The Perennial Philosophy

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Paperback, 312 pages
Harper & Row, 1990

An inspired gathering of religious writings that reveals the "divine reality" common to all faiths, collected by Aldous Huxley.  The Perennial Philosophy, Aldous Huxley writes, "may be found among the traditional lore of peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions."

With great wit and stunning intellect—drawing on a diverse array of faiths, including Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christian mysticism, and Islam—Huxley examines the spiritual beliefs of various religious traditions and explains how they are united by a common human yearning to experience the divine. The Perennial Philosophy includes selections from Meister Eckhart, Rumi, and Lao Tzu, as well as the Bhagavad Gita, Tibetan Book of the Dead, Diamond Sutra, and Upanishads, among many others.

Editorial Reviews

"It is important to say that even an agnostic...can read this book with joy.  It is the masterpiece of all anthologies.  As Mr. Huxley has proved before, he can find and frame rare beauty in literature, and here, long before Freud, writers are quoted who combine beauty with proud psychology."  --New York Times

"I am amazed at the range of the author's knowledge....It is both an anthology and an interpretation of the supreme mystics, East and west.  There are well-known books on Western mysticism.  There are studies of Oriental and Mohammedan mysticism, but this is the first time that anybody has adequately covered the entire field and showed an equal familiarity with all fields.  It is a magnificent achievement."  --Rufus M. Jones

"Mr. Huxley writes as well as ever, occasionally with brilliance and wit, but now and then, in his absorption and other-worldliness, he soars clean out of sight." --The New Yorker

About the Author

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) was an English novelist, poet, essayist, and dramatist best known for his dystopian 1932 book Brave New World, set in a prescient, futuristic London and long a staple of middle-school curricula. By the end of his life, Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the preeminent intellectuals of his era and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in seven separate years.