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Available July 2024

6 hours

The Perennial Philosophy Reloaded: A Guide for the Mystically Inclined

 

Dana Sawyer unpacks the philosophy-spirituality of Huxley, Watts, and Ram Dass (as well as our contemporaries, including Mirabai Starr and Richard Rohr) in ways readers will find intriguing, creating an original view of human nature, revealing why this mystical understanding of our world is called “perennial.”

During the 1960s and 70s, “Perennial Philosophy” was the most popular theory regarding what the world’s mystical traditions held in common, and it was touted as the best platform for understanding the nature of human consciousness, including how to expand it therapeutically with meditation, yoga, and psychedelic drugs. Consequently, books by Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts, Huston Smith, Stanislav Grof, Frances Vaughan, Ram Dass, and other Perennialists were widely available and sold like hotcakes. However, during the 80s, their shared perspective fell out of fashion.

The Perennial Philosophy Reloaded corrects several common errors in understanding the perennial philosophy while providing a short, up-to-date overview of the general perspective. The goal is to reveal the continued relevance of perennial philosophy during this time psychedelic renaissance, when many are seeking ways to interpret their experiences, inside an engaging narrative free of philosophical shop talk.

The result is a demonstration of now perennial philosophy applies to all who are interested in self-realization. This book will appeal for the millions today who are involved with mindfulness meditation, hatha yoga, Transcendental Meditation, Tibetan Buddhism, Kabbalah, Zen, Sufism, Shamanic drumming, Christian Centering Prayer, or their own DIY approaches to spiritual awakening.

 

Dana Sawyer is professor emeritus of philosophy and world religions at the Maine College of Art and author of biographies of both Aldous Huxley and Huston Smith. His primary expertise is in Hinduism and Buddhism but for more than twenty years, his work has focused on comparative mysticism, theories of the “perennial philosophy,” and the value of psychedelic experiences in the study of mysticism. He lives in Blue Hill, Maine with his artist wife and two daughters.