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The Sacred Worlds Series
The Universal Spirit of Islam: Keys for Interfaith Understanding
How can we understand Native American traditions?
Books about Buddhism
Science and the Myth of Progress
Treasures of the World's Religions
The Writings of Frithjof Schuon
The Fullness of God: Frithjof Schuon on Christianity
Light on the Ancient Worlds: A Brief Survey of the Book by Frithjof Schuon
Interview with Frithjof Schuon - on Art
  A Definition of the Perennial Philosophy Back to the List of Slideshows
The Perennial Philosophy is based upon the premise that the Absolute, and thus God, exists. Although it is an essentially spiritual perspective, it does not favor one religious form over any other in its explanations. It has no agenda to prove the rightness of one form over another. Indeed, from Dr. Stoddart's definition in the second slide, we know that the central idea of the Perennial Philosophy is that "Divine Truth is one, timeless, and universal, and that the different religions are but different languages expressing that one Truth."

So, this means that the Perennial Philosophy lends itself to any traditional thinker who is searching for metaphysical arguments related to the forms of her tradition. What it will not support is any claim for supremacy of her form above others. Thus, the language of the Perennial Philosophy strives as much as possible to be accessible to people from any tradition whatsoever, showing no favoritism.

In practice, however, one must choose one word or term rather than another. Because of the influence of its early twentieth century exponents, a number of terms are borrowed from Hindu metaphysics, for the simple reason that they express particularly well certain realities such as the many-layered relationship between the Absolute and the relative. There are other terms from Platonic philosophy and still others borrowed from Christianity.

The use of these various terms does not result in a patched together mish-mash of ideas such as occurs in many New Age theories. Readers of perennialist writings come to realize that this is not an attempt to mix traditions together, but instead is an attempt to utilize existing terminology when it is appropriate. It is also an illustration of how various traditions are able to express one and the same Truth that transcends them all. These ideas, in different languages and different modalities, still point to one and the same Reality. When understood, they prove in a very striking way the power, mercy, and beauty of the Reality that communicates Itself to all of the traditions, favoring no one above any other.

It is the Perennial Philosophy that helps us understand the single 'song' despite the innumerable voices.
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