Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Aldous Huxley and Perennial Philosophy

Huxley in his later years became immersed in mysticism, expanding on an idea of the "Perennial Philosophy" http://www.perennial.org/  .

In the introduction to a 1944 translation of the Baghavad-Gita, Huxley states:
At the core of the Perennial Philosophy we find four fundamental doctrines.

First:  the phenomenal world of matter and of individualized consciousness -- the world of things and animals and men and even gods -- is the manifestation of a Divine Ground within which all partial realities have their being, and apart from which they would be nonexistent.

Second:  human beings are capable not merely of knowing about the Divine Ground by inference; they can also realize its existence by a direct intuition, superior to discursive reasoning.  This immediate knowledge unites the knower with that which is known.

Third: man possesses a double nature, a phenomenal ego and and external Self, which is the inner man, the spirit, the spark of divinity within the soul.  It is possible for a man, if he so desires, to identify himself with the spirit and therefore with the Divine Ground, which is of the same or like nature with the spirit.

Fourth: man's life on earth has only one end and purpose: to identify himself with his enternal Self and so to come to unitive knowledge of the Divine Ground.
finally -- 
What do you believe?
Is it something that someone else told you?
Jiddu Krishnamurti would probably say "then you are living someone else's life".
In his book "Freedom from the Known"
In it, ultimately, self reliance is the ultimate goal
If I were foolish enough to give you a system and if you were foolish enough to follow it, you would merely be copying, imitating, conforming, accepting, and when you do that you have set up in yourself the authority of another and hence there is conflict between you and that authority. You feel you must do such and such a thing because you have been told to do it and yet you are incapable of doing it. You have your own particular inclinations, tendencies and pressures which conflict with the system you think you ought to follow and therefore there is a contradiction. So you will lead a double life between the ideology of the system and the actuality of your daily existence. In trying to conform to the ideology, you suppress yourself - whereas what is actually true is not the ideology but what you are. If you try to study yourself according to another you will always remain a second-hand human being.
A man who says, `I want to change, tell me how to', seems very earnest, very serious, but he is not. He wants an authority whom he hopes will bring about order in himself. But can authority ever bring about inward order? Order imposed from without must always breed disorder.
Perhaps we can take the journey together and compare notes, since to achieve freedom from all that is known, sounds like a lonely road.