THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY
Published by HARPER COLOPHON BOOKS (1945) (previous printing stated 1944)
Measures 8x5 inches Weighs 12 ounces
Condition: Fair, great reading copy.
Cover is detaching from text block, but text block is tight in binding.
Else, pages are clean. Will display nicely.
That Art Thou
IN STUDYING the Perennial Philosophy we can begin either at
the bottom, with practice and morality; or at the top, with
a consideration of metaphysical truths; or, finally, in the
middle, at the focal point where mind and matter, action and
thought have their meeting place in human psychology.
The lower gate is that preferred by strictly practical teachers
—men who, like Gautama Buddha, have no use for specula
tion and whose primary concern is to put out in men's hearts
the hideous fires of greed, resentment and infatuation.
Through the upper gate go those whose vocation it is to think
and speculate—the born philosophers and theologians. The
middle gate gives entrance to the exponents of what has been
called "spiritual religion*'—the devout contemplatives of
India, the Sufis of Islam, the Catholic mystics of the later
Middle Ages, and, in the Protestant tradition, such men as
Denk and Franck and Castellio, as Everard and John Smith
and the first Quakers and William Law.
It is through this central door, and just because it is cen
tral, that we shall make our entry into the subject matter of
this book. The psychology of the Perennial Philosophy has
its source in metaphysics and issues logically in a character
istic way of life and system of ethics. Starting from this mid
point of doctrine, it is easy for the mind to move in either di
-In the present section we shall confine our attention to but
a single feature of this traditional psychology—the most im
portant, the most emphatically insisted upon by all exponents
of the Perennial Philosophy and, we may add, the least psy-
cnoiogical For the doctrine that is to be illustrated in this
section belongs to autology rather than psychology—to the
science, not of the personal ego, but of that eternal Self in the
ocptn of particular, individualized selves, and identical with,
or at least akin to, the divine Ground. Based upon the direct
experience of those who have fulfilled the necessary conditions