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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Only Connect

At heart, I am a Neo-Perennialist.

This is a term I made up to describe my peculiar "twist" on the well-known Perennial Philosophy. Here's my formulation of classical perennialism:

1. There is something bigger than myself

2. I either am separated from it (in Western thinking) or seem separated from it (in Eastern thinking).

3. There are things I can do to become closer to it.

4. To the extent I do so, I will live a happier, richer, fuller life.

The implication in the usual concept of perennialism is that the "something bigger" is God, or Brahman, or Buddha Nature, or some other religious ultimate.

But some of us aren't ready to go that far. I envision Neo-Perennialism as a more "user-friendly" way. Here, the "something" can be one's family, one's culture, "Mother Nature," mental health, Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and so on.

In other words, if you're not ready for the "God thing," at least connect to SOMEthing bigger. See yourself in a context, in a web of relationships, as a "part of the whole."

When you can do that, you'll have that richer, fuller life.

And you'll be happier.

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