Aldous Huxley - The Perennial Philosophy (Audiobook)


The Perennial Philosophy is a comparative study of mysticism by the British writer and novelist Aldous Huxley. Its title derives from the theological tradition of perennial philosophy.

The Perennial Philosophy was first published in 1945 immediately after the Second World War by Harper & Brothers in the United States (1946 by Chatto & Windus in the United Kingdom). The jacket text of the British first edition explains:[1]

The Perennial Philosophy is an attempt to present this Highest Common Factor of all theologies by assembling passages from the writings of those saints and prophets who have approached a direct spiritual knowledge of the Divine...[1]

The book offers readers, who are assumed to be familiar with the Christian religion and the Bible, a fresh approach employing Eastern and Western mysticism:

Mr. Huxley quotes from the Chinese Taoist philosophers, from followers of Buddha and Mohammed, from the Brahmin scriptures and from Christian mystics ranging from St John of the Cross to William Law, giving preference to those whose writings, often illuminated by genius, are unfamiliar to the modern reader.[1]

The final paragraph of the jacket text states:

In this profoundly important work, Mr. Huxley has made no attempt to 'found a new religion'; but in analyzing the Natural Theology of the Saints, as he has described it, he provides us with an absolute standard of faith by which we can judge both our moral depravity as individuals and the insane and often criminal behaviour of the national societies we have created.[1]

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