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Philosophy

The Theosophical Society in America
KNOWLEDGE AS A FUNCTION OF BEING
By Aldous Huxley

The following excerpts are taken from the Introduction of The Perennial Philosophy, first published in 1944. Italics and bold fonts have been added for emphasis.

* * * * * * *

PHILOSOPHIA PERENNIS—the phrase was coined by Leibniz; 1 but the thing—the metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality; the ethic that places man’s final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being—the thing is immemorial and universal.

Rudiments of the Perennial Philosophy may be found among the traditional lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions. A version of this Highest Common Factor in all preceding and subAldous Huxley sequent theologies was first committed to writing more than twenty-five centuries ago, and since that time the inexhaustible theme has been treated again and again, from the standpoint of every religious tradition and in all the principal languages of Asia and Europe.

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  1. To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour.
  2. To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy and science.
  3. To investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in humanity.

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