Basic Principles of the Perennial Philosophy

A first very simple outline of these basic principles was already given when we presented the “three truths which are absolute” mentioned in The Idyll of the White Lotus. This is a synthesis of what they tell us:

(1)The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
(2) The principle which gives life dwells in us and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent and is perceived by the man who desires perception.
(3) Each man is his own absolute lawgiver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
         These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them.
Let us now look at a somewhat more developed outline which is mostly based on a summary presented by Dr. I. K. Taimni in his book, Self-culture in the Light of Occultism (chapters I and II; pp. 3-29). In accordance with this summary, these are the principal doctrines of the Perennial Philosophy:
1) The manifested Universe is rooted in an Eternal, Boundless, Immutable, Ever-unmanifested Principle which is called the Absolute, Parabrahman or the Ultimate Reality. This Principle transcends the power of ordinary human comprehension.
2) Consciousness and power, or Spirit and Matter are not two independent realities but the two polar aspects of the Absolute. They are the first products of differentiation and the basis of Manifestation.
3) From this Triad proceed all the numberless universes which appear and disappear in an endless cycle of Manifestation and Dissolution.
4) The innumerable Solar Systems which form part of the manifested universe are expressions of this Ultimate Reality, each Solar System forming an independent unit and yet remaining rooted in the Ever-Unmanifested Reality
5) Every Solar System is a perfectly ordered mechanism which is not only governed by immutable laws of Nature but is the manifestation of a transcendent Intelligence which is called God or Logos.
6) The physical Sun and the planets connected with it are the outermost or densest part of the Solar System, there being several invisible worlds composed of increasingly finer matter interpenetrating the physical world.
7) The whole Solar System with its planets, visible and invisible, is a vast theatre of evolution on which life in its various stages and innumerable forms is evolving to greater and greater perfection.
8) All this stupendous process is taking place according to a definite Plan present in the Divine Consciousness and controlled and guided by various hierarchies of Beings at different stages of evolution.
9) Life evolves gradually stage by stage through the mineral, vegetable, animal and human kingdoms, the evolution being continued even after the perfection of the human stage has been reached.
10) Every human being is Divine in essence, contains within himself all the qualities and powers which we associate with Divinity in a germinal state and these are unfolded gradually, leading to an ever increasing perfection and expansion of consciousness which has no limit.
11) The unfoldment of these latent qualities and powers is brought about through the process of reincarnation, the soul incarnating again and again in different countries and under different circumstances to gain experiences of all kinds and then spending periods of rest on the superphysical planes to assimilate these experiences.
12) The accumulation of these experiences is the main factor in the explanation of the stage of evolutionary development reached by each individual human being. And it is this same factor which determines the differences in the evolutionary development between the great evolutionary kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human and super-human), as well as the extraordinary differences of evolution that are present inside each of these kingdoms.
13) The absolute essential Unity and the Diversity of manifested forms and existences are the determining factors to the understanding of the evolutionary process in all its stages, including the human. Thus, in the human kingdom these are the factors that are at the foundation of the principle or law of the Universal Brotherhood of humanity.
14) Not only the physical but all other aspects of the human life are governed by natural laws operating in their respective spheres. This all embracing law of cause and effect which is generally known as Karma makes man the master of his destiny and the dispenser of happiness or misery to himself. (A summary presented by Dr. I.K. Taimni in his book, Self-culture in the Light of Occultism, chapters I and II; pp. 3-29)