The Truth about Perennial Philosophy

Tom Facchine


Channel: Tom Facchine

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The perennial philosophy is very appealing to many people that I've had the benefit of reading some books on perennialism, this summer, and this year, it basically puts forth the idea that we don't have to choose one tradition as long as we choose a tradition, right. They're all sort of different manifestations of some sort of primordial truth or primordial philosophy or perennial philosophy. And no matter which one we choose is going to get us to the top and this sort of perspective, there's a historical dimension to it. And then there's sort of an epistemic dimension to it that needs to be talked about the one historical dimension to it is that this is something that occurred

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or gained traction in post Christian Europe and America, as Christianity was being kind of refuted and exposed for being a, let's just say, not entirely fabricated tradition, but a tradition with a lot of fabrications as part of it. So Christianity sort of was making a retreat when different sorts of doctrines that the church had doubled down on or even found within the text of the Bible itself, depending on which version you follow, because there's not just one Bible. And so in retreat, if sort of culturally Christian people, it was almost a move to save face to be able to say, well, yes, this particular tradition that used to be ours does not have a monopoly on the truth. And it's not

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the only way, but neither are the others. Right? See how that works. And so really, whichever way you choose, it's equally valid. And it will lead you to the ultimate truth, this is very appealing, especially when it comes to today's you know, politically correct sort of environment. And you know, universalism, and tolerance, and all these sort of pluralism, right? Is a very, very appealing way to see things. But it underestimates and does not adequately, adequately analyze the intactness, or the degree to which these various traditions are intact and genuine, right? Because if we're going to take it upon faith, or at least upon assumption that we want to follow a tradition that is a

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reflection of the divine will, of the Divine wish, what does the divine the Creator want from us? And there's multiple sorts of choices, or there's multiple, multiple paths in front of us, okay, we need to go through a process of analyzing which of those are actually what the divine creator communicated to us, and which maybe began as a divine communication, but then things were added to it, subtracted to it, etc, etc, right? And we can't hasten can't be hasty to come to the conclusion that they're all like that. Right? Again, that's the Christian experience. Okay, there might be one out there that's not filled with fabrications, and accretions and, you know, distortions. And if you

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go through that process, like I have, and others have, you'll find that yes, Islam is is is the one Islam as the one that hasn't gone through that process of accretions and deletions and manipulations and distortions, like Christianity has, like even Hinduism, and Buddhism has, right like Judaism has, and all the other sort of what we call, quote unquote, world religions is the only one that's actually intact, that we can actually confidently say, is a genuine communication from the Divine from the Creator. Okay, so to throw out the baby with the bathwater, and to prematurely say, well, they're all like this. So whichever one you choose is going to be fine. That's not giving adequate

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attention. That's not requisite care, when it comes to putting yourself and choosing the right path. The second thing from the epistemic perspective, you know, you have to again, like go through those means of ascertaining okay, how can I tell if this is an intact tradition or not? Let's get into the nitty gritty, or the, you know, the different sorts of texts of all the religious traditions, who first wrote them down. What's the person's name? When did they live? Who did they hear it from? When was it an oral tradition? When was it passed down through writing? Okay, were those people reliable? Where were the manuscripts? Or were the manuscripts that we have now? How far back do they go? You

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got to get into the weeds? You know, you can't necessarily you can't, you can't be hasty and you can't be premature. You know, and if you want to do the work, if you want to find certainty, and if you want to find clarity, then yeah, you have to put in the work. And you have to get into the weeds a little bit when it comes to this stuff. And if you do, I'm confident that you'll see that Islam is unlike anything else.