The Perennial Philosophy is a book by Aldous Huxley which gathers evidence for the existence of a timeless philosphy of the same name. According to Aldous Huxley, the Perennial Philosophy (PP) is a set of teachings found throughout the ages, everywhere in the world. The PP consists of:
- a metaphysics that "recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds."
- a psychology that "finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality.
- an ethic that suggests "man’s final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being."
Huxley suggests, "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." However, I would absolutely disagree that the PP finds its "fully developed" form in traditional religion. In fact, because of the revolutionary potential of authentic Connection Experience, traditional religions are attempts to obscure and sanitize the core elements of the PP to make actual Connection harder to accomplish.
Huxley recognizes the importance of Alignment without which the potentialities of the human mind may not be actuated. "In the ordinary circumstances of average sensual life these potentialities of the mind remain latent and unmanifested. If we would realize them, we must fulfil certain conditions and obey certain rules, which experience has shown empirically to be valid." or "ultimate Reality is not clearly and immediately apprehended, except by those who have made themselves loving, pure in heart and poor in spirit."
Huxley notes that those attempting to develop an "empirical theology" are doomed to fail. Suggests that one actually has to "directly apprehend" divine Reality in a state of "detachment, charity and humility" if one is to be able to provide a proper revelation. "they are doomed to the perpetual stultification of their best efforts" and "The self-validating certainty of direct awareness cannot in the very nature of things be achieved except by those equipped with the moral ‘astrolabe of God’s mysteries’" and "mysteries’. If one is not oneself a sage or saint, the best thing one can do, in the field of metaphysics, is to study the works of those who were, and who, because they had modified their merely human mode of being, were capable of a more than merely human kind and amount of knowledge." I believe there is some truth to this. The word God means one thing to someone who has never Connected and quite another to somebody who has.