nature is incorrect. The blacksmith knows that as his iron becomes hotter it emits more light, changing from black to red to yellow to white. One of the hottest chemical fires we know, that of rapidly oxidizing magnesium, is also one of the brightest, burning with an incandescent, pure white flame. And in the case of stars, light and heat vary directly, not inversely: the more light, the more heat; the more heat, the more light. Guénon, however, sometimes seems to believe that while in the realm of the Principles love and knowledge may be one, in cosmic manifestation, including the human psyche, they are not merely polarized but actually in opposition. How far is this position, really, from that of D. H. Lawrence—the perfect example of an over-cerebral modern western man seeking the lost side of his humanity in the darkness of instinctive passion—when he said, in Studies in Classic American Literature, “KNOWING and BEING are opposite, antagonistic states. The more you know, exactly, the less you are. The more you are, in being, the less you know.”? And given that Guénon, in “The Radiating Heart and the Flaming Heart”, identifies warmth with both love and life, isn’t he in effect saying here that intelligence is both loveless and lifeless? This may indeed the common judgment by profane society upon the spiritual intellectual, but that it should cast its shadow upon the doctrines of the intellectual himself demonstrates a certain lack of detachment on his part.
Such opposition between love and knowledge is not the case, however, in manifestation per se, though it is present as a latent potential, but only comes into play, to use the Christian term, after the “fall.” Although the difference in temperament between a person centered in affection and someone centered in thought is undeniably real, a universal opposition between love and knowledge in the realm of manifestation is not really “natural,” something which is obvious enough if we remember that those who love their object of study really learn it, and those who really know anything worth knowing usually come to love it. And this is all the more true on the level of the Divine, since to know God, Who is the Sovereign Good, is necessarily to love Him, while to love Him, since love delights to dwell upon its object, is necessarily to know Him. As Maimonides said: “Love is the highest form of knowledge.” Only in the fallen soul dominated by pride and concupiscence, or in a collective mentality ruled by these vices, could such an unnatural opposition exist, since to egotistically indulge in love as a self-involved emotion darkens the intellect, while to pridefully identify with one’s indwelling intelligence violates love. Furthermore, the opposition between love and knowledge, since it is not in line with the essential nature of things, is inherently unstable. If we become comfortable with stupidity we will lose the ability to love, since we can’t love what we don’t want to know, while if we are comfortable with lovelessness we will become stupid, since we can’t know what we can no longer relate to.
According to Guénon, “the way of love is more particularly appropriate for Kshatriyas, while the way of intelligence or of knowledge is naturally especially suitable for Brahmins.” In terms of the general characters of these castes, this is true. But from another perspective, there is a type of love and a type of knowledge essential to each. There is such a thing as a “jñanic bhakti” which sees within love the laws, forms and secrets proper to love, and a “bhaktic jñana” by which love warms and germinates the seed of knowledge. The love of the Kshatriya is “emotive” in that it motivates him to combative, protective and self-sacrificial action, whereas the love of the Brahmin is contemplative rather than passionate; it is like the oil that feeds the steady flame of a lamp. Once again, the Christian mysteries are clearly under the sign of Love, and yet no one would assert that Christianity is essentially a Kshatriya rather than a Brahminical revelation; Christian society has produced both saintly warriors and saintly contemplatives. The premier Christian jñani, Meister Eckhart, even spoke of love in these terms, beginning with a quotation from St. Augustine: “‘What a man loves a man is.’ If he loves a stone he is that stone, if he loves a man he is that man, if he loves God—nay, I durst not say more; were I to say, he is God, he might stone me. I do but teach you the scriptures.” [Whitall Perry, Treasury of Traditional Wisdom, p. 617]
Emotion, which Guénon identifies with elemental vitality, is like a fuel which can be burned to empower either the will or the intellect. (I am referring here not to the Divine Intellect in itself, but to that part of the individual psyche capable of receiving a ray of this Intellect.) Will at odds with emotion cannot work reliably in accordance with the fertile potentials of the situation; it is without real strength, and so tends to express itself in terms of force, directed either outwards, against the situation, or inwards, against the self. Force is attachment to action without regard for the potentials inherent in the shape of the moment; it lacks staying-power and inevitably creates imbalances. Likewise emotion at odds with the will cannot vigorously act to realize potentials; all it can do is impotently wish; wishful thinking is attachment to unrealized potential based on an incapacity for action. Speaking strictly in terms of action rather than intellection, will can be defined as the actualization of affect, affect as the potency of the will. And insofar as the Spiritual Path requires human action—the other requirement being the Grace of God—we can say that will devoid of emotion cannot make good its intent to “pray without ceasing,” and that emotion without will can produce nothing but sentimentality and spiritual fantasy.
On the other hand, there are times when the will must act in opposition to the emotions. If our feelings are essentially concupiscent, if they are dissipated and scattered, prone to attach themselves to wrong objects, then they must be vigorously combated—not repressed, which entails a darkening of the intellect, but rather disciplined, which requires placing them, via the agency of the will, under the rule of the intellect. In Muslim terms, this is the “greater jihad” which is “the war against the soul,” specifically against what the Sufis call the nafs al-ammara or “the soul which incites to evil.” This war is part of the “lesser mysteries,” the psychic or alchemical mysteries, which purify and prepare the soul for its encounter with the Spirit of God. But even though the goal of these mysteries is to forge a soul where Intellect rules the will and will rules the affections, the war against the nafs cannot be seen simply as the struggle of rationality against affect. The Intellect which must rule the will is not the rational faculty but the Divine Spirit of Intellect/Love, operating within the soul; rationality is precisely the enlightening effect of the Intellect upon the will (or, from another point of view, the apparently limiting effect of the will upon the Intellect)—although, like any psychic faculty, it can sometimes develop an “ego” of its own and so upset the balance of the psyche. Touched by the Intellect, the will encounters a fixed, objective standpoint according to which it can now decide what to will, in terms either of thought (logic) or of action (strategy). In other words, it becomes rational; it no longer judges solely on the basis of emotion. Furthermore, since the will in rational mode has now become objective enough to foresee the consequences of impulsive action, it also acts to moderate the emotions.
But that’s not the whole story. It is a one-sided view, precisely because the Spirit of Intellect/Love does not rule the affections only through the rational will, but also touches the affections directly. As the soul is purified, the feeling-nature begins to mirror that Spirit in the form of Beauty, according to Plato’s doctrine that “Beauty is the splendor of the True.” As the will in rational mode develops the power to harmonize the affections, the affections gain the complementary power to deepen, empower and move the will, to convert it from rational to devotional mode, to orient it toward the Spirit, to remind it of its Source.
So we can now conclude that, as Guénon admits, since love and knowledge are absolutely one in the Absolute, either can stand as a valid name for it; it is no more or less accurate to say “God is Truth” than to say “God is Love.” Consequently the hierarchical relationship between love and knowledge can be drawn in two different ways. If it is valid to place Brahminical knowledge above Kshatriya love, it is equally valid from a different perspective to place love above knowledge, as Dionysius the Areopagite did when he situated the eye-studded Cherubim, symbols of Divine Knowledge, in the second-highest choir of angels, and the Seraphim, symbols of Divine Love (Love united with Knowledge), in the highest, or Dante, when at the apex of Paradise he came to the end of what could be known, and encountered “the love that moves the Sun and the other stars.” Of course, as Guénon points out, “the love in question differs from the sentiment that is named love as much as pure intelligence differs from reason”; but true love on the plane of feeling is nonetheless an effect produced by this higher love. Divine Love manifests on the psychic plane as purity of affection, just as Divine Intellect manifests as clear rational thought. Certainly affection, if taken as an end in itself, veils Divine Love, just as rationality without an intuition of higher realities veils the Intellect. But affective love, when purified of egotism, is just as surely a sign of Divine Love in the soul as disinterested rational intelligence is a sign of Intelligence itself. To deny this is to fall into a “Manichean” dualism, divorcing Source from its manifestation and denying the immanence of God.
It was the mission of René Guénon to reintroduce, almost singlehandedly, integral metaphysics to the western world; his only real “contemporary” was Ananda Coomaraswamy. To accomplish this he had to set himself against, not only every dominant trend of modern thought and culture, but also against the European occultism of the first half of the 20th century. He was required, in other words, to deny himself even the solace of identification with a subculture of resistance to the modern world, since he eventually saw this subculture as already infiltrated by modernist assumptions, and thus, though seemingly open to many of his ideas, destructive to the very traditional doctrines he was attempting to restore. The moral and psychological stamina this stance must have required of him are daunting to contemplate. Guénon’s mission occurred when the reign of bourgeois sentimentalism, begun in the l9th century, was still in force. The vulgar and sentimental veneration of St. Theresa of Lisieux, the “Little Flower” (who, as Thomas Merton reminds us, for all the bad taste of her popular cult was a real saint, and who Schuon himself accepted as a jñani), should give us some idea of the raw nerve he needed simply to state what he knew to be true, in terms both of metaphysical principles and the spiritual state of the world, without fervor, protected only by the thorn of an aloof and measured irony. In a time when sentimentalities and false enthusiasms threatened his enterprise from all sides, we can hardly blame him for failing to elaborate a complete doctrine of the affections. His pressing duty lay elsewhere.
Sentimentality, however, is no longer our problem. If there is any single sign of the transition from the twilight of the modern age to the dawn of post-modernism, it is the rage of popular culture to pull down all the idols of sentiment, idols which were still firmly entrenched in, say, l965. If the “established” emotions of Victorianism were triumphalism and sentimentality, our post-modern status quo enforces vulgarity, sinister fascination, emotional numbness, terror, and despair. According to St. Paul in II Timothy 3:1-3, in the “last days” men shall be “without natural affection”; and in Matthew 24:12, Jesus numbers among the signs of the end that “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Consequently, in view of the general coldness of the times, Guénon’s brand of sang froid is no longer the specific remedy for our ailment. Above all we need warmth, a warmth that is not at odds with intelligence, but rather deepens it.
Frithjof Schuon, in Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts [Faber & Faber, 1954], asserts the following:
For the spiritual man of emotional temperament to love is to be and to know is to think and the heart represents totality, the very basis of being, and the brain the fragment, the surface. For the spiritual man of intellectual temperament knowledge on the contrary is to be and love is to want or to feel and the heart represents universality or the Self and the brain individuality or the “I”. Knowledge starts from the Universal, and love from the individual; it is the absolute Knower who knows, whereas it is the human subject, the “creature,” who is called upon to love [p. 145].
This is in many ways a valid, and in fact a profound, perspective. But even for the spiritual man of intellectual temperament, is it really accurate to make the brain the seat of love, as Schuon seems to be doing here? I submit that this is only justified if we understand “brain” to define the parameters of the individual psyche, which includes among its faculties affective love as well as rational thought. And just as “brain” must, even for the spiritual intellectual, include rationality, so “heart” must include a Divine Love which transcends affective love, and which in essence is inseparable from Knowledge.
Four pages later, Schuon seems to contradict himself. After asserting that from the perspective of Knowledge God is the Knower and the human subject the lover, as we have seen, he now says: “The love of the affective man is that he loves God. The love of the intellectual man is that God loves him; that is to say, he realizes intellectually—but not simply in a theoretical way—that God is Love.” [ibid., p. 149] So here, even for the intellectual man, God loves, and is Love Itself. As Schuon says elsewhere in the same book, “[God] is Love, not because he loves, but he loves because he is Love.” [ibid., p. 107] So even when the acting, personal God, the “Lover,” is subordinated to “Love” as the Divine Essence, Love remains a name for the Absolute, even from a perspective of Knowledge—in terms of the present passage, that of the Absolute Subject of the Vedanta. (As Ramana Maharshi said, “Jñana is love for God without form; imperfect jñana and imperfect bhakti and different, perfect jñana and perfect bhakti are the same.”) This apparent contradiction is resolved if we realize that Schuon is sometimes speaking of personal, affective love and sometimes of the Divine Love which is its archetype, without always making this distinction clear. His seeming lack of consistency may have been necessary to do justice to the particularity of the various perspectives he presents, in view of the fact that (as he says) “one reaches the truth to the extent that one accepts positions which are seemingly opposed, but which in reality are situated on the same circumference, invisible at first sight” [Form and Substance in Religions, p. 52]. Yet if, as Emerson said, “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”, it is equally true to say that “contradiction is the disease of minds that have not been able to view their material objectively enough to think things through.” Not every seeming metaphysical paradox or shift in perspective is actually a contradiction, but some certainly are. In The Roots of the Human Condition, however, Schuon expresses a more complete doctrine: “The way of love—methodical bhakti —presupposes that through it we can go toward God; whereas love as such—intrinsic bhakti —accompanies the way of knowledge, jñana, and is based essentially on our sensitivity to the divine Beauty”. And in Survey of Metaphysics and Esoterism: “Where there is Truth, there is also Love. Each Deva possesses its Shakti; in the human microcosm, the feeling soul is joined to the discerning intellect, as in the Divine Order Mercy is joined to Omniscience; and as, in the final analysis, Infinitude is consubstantial with the Absolute.”
When someone says, “She may be smart, but she’s not wise,” or “He’s affectionate enough, but he lacks wisdom,” we can all understand what is being described. The synthesis of Love and Knowledge is, in fact, Wisdom, without which love must remain sentimental, knowledge theoretical, and both love and knowledge cut off from the actual situations of our lives, making us incapable of applying them, as insight, to interpersonal relations. As the figure of Holy Wisdom says, in the 8th chapter of Proverbs:
I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me…. Hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways, hear instruction and be wise….whoso findeth me findeth life…. but he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all that hate me love death.
Just as true Knowledge is essentially intellective, not simply rational, so true Love is existential, not merely sentimental; as someone wise in the ways of love once wrote, “There is no such thing as love—only proofs of love.” The English word “wisdom”, as well as many words from other languages that are usually translated by it, basically means “skill; know-how”. Love alone has the ability to provide intellective realization with the existential substance it demands; as the Master Craftsman will certainly tell you, only Love possesses the power to transform Truth into Wisdom, Knowledge into Skill.