The Perennial Philosophy
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An inspired gathering of religious writings that reveals the "divine reality" common to all faiths, collected by Aldous Huxley
"The Perennial Philosophy," Aldous Huxley writes, "may be found among the traditional lore of peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions."
With great wit and stunning intellect—drawing on a diverse array of faiths, including Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christian mysticism, and Islam—Huxley examines the spiritual beliefs of various religious traditions and explains how they are united by a common human yearning to experience the divine. The Perennial Philosophy includes selections from Meister Eckhart, Rumi, and Lao Tzu, as well as the Bhagavad Gita, Tibetan Book of the Dead, Diamond Sutra, and Upanishads, among many others.
impediments in the way of the sight of God in His purity. J. J. Olier Coming as it does from a devout Catholic of the Counter- may seem somewhat startling. But we must remember that Olier (who was a man of saintly life and one of the most influential religious teachers of the seventeenth century) is speaking here about a state of consciousness, to which few people ever come. To those on the ordinary levels of being he recommends other modes of knowledge. One of his penitents, for
writings of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and most of the other major and minor religions of the world, and who by every theocentric saint and spiritual reformer has ever lived out and expounded the principles of the Perennial Philosophy. least as But this 'self-naughting' is by anyone who knows what he an end in itself. It is never (at talking about) regarded possesses merely an instrumental value, means to something else. In the words of one whom we have often had occasion to
rather ashamed of himself, lacks the energy and the motive to do much harm except to his own body, mind and spirit; the former, because he has all the secondary virtues and looks : THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY ii6 those who are not like himself, is morally equipped and to be able to do harm on the very largest scale and with a perfectly untroubled conscience. These are obvious facts ; and yet, in the current religious jargon of our day the down on to wish word 'immoral' reserved almost
and notions, not according to Tao which is the Great Way, the Logos, the Nature of Things, as it manifests itself on every plane from the physical, up through the animal and the mental, to the spiritual. Enlightenment comes when we give up self-will and make ourselves docile to the workings of Tag in the world around us and in our own bodies, minds and spirits. Sometimes the Taoist philosophers write as though they believed in Rousseau's Noble Savage, and (being Chinese and therefore much more
practice of polytheism.) In their turn, technological discoveries have resulted in mass-production ; ous, cannot be kept going and mass-production, at full blast except it is obvi- by persuading the whole population to accept the somatotonic Weltanschauung and act accordingly. Like technological progress, with which it is so closely associated in so many ways, modern war is at once a cause and a result of the somatotonic revolution. Nazi education, which was specifically education for