András László and Metaphysical Traditionality
by Ferenc Buji
Exactly at that critical historical moment, when modernity, becoming universal and total, was about to triumph over the traditonal order of values of the »old man«, in the form of the »traditional school«, a new view appeared on stage, which was not only able to save the values of the archaic type of man for this utterly antitraditional world, but was also a serious intellectual challenge to modernity as a whole. Moreover, even as the isolated units of traditionality were already fighting a rearguard action against the numerical superiority of modernitiy, the traditional worldview - with a sudden transposing of forces to another sphere - was even able to turn its ever weakening defence into an offence, thus proving that even if the truth of traditon can die away in time, following from its essential atemporality, somehow, it always manifests itself in the world of temporality: since there will always be men who keep guard over the sacred flame and pass it on to those who consider themselves worthy of taking it.
The traditional view and the school holding this view in the present overindulgence of views and schools - without any exaggeration - has a unique position: for while other schools, whatever their attitude towards the modern world or towards certain manifestations of it may be, criticise and attack it from a more or less common platform, the platfrom of the school in question is devoid of modernity; in other words, whereas all the other trends, schools and views attack certain aspects of modernity from inside modernity, the traditional school settled outside modernity-as-a-view-and-attitude, and beyond its having been formulated for modern men in a modern age, there is nothing modern in it. That is to say, metaphysical traditionality is the only view which is capable of looking at not only all modern phenomena, but also the totality of the modern world from the outside - and in the sense of having a view of it from above -, and judging it by a perennial scale of values the ultimate source of which is the Metaphysicum Absolutum itself, that is God.
A biography consisting of but the simple facts is of some value only in case of such persons who have not much to say. In other words, the more excelling one’s endeavours in the realm of spirituality, the less relevant the mere data of one’s life will be. Of course, this also applies to András László.
András László was born in Budapest, in 1941. Having finished his secondary school studies, he read Calvinist theology, but soon after starting he had to stop it because he was arrested. At first he was accused of »having played an initiating and leading role in organizing a movement to overthrow the popular-democratic political system«. Later his term was greatly reduced, so he was imprisoned only for four months. In the meantime - in 1959 - he got in touch with the only legal Hungarian organization that was able to satisfy the interest of those for whom theology in itself was not enough: The Buddhist Mission. In the beginning he was a student, then a lecturer of the Kőrösi Csoma Sándor Buddhist Seminary (later named Institute of Buddhology) between 1964 and 1968 - which functioned within the frame of the Mission. It was then that he got acquainted with Béla Hamvas, and for the coming five years - Hamvas died in 1968 - they had friendly and spiritual relationship with one another. The sixties, however, proved to be - for both of them - a trying decade from an existential point of view. László, for example, tried to make a living at some twenty workplaces: he worked for the Éttermi és Büfé Vállalat (Catering and Buffet Company), for the Aszfaltútépítő Vállalat (Asphalt Road-building Company), he was a handyman as well as a vanguard. In the meantime once again he did try to go on with Calvinist theology, but being dissatisfied with the atmosphere prevailing there he did not even finish the first year. Instead, he took up Catholic theology. As a laic student he finished the otherwise six-year curriculum in four years, between 1971-1975. Naturally he also kept in touch with the Buddhist Mission. In the year of 1975 he acquired his doctoral degree - from the West-German Province of the Mission - with a treatise titled Licht des Alls in Menschenwesen the Hungarian version of which - A mindenség fénye az emberben - was published in the very same year. Having graduated, he became a full-time professor of the Institute of Buddhology, where, until 1983, he continued to teach philosophy of religion - which, as a matter of fact, in his case meant lecturing on traditional Weltanschauung. In 1983 he broke contact with the Mission, and from then on he started holding public lectures - at first in private rooms only. Then, from 1988, when the political situation made it possible, he held public lectures and seminars so that he could present his ideas. He expressed and expresses his notions - in Budapest, Szentendre, Sopron, Nagycenk, Debrecen, Nyíregyháza, just to mention some of the places - about almost every question of utmost importance as far as human knowledge and orientation are concerned. Let us mention just a few of these: the relation of being and consciousness in the view of Oriental metaphysical traditions; the cosmic and metaphysical origin of man and his anthropological structure; the field of death and immortality; the mutual connection between cognition and action; the problem of transforming cognition as a function of consciousness; the conceptual foundation of metaphysical practice; the questions of spiritual deviations; the examination of the multifarious aspects of modernity as to religion, culture, science, society, way of life and functions of consciousness; the connection between the right-wing attitude and traditionality; the questions of liberty, democracy and liberalism; the relation of society and state, faith and knowledge; Tantric yoga; the metaphysics of sexuality; the relation of Christianity and universal tradition; the relationship between world crisis and crisis of consciousness; the metatheology of Sophia and Logos; the traditional concept of the arts; the metaphysical principles of Buddhism; the path from super-historicity through historicity onward to subhistoricity; problems of time and eternity as connected to metaphysical theory and practice.