Temenos Academy Papers 43
ISBN 978 1 9164818 3 1
We suffer from a peculiar kind of cultural amnesia today. Since the time of the
Reformation and the Scientific Revolution, we have increasingly lost awareness of
the rich wisdom tradition that for hundreds of years nourished the inner life of
contemplatives and seekers of truth. This wisdom tradition is often referred to as
the philosophia perennis or ‘perennial philosophy’. In both the West and East it is
articulated in manifold works of spiritual philosophy, visionary poetry and mystical
literature, harboured within pagan, Judaeo-Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist and
Taoist worldviews, and in the oral traditions of many indigenous peoples. While it
is expressed in distinctive and different ways, the perennial philosophy articulates
truths that are essentially universal and timeless, which help us to understand our
place in the cosmos and the deeper purpose of human life.
Jeremy Naydler holds a PhD in Theology and Religious Studies. He is a Fellow of the
Temenos Academy and tutor for the Foundation Course in the Perennial Philosophy.