Saturday, June 19, 2010

Perennial Religion

"Man is hopelessly religious..."

On the one hand, there is no settling (in a final way) most "religious" questions. On the other hand, for that very reason, they are crucial to what it means to be human. Schuon seems to have been (like others before him) interested in getting to the very essence of ideation in the germination of sacred tradition. There are many barriers to this. One way of looking at this is to take tradition as a given, but a flexible, and potentially deeper, source of that given. There may be a way to change into more of what you already are. If Christianity was generated "ideationally" (see PA Sorokin) out of the idealistic corpus of Judaism, and if the process repeated itself during the Barbarian invasions, then it ought to be doable once again. See Chesterton's "five deaths of the faith" essay:
The trick would seem to be keeping the esoteric portion of a religion white-hot and creatively alive. The debates over the exoteric "tradition"would then be much easier. Something like that is occuring in America today, as conservatives in all denominations discover that they have more in common with faithful Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, or evangelicals than they do with the luke-warm in their own "congregation". The sharing of esoteric, subjective, mystic truth (however chaotic and haphazard and limited) creates a strong enough bond to attract attention across the theological divides (which may be proper ones).

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