State University of New York Press, 1997

Table of Contents and Introduction |

Two books in one, Advice to the Serious Seeker is an introduction for scholars to the perennialist school of comparative religious philosophy and at the same time a guidebook for the general reader who is looking for intellectually serious but accessible answers to questions about the spiritual life.

Scholars will find a comprehensive introduction to the work of Frithjof Schuon, the leading contemporary figure in the perennialist or traditionalist school of comparative religion. But the book is also intended for inquisitive and searching readers in general. Composed in a style that is simple and conversational, it reads as an open letter to the author’s students. The aim is to cut through the banality of much that passes for spiritual instruction today and to provide intellectually satisfying answers to questions typically posed by cynics and skeptics, conservative believers, and persons attracted to the so-called new age religions.

Professor Cutsinger’s Advice takes the form of a series of meditations on Truth, Virtue, Beauty, and Prayer, which Schuon regards as the fundamental elements in every authentic spiritual path. Covering a range of issues both theoretical and practical, topics include proofs of God, the problem of evil, classical virtues, predestination and freedom, symbolism and cosmic correspondences, sacred art, the relationship between method and grace, techniques of concentration and meditation, the role of the spiritual guide, and human destiny. The book concludes with an epilogue on Schuon’s well-known thesis concerning the transcendent unity of religions.