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Foundations of Post-Traditionalism and The Mystery and Its Philosophy of Life – Michell MacLaughlin (2017)

I ran into this book in the Kindle store and read it out of curiosity. It is presented as two books in one, while it is only 44 pages. In the book the author says he writes too much. Seven volume tomes, three part books. He does have quite a few titles available on Amazon, but none large. Perhaps he started with his massive works and then started to present his ideas in smaller editions, while the former are not available easily?

There have been so many avenues and attempts to unify the world’s religions, but thus far all have failed Now, however, I have founded this school of Post-Traditionalism, and I have succeeded in unifying our religious pursuits and understandings.

Quite a statement! However the author does say a bit more how and why he came to his “post-Traditionalism”, none of the ‘traditional’ Traditionalist authors are mentioned and I find little agreements to their writings. Perhaps there is a bit of the Schuon/Smith ‘transcendent unity of religions’, but outside Christianity, there are but few references to religion. Therefor I have not tagged this book as “Traditionalist”.

MacLaughlin has the odd term “Religion without religion” (written like that) which appears to be something ‘deeper’ than religion as such. “It is exactly what it says, getting rid of all dogma and superstition and all false notice of God, the universe and man, and keeping only the metphysic and the ethic that we have seen elsewhere in my work.” The author is usually negative about metaphysics (and thus strays from Guénon). He does not really get any clearer than this. He likes to speak of “virtue ethics, remaking ourselves as examples that others will follow.” Nothing very ‘practical’ though. I guess you do have to read his larger works for that, but where do you get them?

MacLaughlin tries to speak with some authority because “I have experienced this revelation and am now giving it to you throughout the whole of my work.” All in all I found this little book uninspiring, not too interesting, not too well written even. It certainly does not make me want to try other writings of MacLaughlin, which -I suppose- was the reason for publishing this little summary.

So I still do not know in what way MacLaughlin thinks to connect to Traditionalism and exactly how he thinks to save the world.


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