The Underlying Religion: An Introduction to the Perennial Philosophy

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Martin Lings, Clinton Minnaar
World Wisdom, Inc, 2007 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 344 pages
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This is an anthology of 25 essays by the leading exponents of the perennialist school of comparative religious thought. It aims to be the most accessible introduction yet to the perspective of the Perennial Philosophy.
 

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The following summary of the sections in The Underlying Religion were excerpted from a review in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 2009:
"[Section One] describes the hiatus that divides the
sacred orientation of the traditional world from that of the secular and progress driven modern and post-modern world.… [Section Two] underscores the implicit limitations of modern science, its failures and destructive tendencies for not receiving its directives from divine principles utilized since time immemorial in both East and West.…[Section Three] gives a clear exposition on what is and what is not integral metaphysics according to the perennial philosophy which has nothing to do with ‘New Age’ spiritualities.…[Section Four] contextualizes symbols outside the pale of modern psychology or that of the ‘‘unconscious’’ from which they are commonly thought to originate rather than that of their true origin in divinis as are ‘archetypes’.…[Section Five] provides a revision and an expansion, mutatis mutandis of what has been commonly attributed and often wrongly so as the perennial philosophy or the ‘transcendent unity of religions’. It is through the perennial philosophy that true and authentic interfaith dialogue can precede for both the differences and similarities are taken into account without compromising the integrity of each tradition.… [Section Six] makes it clear that it is incumbent upon anyone on a spiritual path to live within a context of beauty for spiritual support vis-á-vis highlighting the inherent the dangers and pitfalls of not having such an integral milieu.…[Section Seven] provides important notes on spiritual guidance, complementing the previous chapters dealing predominantly with that of traditional doctrine."  

Contents

TRADITION AND MODERNITY
1
The Profane Point of View
11
Looking Back on Progress Lord Northbourne
18
TRADITIONAL COSMOLOGY
33
Evolutionism Titus Burckhardt
55
Modern Science and the Dehumanization of
70
METAPHYSICS
95
The Decisive Boundary Martin Lings
110
Paths That Lead to the Same Summit
217
Mysticism William Stoddart
230
The Perennial Philosophy Frithjof Schuon
243
Foundations of an Integral Aesthetics
251
An Introduction to Sacred Art Titus
258
Do Clothes Make the Man? The Significance
266
VIRTUE AND PRAYER
283
Frithjof Schuon and Prayer Reza ShahKazemi
295

Understanding and Believing Frithjof Schuon
141
SYMBOLISM
151
The Traditional Doctrine of Symbolism
157
The Language of the Birds René Guénon
172
THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY
201
A Letter on Spiritual Method Titus Burckhardt
310
Acknowledgments
331
Biographical Notes
339
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Martin Lings (1909-2005) was a renowned British scholar who taught at several European universities and the University of Cairo. He was the keeper of Oriental manuscripts in the British Museum and the British Library and the author of numerous books on religion and spirituality, including The Book of Certainty, What is Sufism?, Ancient Beliefs and Modern Superstitions, and the internationally acclaimed Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources.

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