May 27, 2013

René Guénon On The Need For Creating An Understanding Between The East And The West

Below is an excerpt from René Guénon's 1927 book called, "The Crisis of the Modern World." Translated by Marco Pallis, Arthur Osborne, and Richard C. Nicholson. Sophia Perennis: Hillsdale, New York. 2004. Pg. 31-32.
"To be resolutely 'anti-modern' is not to be in any way 'anti-Western'; on the contrary, it only means making an effort to save the West from its own confusion. In any case, no Easterner who is faithful to his own tradition would view matters differently, and it is certain that there are far fewer opponents of the West as such---an attitude that makes no sense---than of the West insofar as it has become identified with modern civilization. There are those today who speak of a 'defense' of the West, which is odd, to say the least, considering that it is the West, as we shall see later on, that is threatening to submerge the whole of mankind in the whirlpool of its own confused activity; odd, we say, and completely unjustified if they mean, as they seem to (despite certain reservations), that this defense is to be against the East, for the true East has no thought of attacking or dominating anybody, and asks no more than to be left in independence and tranquility---surely a not unreasonable demand. Actually, the truth is that the West really is in great need of defense, but only against itself and its own tendencies, which, if they are pushed to their conclusion, will lead inevitably to its ruin and destruction; it is therefore 'reform' of the West that is called for, and if this reform were what it should be---that is to say, a restoration of tradition---it would entail as a natural consequence an understanding with the East. For our own part, we ask no more than to contribute, as far as our means permit, both to the reform and to the understanding, if indeed there is still time, and if any such result can be attained before the arrival of the final catastrophe toward which modern civilization is heading. But even if it were already too late to avoid this catastrophe, the work done to this end would not be useless, for it would serve in any case to prepare, however distantly, the 'discrimination' of which we spoke at the beginning, and thereby to assure the preservation of those elements that must escape the shipwreck of the present world to become the germs of the future world."