A Good Question

A few days ago while driving around Toronto with a friend, we started a conversation about what books we’ve been reading lately. I remarked that the current theme of Parabola’s Winter issue: Many Paths, One Truth, has led me to an inquiry into the point of view of writers of the “Perennial Philosophy”—a perspective shared by René Guénon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Frithjof Schuon, Huston Smith, and many others that embodies the timeless and universal principles underlying all the doctrines, symbols, sacred art, and spiritual practices of the world’s religions.

“What’s that all about?” he asked.

“Well, imagine you have a prism,” I tried to explain “and when you hold it in your hand it is clear and uncolored, but when you hold it up to the light, it’s refracted. Suddenly you see all these colors. So the idea is that Divine Truth is one, both timeless and universal, and all the different religions are like different languages expressing that one Truth.”

“That sounds accurate to me,” he said.

“I’ve just started reading into it so I can’t say that I have gotten really in depth on it, but it just seems like such a simple idea. Maybe too simple,” I said.

“Why does it have to be difficult? What’s wrong with simplicity?” he asked.

It was a good question. I had nothing to say, and we started talking about other things. Yet, I have continually returned to that question this week.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Jo Featreply
January 30, 2012 at 11:12 am

are you familiar Luke with the Tibetan dzogchen ‘great perfection’ teachings? – do have a look at some of the transcripts on http://www.simplybeing.co.uk
I really appreciate reading your blogs – blessings and gratitude to you – Jo Feat

Luke Stormsreply
January 31, 2012 at 10:59 am
– In reply to: Jo Feat

Hello Jo. Thank you. No, I just have a haphazard familiarity with the Tibetan teachings of Dzogchen, so thank you for the link.

All the best,


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