You Are That (.org)
The resurrection of my late lamented website (mostly) on spiritual matters.

Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy

"Just" the Table of Contents

[This essay was originally posted to]

The Condensed Version

Best known as the author of such works as Brave New World and The Doors of Perception (a quote from William Blake, and the inspiration for the name of the L.A.-based group The Doors), Huxley was a "dweller on the threshold," what Campbell called a "Master of Two Worlds." The title of this book popularized a religious term that appeals to many.

Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy is a tour de force. After an introduction, he groups passages from saints, mystics, and other religious thinkers together by the topics below, each beginning with its own introduction and ending with a sort of synthesis, with brief comments between most entries. Lots of favorites are represented here--Sri Ramakrishna, Aquinas, Otto, Laozi (here "Lao Tzu"), Augustine, the Upanishads, Kabir, Hui Neng, Eckhart, Rumi, Patanjali, the Buddha, the Gita, D.T. Suzuki--as well as lesser-knowns. But what a treat it is to see them all jumbled together!

Still, my favorite thing he ever said was this: "It's a little embarrassing that after 45 years of research and study, the best advice I can give people is to be a little kinder to each other."

As I look at this page in 2023, I have no earthly idea why I created it in the first place, over 17 years ago. The page consisted of nothing but the table of contents (the file name was pptofc--"Perennial Philosophy table of Contents"). Everything above the asterisks has been added.

But on second thought, just the chapter titles are evocative. think of each one as a "writing prompt" and imagine what a book of them, all fleshed out, would be like.

* * * * * * * *

    1. Thou Art That
    2. The Nature of the Ground
    3. Personality, Sanctity, Divine Incarnation
    4. God in the World
    5. Charity
    6. Mortification, Non-Attachment, Right Livelihood
    7. Truth
    8. Religion and Temperament
    9. Self-Knowledge
    10. Grace and Free Will
    11. Good and Evil
    12. Time and Eternity
    13. Salvation, Deliverance, Enlightenment
    14. Immortality and Survival
    15. Silence
    16. Prayer
    17. Suffering
    18. Faith
    19. God Is Not Mocked
    20. Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum
    21. Idolatry
    22. Emotionalism
    23. The Miraculous
    24. Ritual, Symbol, Sacrament
    25. Spiritual Exercises
    26. Perseverance and Regularity
    27. Contemplation, Action, and Social Utility

    [[Return to the Index]]

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