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Quranic perspective on the nature of man: Video clips of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
The Universal Spirit of Islam: Keys for Interfaith Understanding
What is "Christian Spirit"?
Ernest Thompson Seton explains "The Gospel of the Redman"
Exploring "Timeless in Time" - a biography of Sri Ramana Maharshi
Insights into the early Christian Desert Fathers and Mothers
Spiritual Masters - East & West Series
Every Branch In Me: Who are we as "human" beings?
What bridges exist between Christianity and Islam?
Memories (video clips) of Martin Lings by Michon and Petitpierre
Slideshows
  A definition of the Perennial Philosophy Back to the List of Slideshows
    
Now that we have understood the particular ways in which perennialists use some terms, we can sum up our examination of Schuon's definition of the Perennial Philosophy in this way:
The Perennial Philosophy is the science of the Absolute and the relative.
If we understand the words "science," "Absolute," and "relative" as they have been used in the previous slides, the definition just above will suggest a great deal to us. If we understand the relationship of the Absolute to the relative (or, to put it another way, of the Divine to the human), we are able to resolve all sorts of previously irreconcilable problems, with the primary one, of course, being how the world's great faiths can all be valid expressions of a single Truth.

We know that the Perennial Philosophy sees everything from the standpoint of realities that transcend the level of material existence. Although its point of departure is always from the higher to lower levels of being, it must be stressed that the Perennial Philosophy is not a religion. It does not pretend to be one, nor can it accept people making a religion of it. It is a wisdom, not a practice. This is abundantly evident from its content and its insistence on the traditional, that is to say revealed, nature of valid doctrines and practices.

On the other hand, this science must also encompass the relative, in other words human existence and experience. It does this by being grounded, at the other end of its spectrum, in Tradition. As we saw in an earlier slide, this means that the Perennial Philosophy focuses on that which in human civilizations is still attached to its divine origin. So, when they discuss art, perennialists will naturally focus on the sacred art of a given tradition. Sometimes it becomes necessary to step outside of the continuum that connects the Divine to the human, and so the Perennial Philosophy will inevitably address modern deviations from tradition, such as the deviation that is profane modern art.

The next slide examines the language that perennialists have used to explain the Perennial Philosophy.
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