The Perennial Philosophy

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'Truth is one', say the Upanishads, 'though the wise call it by many names'.

The Perennial Philosophy is the idea that all religions offer paths up the same divine mountain, which arrive at the same core mystical experience and encounter with the same divine reality.

This talk will explore the history of this idea, from Marsilio Ficino to the Traditionalists to Vivekananda, and how it was made famous by Aldous Huxley.

We will explore how Huxley's work helped to inspire the counter-culture and the field of transpersonal psychology, and how it continues to inspire the psychedelic renaissance and the booming 'spiritual but not religious' demographic.

We will also consider possible criticisms of the Perennial Philosophy - is there really a core mystical experience shared by all the great religious traditions, or does that idea ignore important cultural differences? Can one really equate God, Allah, Brahman, Tao and Buddha nature? Could divine reality actually be multiple, rather than One?

Jules Evans is a writer and broadcaster, and author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations (2012) and The Art of Losing Control (2017). His most recent book is Holiday from the Self: An Accidental Ayahuasca Adventure. His website is

This event is in partnership with New Acropolis, and is taking place at their building next to Union Chapel on Upper Street, near Highbury station.

You need to get your tickets through this link:

Tickets cost £15 (£10 concession).

Bring £5 if you want a copy of Jules' latest book, Holiday From the Self: An Accidental Ayahuasca Adventure.