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A Biographical Approach

At the beginning of the twentieth century the Schuon family, of Germanic origin but of Valaisan stock, had been living in Basel for some years. Paul Schuon, whose parents were Swabian, first emigrated to Alsace, after it had become German in 1870, following the Franco-Prussian war. There he married Margarete Boehler, who was Alsatian on her mother’s side, but whose father was originally from the Rhineland. They had two sons. The first, Erich, born on April 26, 1906, was to become many years later a Trappist monk under the name Father Gall. The second, Frithjof, was born on June 18, 1907. A violinist and a professor at the Basel Conservatory, Paul Schuon had formed a friendship during a concert he gave in Oslo with a ship’s captain named Frithjof Thorsen; it was to the remembrance of this friendship that his second son owed his unusual name from the land of fjords. (…)

From Frithjof Schuon, Life and Teachings, by Jean-Baptiste Aymard and Patrick Laude, State University of New York Press, Albany, 2004. This chapter was available on February 18, 2021, as a pdf, on the State University of New York Press website ( Buy this book clicking here.

A Sage for the Times

Frithjof Schuon was born in Basle, in 1907, the second son of German parents. His father, Paul Schuon, was an accomplished concert violinist and a professor at the Basle Conservatory of Music. The Schuon brothers were raised in an atmosphere redolent of medievalism, German romanticism, and Lutheran piety. Late in life Frithjof Schuon recalled the ambience of the family home, “nurtured by the Middle Ages, at once chivalrous, enchanted, and mystical. . . . Almost every evening our parents read to us stories of knights or Red Indians, as well as fairy tales and myths”. Erich, the elder brother, became a Trappist monk and spent most of his life in the Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont in Belgium. Frithjof was schooled in both French and German but left school at sixteen to work as a textile designer in Paris (…)

From the book Frithjof Schuon and the Perennial Philosophy (World Wisdom, 2010), by Harry Oldmeadow. Available at the website Buy this book clicking here.