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The Perennial Philosophy: An Interpretation of the Great Mystics, East and West Paperback – July 28, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics (July 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061724947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061724947
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) is the author of the classic novels Brave New World, Island, Eyeless in Gaza, and The Genius and the Goddess, as well as such critically acclaimed nonfiction works as The Perennial Philosophy and The Doors of Perception. Born in Surrey, England, and educated at Oxford, he died in Los Angeles, California.


More About the Author

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) is the author of the classic novels Island, Eyeless in Gaza, and The Genius and the Goddess, as well as such critically acclaimed nonfiction works as The Devils of Loudun, The Doors of Perception, and The Perennial Philosophy. Born in Surrey, England, and educated at Oxford, he died in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

I have read this book many times and find it more and more profound, interesting and challenging.
Giorgio Sagan
All religious and transcendental experience point the same way and Huxley proves it in his work; a transcendental and enlightening insight on this subject.
E. Zimmerman Cuevas
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be in touch with the Divine and grow in the spiritual life.
Doug

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

131 of 137 people found the following review helpful By E. Zimmerman Cuevas on January 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read this book 43 years ago. It impressed me because in those years, for me, everything was separate. Since I first read this book, (at least six times since then) I am now convinced that the mystical experience is identical, no matter which particular way you choose. I highly recommend this book to every soul who is uncertain about which way to go to find IT. You will learn that IT is everywhere no matter the path YOU choose. All religious and transcendental experience point the same way and Huxley proves it in his work; a transcendental and enlightening insight on this subject. This book is a must for the seeker, as well as for the enlightened, as a documented proof of the oneness of the Universal Truth.
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92 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Matthew on November 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
I found this book quite accidentally as the last thing on the floor of an aquantances apartment as I was helping him move, and it has totally changed my life. Never before have I come across anything that so eloquently brought together the pure essences of the worlds major religions in their pure and simple truth.This book is bound to upset any adherents to one certain religion, as it uncovers the binding truths of them all. It is no Bible, no Koran, no Torah, no Bhagavad Gita, and yet it is all of them and more. It makes no steadfast claims or demands as many religious/spiritual books tend to do. It gently unfolds its spiritual message in a simple and awe inspiring way. I could not recommend this book highly enough to anyone seeking a spiritual truth. I myself did not know I was, and it showed me more than I could have ever hoped to have seen.
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105 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Ross James Browne on February 28, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
_The Perrenial Philosophy_ is a masterpiece of English literature - one of the most important books of the twentieth century written in our language. It is the ultimate introduction to all forms of Eastern philosophical and religious thought. But it is more than just an introduction; it is a comprehensive and exhausting crash course in Eastern religion. This book is an indispensible guide to improving the quality of life simply through a change in attitude. There is an unreal amount of information crammed into this volume. It is in fact a "bible" of sorts. If our society were to be annihilated in some sort of catastrophe, and only one book were to survive for the remaining people to discover, this book would probably be the most advantageous one they could find. It may not be the most profound book ever written, but it is extremely valuble because of the amount and variety of historical information conveyed. It provides wisdom from the viewpoints of dozens of important philosophers and religious thinkers, and reads like some kind of greatest-hits albulm. There are other works that may be more modern and far-reaching, and others that may be more unique and individualistic. But the _Perrenial Philosophy_ accomplishes exactly what it set out to do, which is catalogue and explain profound quotes from a wide variety of great thinkers. Some readers might have preferred that Huxley interject more of his own ideas, but if you want to benefit from the wisdom of dozens of great authors without having to buy each one of their books (if they're even available), then I highly recommend that you buy this book.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
Some time in the last century, Thoreau lamented that the "Bibles of mankind" were neglected even among those making a serious attempt to understand the Jewish and Christian ones. In the years since, many anthologies and expositions of sacred writings have endeavoured to repair the gap, few perhaps as successfully as this one. Like a Boethius for the modern age, Huxley delineates the universal and timeless truths enunciated by the sages of preceding centuries, interspersed with his own perceptive and serenely illuminating remarks. This is a book to be carefully pondered and studied with others. I can think of no other which so deserves to be the Vade Mecum of the spiritual journey -- the road map to guide you onward. Ultimately your conception of the "perennial philosophy" may differ from Huxley's, but I am sure you will value his contribution toward its elucidation, and may well agree that several of his original passages merit inclusion in its eternal canon.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Butch on December 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Simply stated the Perennial Philosophy is "Thou Essence is That Essence". Each of us is a unique iteration of the Spiritual Source of the Universe. A microcosm of the macrocosm. Created by God as a godlike being for it takes a god to worship God fully. When I use the word God I could just as easily use any of the other names for the ineffable source of existence. The tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao. We are gods, but not the God, lest any man or woman should boast. To fail to see that we are a part of God is an illusion, to think that we are God is a delusion. The seer is intimate with a peace that passeth understanding. God is not only within ourselves, but within all other people as well, even the rest of Creation, God is omnipresent. Pride is a tricky devil. I am an aspect of God, therefore I must be God. Wrong dear solipsist. I am here too. And so are others. God is not One, God is a unitive One. "Totality is a unitive one." Hui-Neng. The Kingdom of God is a family. We are each a part of that which has no separate parts.

God is a synergetic whole, more than one but less than two. An irrational, beyond rational, whole between one and two, a paradoxical number, a numberless number. God is ineffable. This reality we find ourselves in isn't your dream or mine, we are however links in the great dream chain of existence. Our material Universe is a simulation, a learning tool for spiritual beings. An illusion conceals, a simulation prepares. The glass is half full, or half empty, you decide. Are you an optimist or a pessimist? As Teilhard de Chardin once noted, "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience". Essence is prior to existence. Spirit is prior to matter. Wu is prior to the body/mind complex.
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