work by Aldous Huxley should beaddressed to Chatto & Windus, 40 William IV Street,. London, W.C. 2. FIRST PUBLISHED SECOND IMPRESSION Author: Huxley Aldous (Huxley Aldous Leonard) Title: The Perennial Philosophy Year: Link download. The Perennial Philosophy. 1. Introduction. Philosophia Perennis—the phrase was coined by Leibniz; but the thing—the metaphysic that recognizes a divine.
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THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY By Aldous Huxley * Novels TIME MUST HAVE A STOP AFTER MANY A SUMMER EYELESS IN GAZA BRAVE NEW WORLD. The Perennial Philosophy is a comparative study of mysticism by the British writer and novelist Aldous Huxley. .. Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. Aldous Huxley believed the Perennial Philosophy (the philosophy of mysticism Note that Huxley uses "divine Reality" in the first two statements, and "the.
It is well-written and, as single-volume accounts go, a pretty good one. And buried within Huxley's sometimes frustrating notion that he is capable of uncovering the esoteric truth of esoterica are some pretty excellent observations and some very good writing.
For instance:"Samsara and Nirvana, time and eternity"; "Nirvana and Samsara are one"; for instance: "the path of spirituality is a knife-edge between abysses"; for instance: "to be diabolic on the grand scale, one must, like Milton's Satan, exhibit in a high degree all the moral virtues, except only charity and wisdom.
For instance, he identifies "political monism" as something very different to monism in its more genuine sense.
There is a cult of unity that is not the religion of unity, but is "only an idolatrous ersatz. Some of it is just having been obsessed with The X-Files and the esoteric in general, but never having donned a tinfoil hat or downloadd crystals. That's not so odd in itself. But mysticism? How can someone be interested in that but be almost anti-religious, and think that everything has a material explanation at some level?
I think Huxley's book has helped me understand my interest in mysticism. A lot of it has to do with how mysticism is not boring, but very interesting as a way of perceiving the world.
And there is also great ethical potential in all this, which is to an extent simply about a species of passivity combined with profoundly active awareness, in which one is neither an unaware imbecile nor an overactive shit-stirrer. I almost wrote "not boring as a mode of thought.
They do not revolve around the self, around your past or your future or your dreams and desires and attitudes. They revolve around the realized real, something almost indescribable and I cannot describe it or pretend to that happens when one engages in contemplative practice. And this practice and what happens within it are so fucking fascinating precisely because it's just something you have to do to get there and because it will dramatically affect your everyday experience of the world.
There is the possibility of pure -seeming awareness. Awareness without the ego's involvement. Experience of reality, in other words, without the mediation of time-oriented, result-oriented thought. This awareness is a way out of the self, a way out of what David Foster Wallace has famously called our default setting, in which I am and you are and everyone is at the centre of their own little universes, in which one's self is what processes all incoming information.
Huxley says: "there has to be a conversion, sudden or otherwise, not merely of the heart, but also of the senses and of the perceiving mind At the risk of sounding like the shittiest Beatle not named Ringo, imagine a world in which self-interest is not merely questionable, but is blasphemy, in which "individual self-sufficiency" is a thoroughly blasphemous idea. I am talking in terms of psychology.
Listen to the entire The Doors of Perception here:
That's important to emphasize. Yes, it's still my brain processing input. But what is different in the throes of the mystical experience is that the software running from the hardware let's pretend that's a valid way of looking at it changes entirely. Everything begins to look different. That is still a chair, but it is no longer my chair, my pain, my love, my anger, my ambition.
And that sort of dissociation a dangerous psychological disorder according to the DSM, that great manual of the Cult of Self is but a fraction of the larger picture.
Freud is more Fraud than ever before. Jung starts to make sense in a way previously inaccessible to me. This spiritual, or rather, intellectual, dimension is not to be identified with mere quantitative information, cerebral ability, or bookish study, since it is much more profound, and comprises, on the contrary, qualitative dimensions that involve the whole being of man, and not merely his mental capacity.
The Perennial Philosophy
Wisdom makes man think clearly, and live well, in accordance with the nature of things. Since the time when the influence and insights of sages such as Meister Eckhart and Dante Alighieri in the West, and Gregory Palamas in the Christian East, began to wane, a more and more emotional and conventional kind of faith has predominated, leading to a sentimental view of things which is situated at a level well below the capacity and the needs of the human mind.
Too often, intelligence has been envisaged as a manifestation of spiritual—or intellectual—pride, without its being realized that this is a contradiction in terms, pride being at the antithesis of spirituality or intellectuality.
True intelligence is characterized by the capacity to see things as they really are, and therefore by an implacable objectivity, which excludes pride, precisely. In this connection, Ananda K. The solution is once again to present religion in its intellectually challenging form.
Part of this turning away from their own religion comes from misinformation regarding the more profound and beautiful dimensions of Christianity, that is to say, its intellectual content, its spiritual practices, and its arts. One might mention, for instance, the unquestioning support it showed towards Marxism and Freudianism. If left completely to itself, purely cerebral intelligence ends up by being consumed in a sterile mental agitation, without utility or finality—as is abundantly proved by modern philosophy and art.
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Faith acts within us as a stabilizing element; it enriches and fortifies discernment. A realization that the two are necessarily partners was the norm during the Middle Ages, and has appeared intermittently since then.
The Perennialist authors support the vision that the intellective dimension is central to the human being; knowledge, profoundly understood, is the very heart of man. It does not espouse the idea that Christian spirituality as a whole can be equated with the voluntaristic mysticism associated with the great Spanish Carmelite Saint John of the Cross For example, the perspectives of Saint Francis of Assisi and of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux constitute a spirituality of a deeper and more contemplative order.
The early mystical theologian Clement of Alexandria c. Meister Eckhart, the German Dominican esoterist of the Middle Ages, together with 7 the sapiential poet Angelus Silesius , and the early mystical theologian Dionysius the Areopagite ? To know completely and totally means to realize what one knows.
The Perennial Philosophy
In all of the great world religions, this dimension has had important spokesmen throughout the centuries; in the case of Christianity, some of its luminaries have just been mentioned.
It was indeed in the West that the term Philosophia Perennis was first used, namely by Augustin Steuco, in the 16th century.
We can thus see that the notion of the Perennial Philosophy, from its beginning, was linked to Christianity and the Occident. Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, with his encyclopedic knowledge of Vedanta, Platonism, and Scholasticism, pointed out the profound convergence of the Greek, Christian, and Oriental traditions, especially in the fields of philosophy and art. Titus Burckhardt, for his part, made a fresh evaluation of sacred art, whose patrimony he demonstrated in all its splendor, especially in the Gospel manuscripts and the great cathedrals of early Medieval Europe, clarifying also their correspondences with the sacred arts of other civilizations, such as the Hindu and the Islamic.
The pivotal role of figures such as Dante, Saint Bernardino of Siena, and Saint Catherine of Siena in the understanding of Christian mysticism was also expounded by him.
Taking full account of its specificities and particularities, he situated it clearly among the world religions, and especially its relationships with the two other monotheistic traditions, Judaism and Islam. The profound significance of the different branches of Christianity, notably Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism, as well as some smaller branches such as the Coptic church, was brilliantly explained by him.
Finally, the place of virtue in the economy of spiritual practice was not forgotten: Schuon constantly emphasized the practice of humility vacare Deo , charity, and fidelity to truth as the conditions sine qua non of the spiritual life. His main works were written during the first half of the 20th century, and he manifested in them a discernment that exposed the errors of positivism, occultism, and spiritism or spiritualism.
Schuon was a philosopher, poet, and painter. His principal works were written in the second half of the 20th century, during the full deployment of the Marxist blitzkrieg and the Freudian, nihilist, and new-age relativisms.
Both authors showed that the seeds of the Perennial Philosophy are to be found in the contemplative dimensions of the traditional religions: in the Advaita Vedanta non-dualism of Hinduism, in Zen Buddhism, in the Kabbalah of Judaism, in the Hesychasm of the Orthodox Church, and in Islamic Sufism.
John; and also in the insights of the great spiritual masters throughout the centuries. The Perennial Philosophy envisages the Christian phenomenon in both the singular and the plural: in the plural, because it is considered in its diverse dimensions— 10 metaphysical, theological, ritual, moral, artistic, historical—and also in the context of its relationship with the other great world traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and the Native American religion of the Sun Dance and the Sacred Pipe.
Each of these religions manifests in its own way the two fundamental dimensions, namely, the exoteric the outward law, morality, conventions and the esoteric the mystical, the inward, the sapiential. Christianity is also envisaged in the singular, in its intrinsic universality and in the specificity of its doctrines, rites, art, and culture.Experience of reality, in other words, without the mediation of time-oriented, result-oriented thought.
Never forget we are one, that God allows us to participate in this sacred moment called life. Huxley himself seems to be blown away in enthusiasm and There is a lot to chew over in this book, I think I am going to have to come back for another going over.
This one was added to my reading list after reading Huxley's Brave New World. Huxley Aldous.
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