Thursday, June 20, 2013

Subtle Contours of Truth

Philosophia perennis is the wisdom uncreate taught by Platonism, Vedanta, Sufism, Taoism, and other authentic sapiential teachings. Meister Eckhart expresses the understanding of the perennialists' use of the term "Intellect" as intellectus in the sense of spiritus:
There is something in the soul which is uncreated and uncreatable; if the whole soul were such, it would be uncreated and uncreatable; and this is the Intellect.
Intellectus is derived from the Latin verb intellegere - „to recognize“, „to understand“. Mysticism is the pursuit of communion with an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Mysticism includes both mystical doctrine and mystical experience. Mystical experience is the inward and unitive "realization" of the doctrine. This is the domain of spiritual method. In Hinduism spiritual method is represented by raja-yoga, the "royal art" of contemplation and union. The veda - the wisdom - is the scientiâ sacra, the sacred science. Here the saying of the Medieval French architect Jean Mignot applies with fullest force: ars sine scientiâ nihil est - art without science is meaningless. One cannot meaningfully or effectively practice anything, if one does not know what one is doing. Above all, one cannot practice a spiritual method except on the basis of previously comprehended spiritual doctrine which is both the motivation and the paradigm for the spiritual work to be undertaken. Doctrine without method is hypocrisy, and method without doctrine means going astray. This makes clear why doctrine must be "orthodox" - that is, in essential conformity with the subtle contours of truth. Doctrine born of nothing more than human invention, is one of the most powerful causes of going astray.