Метафизический смысл критики ориентализма в трудах Рене Генона
This article is devoted to the critical arguments against orientalism put forward by the French mystic Réne Guénon (1886–1951) in his three books: A General Introduction to the Study of Hindu Teachings (1921), East and West (1924), Man and His Realization according to Vedanta (1925), and in the paper Eastern Metaphysics (1925). These arguments have rarely attracted the attention of researchers, and yet they occupy an important place in the methodology of Génon's justification of his “true metaphysics” which is one more attempt to return to man his proper human existence, broken in the modern world into different forms – Eastern and Western civilizations. The two types of civilizations are in a state of ruinous confrontation all the time. In the introduction of the article, Guénon's anti-orientalist ideas are correlated with the criticism of orientalism by E. Said (1935–2003), which had a great influence on Oriental studies of the second half of the twentieth century. The main part touches on the cultural context of the esotericist's ideological search, and it marks the source of his metaphysics in the idea of contrasting Modernity and Tradition.
Guénon criticizes the widespread belittling of traditional Eastern cultures by the Western people, and the “dogmas” of civilization, progress and the existence of only one type of humanity moving along the steps of the only possible progress based on reason and rational sciences. For the thinker, the understanding of culture as the progress is flawed, and Western civilization is not a model for the other civilizations, but it is an anomaly of development. As long as the Westerners in general, and the Orientalist scientists, in particular, who study the East with prejudice, without the desire to reach a genuine understanding of the meanings of Tradition as a form of integral metaphysical knowledge, do not get rid of their “dogmas”, the confrontation between East and West will persist. Guénon often finds his critical arguments in the works of professional orientalists (Eugène Burnouf, Max Müller) and philosophers (G.W. Leibniz). He demonstrates the mistakes they made which destroy the foundations of the orientalist approach.