The transcendent unity of religions-Frithjof Schuon-The book's main premise is thatall main religions share a common ground. This is actually the crux of the school of thought called Perennial Philosophy. By analogy, we can take the example of the duality between the platonic world of ideas and the world of appearances(the reflection of the ideas): the essence of of religions is the same but is dissipated into multiple forms and adapted to the culture of the civilization. Ideas are eternal, while their reflections are transitory, subject to the changes of space, time and causality. Although many objects are relatively distinct,they may be the shadows of the same idea or archetype from which they originated. And how should someone discover the essence of all religious ideologies? The author distinguishes between exoterism(the religious knowledge known to the masses) and esoterism(the knowledge known for the initiates). While the exoteric knowledge may be dependent on the culture, the exoteric one may be considered universal or transcendent. I have to admit that I'm already familiar with this unity of religions popularized intensely by the New Age movement. The New Age movement is obviously the monstrous product of the postmodern era where syncretism, hybridization and juxtaposition are the main characteristics of the zeitgeist.On the other hand, while the Perennial Philosophy bases its ideas on the true tradition, the New age movement is just a mumbo jumbo mixture between different pieces of every religions, pseudo-spiritualism, channeling, etc, or simply put-the monstrous creature of the dr Frankenstein of the religions.
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