The Reign of Quantity & the Signs of the Times
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The Reign of Quantity gives a concise but comprehensive view of the present state of affairs in the world, as it appears from the point of view of the 'ancient wisdom', formerly common both to the East and to the West, but now almost entirely lost sight of. The author indicates with his fabled clarity and directness the precise nature of the modern deviation, and devotes special attention to the development of modern philosophy and science, and to the part played by them, with their accompanying notions of progress and evolution, in the formation of the industrial and democratic society which we now regard as 'normal'. Guénon sees history as a descent from Form (or Quality) toward Matter (or Quantity); but after the Reign of Quantity-modern materialism and the 'rise of the masses'-Guénon predicts a reign of 'inverted quality' just before the end of the age: the triumph of the 'counter-initiation', the kingdom of Antichrist. This text is considered the magnum opus among Guénon's texts of civilizational criticism, as is Symbols of Sacred Science among his studies on symbols and cosmology, and Man and His Becoming according to the Vedanta among his more purely metaphysical works.
repetition of the act of 'creation', the world otherwise always vanishing away during the intervals of temporal discontinuity); nevertheless, there is a big distinction to be made between the two cases, arising from a fact to which attention has already been called, namely that space can be measured directly, whereas time can only be measured by relating it back in some way to space. What is measured is never really a duration, it is the space covered in a certain length of time in the course of
blinded as they are by their preconceived ideas, which close for them every outlet from the narrow domain in which they are accustomed to move; doubtless they would be as astonished to hear of them as they would be to know that men have existed and still exist for whom what they call 'ordinary life' would be quite the most extraordinary thing imaginable, because it corresponds to nothing that occurs at all in their existence. Nevertheless such is the case, and furthermore, these are the men who
at least in principle, notably in the Islamic rites of pilgrimage, though in fact it is no longer strictly observed today; furthermore, anyone who has accomplished these rites in their entirety, including that part of them that constitutes their most 'interior' aspect, must thenceforth abstain from all work involving the use of fire, and this includes more particularly the work of blacksmiths and metallurgists. 10. In Western initiations this takes the form, in the ritual preparation of the
to ensure an adequate defence against attacks coming from below, the advantages are incomparably the more important, for it is on the whole more useful to anyone who happens to be enclosed within its perimeter to be kept out of reach of what is below, than it is to be continuously exposed to the ravages of the enemy, or worse still to a more or less complete destruction. In any case, a walled space as such is not closed in at the top, so that communication with superior domains is not prevented,
here would be to consider in the first place the more or less 'determining' part played by the actual agents of the whole modern deviation, since the intervention of inferior influences really represents a new phase in the said deviation, and fits in exactly with the sequence of the 'plan' by which it is brought about; it would dearly be necessary to seek in some such direction for the conscious auxiliaries of the malefic forces, though the extent to which they are individually conscious of what