Returning to the Essential: Selected Writings of Jean Biès
Jean Biès, Deborah Weiss-Dutilh
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Returning to the Essential is the first presentation to the English-speaking world of the writings of Jean Biès, one of the great spiritual poets of our time whose work also constitutes a compelling critique of the de-sacralization of the modern world. Recipient of the prestigious High Prize of the Society of French Poets and Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, Biès introduces the contemporary reader to the treasury of metaphysical, esoteric and spiritual teaching from diverse sacred sources and his writings never fail to blend meaning and beauty. His words are rooted in the inexhaustible ground of the Perennial Philosophy: the language of the Essential to which this book invites, inspiringly, to return. Having received the prestigious High Prize of the Society of Poets, Jean Biès is known in France as one of the most important traditionalist philosophers and poets of our time. His more than twenty books, from which these selected writings are taken, present the metaphysical and esoteric teachings of the great religions of the world; they include travel writings and intimate portraits of sacred sites such as Mount Athos and Benares, and multiple collections of poetry. Previously unknown to the English speaking world, Jean Biès must be counted as one of the premier twentieth century exponents of the Perennial Philosophy.
Translated by Deborah Weiss-Dutilh.
2000. • Par les chemins de vie et d’oeuvre. Paris: Les Deux Océans, 2001. • Semences d’éveil. Paris: Dervy, 2004. FORTHCOMING TITLES • Des Poètes et des Dieux. Métaphysique et Littérature. Lausanne: L’Age d’Homme. • Paysages de l’Esprit. Paris: Editions du Rocher. BOOKS TRANSLATED INTO OTHER LANGUAGES • Passeports pour des temps nouveaux. Translated into Spanish. Caracas: Mandorla, 1985. • Voies de sages. Translated into Portuguese. Sao Paulo: Triom, 2001. • Paroles d’urgence.
psychic influence, quickly becomes the opposite of a science. In this case and in all the others, the tactic is always the same: circumvent the greatest geniuses so that they serve the purpose of Subversion, make them sow in the fields of Truth, without their knowledge, and without looking back—that is to say without suspecting the consequences of their words—at the teeth of the antique dragon, that then rise as warriors and transform themselves, behind their backs, into battalions of error.
to be said of these great hypnotic manipulators, capable of walking barefoot across burning embers, of renewing the freshness of a wilted flower, of bringing a dead bird back to life, or of reiterating the multiplication of loaves of bread? What could the famous rope-trick be, where the fakir, having thrown a rope into the air on which a young boy climbs, joins him there, disappears into thin air, and as the celestial butcher, drops the bloody limbs of his victim to the ground, before finally
all, established in a permanent and fundamental totality, transmit the password to each other, sharing the immemorial secret. The bird teaches wisdom to humans. Its lightness translates the art of transmuting heaviness into its opposite. In some Muslim texts, Christ gives flight to the sparrows he modeled in clay. One might conclude that this physical lightness is an unawareness, a belief that all birds are “bird brains.” In fact, it illustrates the greatest of faith; not unlike the wild
attitude (as in the case of those inhabitants living near the river that was the border, who were denounced by Pascal). It was a communion by the highest order, in the sound judgment of non-action and of the Tao, essence of all real social contracts. Each one being in concordance with himself was consequently in concordance with everyone else without needing any special external manifestations.11 Furthermore, the complementarity of matter and the psyche reveals the energetic expression of a