Delight at the end of an intense session with my dear friends and fellow travellers Khatijah Sanusi, Sulaiman Esa and Azizan Paiman who caught this moment so well. Sulaiman and I picked up and continued an important conversation that we had put on hold a decade and a half ago, when I curated his solo Insyrah at the Galeri PETRONAS . Our discussion brought together, the great aesthetician and metaphysician Ananda Coomaraswamy, his devoted biographer, editor and bibliographer Durai Raja Singam and visionary artist, theorist and administrator Ismail Zain. We traversed the topics of traditional art and contemporary practice in terms of our common interest – the Sophia Perennis.
According to Frithjof Schuon, the Sophia Perennis is knowledge of the total Truth defined in terms of the will to Good and the love of Beauty. The Sophia Perennis addresses, in the language of symbols, questions of the Divine Principle and of its universal Manifestation as the Good and as Beauty. It concerns itself with what one might call God and the way in which he presents himself in the ‘limited degrees and modes’ that constitute ‘the mystery of the Divine Mâyâ… ‘