PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY

CONCEPT

The concept can be summarised as:

One eternal Truth lies behind all religions and spiritual paths – this truth is formulated in words appropriate to the time and place – hence the many different beliefs.

There is One integrated and united Cosmos imbued with a wise creative energy of love and compassion.

This wisdom is available for the guidance of  incarnated humans through meditation and other spiritual practices

Aldous Huxley talks about it as follows`:

“Philosophia Perennis-  the phrase was coined by Leibniz:  but the thing – the metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds: the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality: the ethic that places man's final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being – the thing is immemorial and universal.”

“Rudiments of the Perennial Philosophy may be found among the traditionary lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions. A version if this Highest Common Factor in all preceding and subsequent theologies was first committed to writing more than twenty-five centuries ago, and since that time the inexhaustible theme has been treated again and again, from the standpoint of every religious tradition and in all the principle languages of Asia and Europe.”

 “In Vedanta and Hebrew prophecy, in the Tao Te Ching and the Platonic dialogues, in the Gospel according to St. John and Mahayana theology, in Plotinus and the Areopagite, among the Persian Sufis and the Christian mystics of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance — the Perennial Philosophy has spoken almost all the languages of Asia and Europe and has made use of the terminology and traditions of every one of the higher religions”

“The records left by those who have known the pure state make it abundantly clear that all of them, whether Hindu, Buddhist, Hebrew, Taoist, Christian or Mohammedan, were attempting to describe the same essentially indescribable Fact.”

BELIEFS

Aldous Huxley offered his version of the beliefs as follows:

“At the core of the Perennial Philosophy we find four fundamental doctrines.

First: the phenomenal world of matter and of individualized consciousness — the world of things and animals and men and even gods — is the manifestation of a Divine Ground within which all partial realities have their being, and apart from which they would be non-existent.

Second:human beings are capable not merely of knowing about the Divine Ground by inference; they can also realize its existence by a direct intuition, superior to discursive reasoning. This immediate knowledge unites the knower with that which is known.

Third:man possesses a double nature, a phenomenal ego and an eternal Self, which is the inner man, the spirit, the spark of divinity within the soul.

It is possible for a man, if he so desires, to identify himself with the spirit and therefore with the Divine Ground, which is of the same or like nature with the spirit.

Fourth:man’s life on earth has only one end and purpose: to identify himself with his eternal Self and so to come to intuitive knowledge of the Divine Ground.”

Annie Besant, of the Theosophical Society, phrases the ‘verities’ of the Perennial Philosophy in a slightly different manner:

  1. There is one eternal infinite cognizable real Existence.
  2. From That One, the manifested God unfolds from unity to duality, from duality to trinity.
  3. From the manifested Trinity many spiritual Intelligences guide the cosmic order including the lives of man.
  4. Man is a reflection of the manifested God and therefore a trinity fundamentally, his inner real self being eternal and one with the Self of the universe.
  5. His evolution proceeds by repeated incarnations, into which he is drawn by desire, and from which he is set free by knowledge and sacrifice, becoming divine in potency as he had ever been divine in latency