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  • Writer's pictureAmir Freimann

Paradoxical Perennialism

Perennialism is a perspective that views all spiritual/religious experiences, paths and traditions as different expressions of a single core of universal truth. My intuition is that this is the case.


The main criticism of perrenialism is that the spiritual/religious experience, like any experience, is unavoidably constructed and conditioned by the experiencer's cultural background. Therefore, the idea of a core of universal truth is speculative at best. And my intuition is that this is also the case.


Contemplating (during my morning walk) these two intuitively true yet contradictory understandings, I came up with a mind-twisting term: paradoxical perennialism.


Paradoxical perennialism is the understanding, that all religious/spiritual experience comes from a single core of universal truth, but that all we can know about that core is conditioned by the experiencer's cultural background. Therefore, we have no way of knowing anything about that core itself. Anything we think and say about it would be a product of our cultural and linguistic conditioning. It's a paradoxical knowing - a knowing of truth which cannot be grasped by the mind or expressed by language.


Which happened to be what mystics of all religious/spiritual paths and traditions always said.

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