By Protopresbyter Peter Heers, D.Th, Lecturer in Ecclesiology, Holy Trinity Seminary, Jordanville, NY

Introduction: The Devil’s Dichotomies and Their End

A tried and constant tactic of the enemy of mankind’s salvation in Christ is to limit man’s choices to two options, which are seemingly opposed, and to block from view any other possibility, or rule it out as impractical or untenable. For example, one is either rational or irrational, supra-rational not being an option. Or, one must be either blindly obedient or self-willed and rebellious, true obedience being rejected. Or, on a larger scale, to the Africans he presents a terrifying black magic and then for escape a “good” white magic. Or, for the impoverished masses, the greed of capitalism is countered and corrected by the “equality” and “fraternity” of communism. Or, for those who suffered under the authoritarian rule of papal Protestantism there is the self-rule and individualism of reformed Protestantism. And one could go on and list many other such false dichotomies in which both options are the enemy’s inspiration. Even today, with our current “Covid crisis,” the accepted narrative states that the only solution to a deadly virus is an experimental and potentially more deadly “vaccine” — early treatment with existing medicines being largely ignored.

In this way, the enemy has successfully manipulated Western man for many generations, from the time of the Great Schism until today, keeping him within a constant series of actions and reactions, like a pendulum which ceaselessly swings from one extreme to the next. All spiritual balance, the divine perspective, discernment of spirits, and the royal path of the Fathers was lost. In this chaotic state, for those who do not have the eternal perspective or see the A and Ω of history, it is impossible to determine where we are in the flow of history or where these events are leading us. For one who can see, however, this is a process of advancing dissolution, which is bringing mankind step by step closer to the fulfillment of the mystery of iniquity, to the inversion of Salvation in Christ and his supplanting by the Antichrist.

This dissolution of Christian tradition and unity in the West and the resultant caricature of Christ and His Church in Protestantism, whether of the papal or reformed brand, constitute the basis for the birth of the monster of modernity. By the end of the 19th century, the more robust minds in the West which were searching for a way out of the dead end of the modern, secular West looked to the tradition of the east, but alas not the Orthodox East, but the Far East. These Traditionalists thought to save the West from collapse by means of injecting oriental “tradition” and “metaphysics” as expressions of the “Perennial Philosophy” or sophia perennis. The juxtaposition of the straw man of modernist, nomalist “Christianity,” a la Protestantism, with the traditional cultures of the East, is yet another example of the enemy’s long list of false dichotomies which serve to keep man from communion with Truth Incarnate. Yet, unlike the previous extremes on the pendulum which served to confine and manipulate a Head-less, fragmented West, perennialism promises to bring an end to the extremes and to provide the final, “universal” answer to the problem of divisions, providing a “unity” which is found at once both beyond all Revelations and through them.

What is Perennialism?

Generally understood and referenced, perennialism is the idea that at the core of all the great religions is found the same mystical experience of Ultimate Reality. The Perennial Philosophy has its historical roots in the syncretism of Renaissance humanists like Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola, who suggested that Plato, Jesus, the Kabbalah and Hermes Trismegistus were all pointing to the same Divine Reality. Versions of Perennialism are also found in the transcendentalism of Emerson, Coleridge and Thoreau. Free Masonry, the Theosophical Society and Aldous Huxley’s 1945 book, The Perennial Philosophy, further popularized a universalist version of perennialism, and in the 1960s it became a cornerstone idea of the New Age.

What is of particular interest for us, however, is the development of perennialism in the 20th century, and in particular as it was presented through the Vedanta inspired Traditionalist School, especially by Rene Guenon, who most likely met perennialism during his years in the Masonic Lodge.

Whereas Huxley and others embraced a “mystical universalism,” the Traditionalist School, as represented by Guenon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Frithjof Schuon, and later by Titus Burckhardt, Martin Lings, Huston Smith, among others, is oriented to orthodox traditions and rejects modern syncretism and universalism. It is this school that this paper will reference for the reason that their works have clearly gained more attention and traction among certain Orthodox academic theologians and clergy.

According to the Traditionalist School, the perennial philosophy is “absolute Truth and infinite Presence.”1

“As Absolute Truth it is the perennial wisdom (sophia perennis) that stands as the transcendent source of all the intrinsically orthodox religions of humankind…As Infinite Presence it is the perennial religion (religio perennis) that lives within the heart of all intrinsically orthodox religions…[I]t is precisely this “sole religion” that Frithjof Schuon has called the “underlying religion” or “religion of the heart” (religio cordis), which is the heart of all religion…[and] which is of an essentially supra-formal, universal, or spiritual nature…In other words, the “underlying religion” remains transcendent vis-a-vis the religions, even while being a vivifying presence within them.”2

Thus, for the perennialist philosopher “Christianity is,” as Clinton Minaar writes, “very clearly different from Islam or Buddhism qua form; but it is one with them qua essence (or qua perennial philosophy).”3

It should be immediately apparent what potential this understanding of the religions holds out for the “unity” of mankind, but also for the lot of those who will reject this “unity” and insist on remaining with the unadulterated, Incarnate Christ. But I am getting ahead of myself.

It is very important that we understand the perennialist vision of things so we can spot it and discern when it is being promoted even among some in the Church. It can, perhaps, be better understood through a diagram:

Picture the image of a circle with the absolute at the center (the esoteric domain — mysticism, gnosis, union), several radii flowing outward to the circumference, its radii being various revelations of God, with paths also returning to Him, in Whom they are transcendently united. The religions, although united at the core, are posited around the edge of the circumference (the exoteric domain — forms, dogma, ritual), each separate and distant from the other.

From this diagram one can see that central to the perennialist theory is the question of esoterism and exoterism in each religion. Perennialist doctrine teaches that each religion has a formal, institutional aspect, which is the respective religion’s exoteric aspect, where they differ most profoundly; and each religion has an esoteric aspect, which exists in the spiritual methods of the religions, where they seem to draw closer together, and may even reach a point of identity. We will examine this idea further on, after first briefly presenting other aspects of the perennialist outlook.

The perennialist view of religion turns on the axiomatic notion of multiple and diverse Revelations, “which ‘crystallize’ and ‘actualize’ in different degrees according to the case, a nucleus of certitudes which…abides forever in the divine Omniscience”4.

But, this begs the question: what is the compelling reason that God wills multiple revelations of Himself which are manifestly divergent and apparently opposed? For Schuon, the reason is that humanity’s divisions require it. Humanity “is divided into several distinct branches, each with its own peculiar traits, psychological and otherwise, which determine its receptivities to truth and shape its apprehension of reality.”5 To these diverse branches, then, God addressed diverse revelations which were shaped by the peculiarities of each grouping of humanity:

“…what determines the differences among forms of Truth is the difference among human receptacles. For thousands of years already humanity has been divided into several fundamentally different branches, which constitute so many complete humanities, more or less closed in on themselves, the existence of spiritual receptacles so different and so original demands differentiated refractions of the one Truth.”6

Therefore, the Perennialists hold that God has assigned each of the “great world religions” to a specific sector or race of humanity, and “each is fully true in the sense that it provides its adherents with everything they need for reaching the highest or most complete human state.”7 Islam for the Arabs; Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism for the peoples of the Far East, Christianity for the peoples of the West; Judaism for a selection of the Semitic peoples, and so on.

This idea of God distributing revelations of Himself tailor-made for subsections of humanity, so crucial to the entire perennialist outlook, comes into contradiction to the plane witness of salvation history, beginning with the Day of Pentecost, at which the curse of Babel was overturn and the unity of all the races of men was actualized in Christ. In Christ the “dividing wall” was overcome and “so many humanities” were united, sharing as they do the one human nature which Christ put on and now sits at the right hand of the Father. As Fr. George Florovsky writes,

The Church is completeness itself; it is the continuation and the fulfilment of the theanthropic union. The Church is transfigured and regenerated mankind. The meaning of this regeneration and transfiguration is that in the Church mankind becomes one unity, “in one body.” The life of the Church is unity and union. The body is “knit together” and “increaseth” in unity of Spirit, in unity of love. The realm of the Church is unity. And of course this unity is no outward one, but is inner, intimate, organic. It is the unity of the living body, the unity of the organism. The Church is a unity not only in the sense that it is one and unique; it is a unity, first of all, because its very being consists in reuniting separated and divided mankind. It is this unity which is the “sobornost” or catholicity of the Church. In the Church humanity passes over into another plane, begins a new manner of existence.8

Prominent Ecclesiastical Leaders Expressing Perennialism

From the religious studies departments to the departments of State, and increasingly to the departments of theology and hierarchy, the “respectability” and “acceptability” of the Perennial Philosophy has in many ways made it the ruling spiritual philosophy of our time. Well known intellectuals have either been heavily influenced by it or have joined its ranks; everyone from Ken Wilber to John Tavener to Prince Charles, that famed pilgrim to Vatopedi.

The view, that God wills multiple revelations, was once found only among the scholar-devotees of the perennialists; it is now being expressed and shared by the most senior representatives of Christianity and Islam. In February of 2019 Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, signed a Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, during a Global Conference on the topic in Abu Dhabi. In this common declaration a major tenet of perennialism was stated:

“The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom.”9

The influence of perennialism, however, is not at all limited to the leaders of the heterodox. Orthodox hierarchs have expressed themselves in identical terms, practically quoting from the works of Schuon and Coomaraswamy. To quote a well-known Archbishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate who recently spoke to an inter-religious gathering:

“When you elevate one religion above all others, it is as if you decide there is only one path leading to the top of the mountain. But the truth is you simply cannot see the myriads of paths that lead to the same destination, because you are surrounded by boulders of prejudice that obscure your view.”10

It is hard to conceive of a statement more in-line with perennialism and the spirit of the age and more baseless and at odds with the phronema of the saints of God, the true initiates into the life of the Holy Trinity. The equality of religions, and their esoteric unity, and their salvific paths leading from the exoteric to the absolute — the hallmarks of perennialism — are all here. What is, however, of even more particular interest for us is the identification of fidelity to Christ, as the only Way to the Father, with bigotry and prejudice. This brings to mind the the judgements of two well-known Orthodox apologists: Fr. John Romanides, in his response to the Balamand agreement, and Fr. Daniel Sysoev, and his prediction of the future for Orthodox mission and persecution.

After the Orthodox at Balamand fell into delusion and extended full recognition of Latin sacraments, Fr. John perceptively recognized that, going forward, the only plausible explanation for the continued refusal by the Orthodox of inter-communion and con-celebration would be bigotry.

Even more insightful are Fr. Daniel’s statements. Fr. Daniel was a great missionary and his experience in preaching and teaching the faith to many heterodox, including the more than 80 Muslim converts which were made through his work, led him to see clearly the nature of the approaching persecution. The challenge coming will not be for Christians to deny the Divinity of Christ outright. The demand will be, rather, for Christians to accept the non-Christian religions as equally salvific paths to the One God. The Christians will be divided, with those accepting the proposition uniting in this way with the religions, and those refusing being persecuted as bigots and dangerous to societal peace and security.

A Brief Orthodox Analysis of the Perennialist Vision

What can one say, in the limited time allotted us, about the perennialist outlook? Firstly, with regard to the question of knowledge, gnosiology, it can be observed that although it is held that esoteric insights must be gained a posteriori, they are assumed a priori. What is essentially pure, rational speculation on the part of the writer – since he cannot, by definition, have a personal experience of every religion – is posited with exceptional, but unjustified, confidence (pride). Moreover, the religious perspectives represented by perennialist apologists are almost exclusively non-Christian, and especially non-Orthodox. This does not prevent them from assuring their readers that essentially, esoterically, the way of prayer, purification and communion are really similar if not identical across the religious landscape. It is very convenient for perennialism that the “unity of religions” lies beyond the esoteric-exoteric dividing line and thus is a reality that can never be empirically confirmed since each adherent must remain within his own religious tradition. It is, ultimately, then, a matter of trust in the perennialist “masters“ and one observes that even high profile converts to Orthodoxy retain high levels of trust in them, such that Orthodoxy is viewed through the prism of perennialism and not the other way around.

However, we should ask: is the sharp contrast between exoteric and esoteric even legitimate? From the Orthodox Patristic Tradition and experience of God do we have any basis to make such a sharp distinction between the forms and the Spirit? Orthodox realism does not allow us to separate the Flesh the Logos put on with the Spirit the Logos sent and which descends upon the forms of bread and wine to transform them into the Body and Blood which sits now at the right hand of the Father. Indeed, the transformation of these exoteric forms by the Spirit into Life Eternal takes place beyond the esoteric-exoteric “dividing wall,” where we, still in the flesh, ascend. It is precisely this “scandalous” particularity of the Incarnation and the Eternal Identity of the Logos with the Flesh He assumed that is a “stumbling block” for the religions of the world and sets the Body of Christ apart as Heaven on earth and no religion at all. In the Person of Christ the esoteric Absolute was made manifest in exoteric form, for “he that hath seen Christ hath seen the Father,” (John 14:9), and “through Him we…have access by one Spirit unto the Father (Eph. 2:18).

We have no eye-witnesses of the Logos who attest to His being in the form of a book, let alone the Koran, but rather, He, “being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:6-7). Contrary to the theories of the perennialists, the experience of the religions, especially Islam, is not that of a kenotic God, Who “being found in appearance as a man,…humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). Contrary, likewise, to the perennialist idea of a limited economy of salvation in Christ to one sector of humanity and to limitation of the Name of the Incarnate Logos to the “exoteric” sphere, and even to only a portion of it, we preach a Crucified Christ Who “God also has highly exalted” and given “the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2: 9-11)

In Christ’s Body, the Church, we have the unity of the earth and the heavens, of time and eternity, of the origin of Revelation and the manifest Truth, of the absolute and finite. Since the Logos became and remained sarx, the “exoteric” Personal mode of God is at once the “esoteric” “higher mode” of God. Since the Logos became flesh and the flesh put on Christ, the “exoteric world” ceased to be a qualified reality. The Logos which became flesh and sits at the “right hand” of God came, and will come again, to judge all men, and not just a sector of humanity, not on the basis of an esoteric, mystical, hidden spiritual law but on the basis of His Commandments which have been given for all to live by and in, for they are not created forms but uncreated divine energies.

Why does the Rise of Perennialism Signal the End of Ecumenism?

By now, it should be apparent that, with Perennialism we do not have ecumenism in the usual, popular sense, for the unity these philosophers speak of exists only on the transcendent plane – that of God, Who is the Transcendent Unity Himself. Hence, they are not working toward a manifest unity in truth, as does [supposedly] modern ecumenism, for the simple reason that they already recognize this unity as existing on the esoteric, transcendent plane and do not wish for, let alone see any need for it on the manifest exoteric, immanent plane.

The impossible task of creating a divinely beautiful mosaic of the Body of Christ from the many shattered pieces of Protestantism will shortly, finally be abandoned. The end of ecumenism as we know it is in sight. The “unity” the world seeks will be found in Perennialism’s trancendent unity of religions.

And this unity will be experienced as a grave temptation, which will visit the church worldwide, for it will obscure, in order to set aside, the Theanthropic Person of Jesus Christ and His Body, the Church. This will be the last temptation of history. It has been prophesied by Christ Himself in the Book of Revelation. He says, “thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10). As the great Elder Athanasius Mitilianaios tells us, “because this temptation will affect the entire world it will be the great adulteration of faith in the Theanthropic Person of Christ.”

Apocalyptic events are on the horizon. Just as the last generation of men will cry out for peace and security precisely due to their lacking it (and then the sword will fall), men who are now crying out for unity (indeed universal unity) — precisely because they lack it — will find it in perennialism, which gives them this unity almost effortlessly (without the Cross and crucifixion of the mind). Like communism, which could not satisfy the longing of men, due to its negative, repressive orientation, modernism’s syncretistic ecumenism does not satisfy men’s longing for a deeper, mystical unity of each man and mankind as a whole. Mankind will demand a robust, traditional and universally acceptable explanation (appealing to orientals) of how religion does not divide but unites mankind. Perennialism is poised to be the theoretical justification of many Christians (even “orthodox”) for the essential, if transcendent and esoteric, unity of religions under the Antichrist.

Finally the pendulum has ceased its swinging, for we are arriving at the 12th hour of history, the heart of the night of this world, when disciples sleep and traitors betray, and the Incarnate Christ, the Crucified One, is set aside for a cross-less Savior.


1 Lings, Martin; Minnaar, Clinton (2007), The Underlying Religion: An Introduction to the Perennial Philosophy, World Wisdom, p. xii.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid, p. xv.

4 Oldmeadow, Harry (2010), Frithjof Schuon and the Perennial Philosophy, Word Wisdom, ISBN 978-1-935493-09-9, page vii.

5 Oldmeadow, Harry, Traditionalism: Religion in the light of the Perennial Philosophy, Sophia Perennis, San Rafael, CA., 2000, p. 69.

6 Schuon, Frithjof, Gnosis: Divine Wisdom, Perennial Books, London, 1979, p. 29.

7 Cutsinger, James, “Perennial Philosophy and Christianity”:…

8 Florovsky, Fr. Georges, “The Catholicity of the Church”:, p. 3.

9 Source:…

10 Source:


Τὸ Τέλος τοῦ Οἰκουμενισμοῦ καὶ ἡ Ὑπερβατικὴ Ἑνότητα τῶν Θρησκειῶν

Πρωτοπρεσβυτέρου Πέτρου Χῖρς, D.Th., Θεολογικὴ Σχολὴ Ἁγίας Τριάδος, Τζόρντανβιλ Νέας Ὑόρκης

Εἰσαγωγή: Οἱ Ἀκρότητες τοῦ Διαβόλου καὶ τὸ Τέλος τους

Δοκιμασμένη καὶ σταθερὴ τακτικὴ τοῦ ἐχθροῦ τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ σωτηρίας τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἶναι ὁ περιορισμὸς τῶν ἐπιλογῶν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου σὲ δύο μόνο ἐπιλογές, φαινομενικὰ ἀντίθετες, καὶ ὁ ἀποκλεισμὸς καὶ ἡ ἀπόκρυψη κάθε ἄλλης δυνατότητας, ἢ τοὐλάχιστον ἡ ἀπόῤῥιψή της ὡς ἀνέφικτης ἢ ἀστήρικτης. Παραδείγματος χάριν, μπορεῖ νὰ εἶναι κανεὶς ἢ ὀρθολογιστὴς ἢ παράλογος: τὸ «ὑπέρλογος» δὲν τίθεται κάν ὡς δυνατὴ ἐπιλογή. Κατὰ παρόμοιο τρόπο, ἢ θὰ κάνει τυφλὴ ὑπακοὴ ἢ θὰ γίνει θεληματάρης καὶ ἐπαναστατικός, ἀποῤῥιπτομένης τῆς ἀληθινῆς, γνήσιας ὑπακοῆς. Σὲ μεγαλύτερη κλίμακα, στοὺς Ἀφρικανοὺς παρουσιάζει μιὰ φοβερὴ μαύρη μαγεία καὶ ὕστερα ὡς μέσο διαφυγῆς τὴν «καλὴ» λευκὴ μαγεία. Γιὰ τὸν ἐξαθλιωμένο ὄχλο ἡ πλεονεξία τοῦ καπιταλισμοῦ ἀντιμετωπίζεται καὶ διορθώνεται μὲ τὴν «ἰσότητα» καὶ «ἀδελφοσύνη» τοῦ κομμουνισμοῦ. Γιὰ ὅσους ταλαιπωροῦνταν ὑπὸ τὴν αὐταρχικὴ δεσποτεία τοῦ παπικοῦ προτεσταντισμοῦ ὑπάρχει ἡ αὐτοδεσποτεία καὶ ὁ ἀτομισμὸς τοῦ μεταῤῥυθμισμένου προτεσταντισμοῦ. Θὰ μπορούσαμε νὰ συνεχίσουμε ἀπαριθμῶντας διὰ μακρῶν καὶ ἄλλες πολλὲς τέτοιες ψευδεῖς ἀκρότητες στὶς ὁποῖες καὶ οἱ δύο ἐπιλογὲς εἶναι δαιμονικῆς ἐμπνεύσεως. Ἀκόμη καὶ σήμερα, στὴν τρέχουσα «κρίση τοῦ κορωνοϊοῦ», τὸ ἐπίσημο ἀφήγημα ἀποφαίνεται πὼς μόνη λύση τοῦ θανατηφόρου ἰοῦ εἶναι τὸ πειραματικὸ καὶ πιθανῶς πιὸ θανατηφόρο «ἐμβόλιο», ἐνῷ ἡ πρώιμη ἀντιμετώπισή του μὲ ὑπάρχοντα φάρμακα κατὰ κύριο λόγο παραβλέπεται.

Τοιουτοτρόπως ὁ ἐχθρὸς ἔχει χειραγωγήσει τὸν Δυτικὸ ἄνθρωπο ἐπιτυχῶς γιὰ πολλὲς γενιές, ἀπὸ τὸν καιρὸ τοῦ Μεγάλου Σχίσματος μέχρι καὶ σήμερα, κρατῶντας τον μέσα σὲ μιὰ συνεχὴ σειρὰ δράσεων καὶ άντιδράσεων, ὅπως τὸ ἐκκρεμὲς ποὺ ταλαντεύεται ἀδιάκοπα ἀπὸ τὸ ἕνα ἄκρο στὸ ἄλλο. Χάθηκε κάθε πνευματικὴ ἰσοῤῥοπία, χάθηκε ἡ θεία προοπτική, χάθηκε ἡ βασιλικὴ ὀδὸς τῶν Πατέρων. Μέσα σὲ τέτοιο χάος, ὅσοι δὲν ἔχουν τὴν αἰώνια προοπτική, ὅσοι δὲν βλέπουν τὸ Α καὶ τὸ Ω τῆς ἱστορίας, ἀδυνατοῦν νὰ καθορίσουν ποῦ βρισκόμαστε στὴν ῥοὴ τῆς ἱστορίας καὶ ποῦ μᾶς ὁδηγοῦν αὐτὰ τὰ γεγονότα. Ὅμως γιὰ ἐκεῖνον ποὺ βλέπει, αὐτὰ ἀποτελοῦν μιὰ διαδικασία συνεχοῦς διάλυσης, ἡ ὁποία φέρνει τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα σταδιακὰ ὅλο καὶ πιὸ κοντὰ στὴν ἐκπλήρωση τοῦ μυστηρίου τῆς ἀνομίας, στὴν ἀντιστροφὴ τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Σωτηρίας καὶ στὴν ἀντικατάστασή Του ἀπὸ τὸν Ἀντίχριστο.

Αὐτὴ ἡ διάλυση τῆς χριστιανικῆς παράδοσης καὶ ἑνότητας στὴν Δύση καὶ ἡ ἐξ αὐτῆς ἀποῤῥέουσα καρικατούρα τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ τῆς Ἐκκλησίας του στὸν Προτεσταντισμό, εἴτε αὐτὸς εἶναι τοῦ παπικοῦ τύπου εἴτε τοῦ μεταῤῥυθμισμένου, ἀποτελοῦν τὴν βάση τῆς γέννησης τοῦ ἐκτρώματος τῆς νεωτερικότητας. Κατὰ τὰ τέλη τοῦ δεκάτου ἐννάτου αἰῶνα, τὰ πιὸ γερὰ μυαλὰ τῆς Δύσης, τὰ ὁποῖα ἔψαχναν διέξοδο ἀπὸ τὸ ἀδιέξοδο τῆς νεωτερικῆς, κοσμικῆς Δύσης, κοίταξαν πρὸς τὴν παράδοση τῆς Ἀνατολῆς, δυστυχῶς ὅμως ὄχι τῆς Ὀρθόδοξης Ἀνατολῆς ἀλλὰ τῆς Ἄπω Ἀνατολῆς. Αὐτοὶ οἱ λεγόμενοι Traditionalists («Παραδοσιοκράτες») ἐννοοῦσαν νὰ σώσουν τὴν Δύση ἀπὸ κατάῤῥευση ἐμβολιάζοντάς την μὲ ἀσιατικὴ «παράδοση» καὶ «μεταφυσικὴ» ὡς ἐκφράσεις τῆς Διηνεκοῦς Φιλοσοφίας (Perennial Philosophy ἢ sophia perennis). Ἡ ἀντιδιαστολὴ τοῦ εὔκολα ἀντικρουόμενου νεωτερικοῦ, ὀνοματοκρατικοῦ «Χριστιανισμοῦ», ἀ λὰ Προτεσταντισμοῦ, μὲ τὶς παραδοσιακοὺς πολιτισμοὺς τῆς [Ἄπω] Ἀνατολῆς εἶναι ἕνα ἀκόμη παράδειγμα ψευδοῦς ἀκρότητας ἀπὸ τὶς πάμπολλες ποὺ δημιουργεῖ ὁ ἐχθρός, μὲ τὶς ὁποῖες κρατᾶ τὸν ἄνθρωπο νὰ μὴν ἔχει κοινωνία μὲ τὴν Ἔνσαρκο Ἀλήθεια. Ὅμως, ἐν ἀντιθέσει πρὸς τὶς προηγούμενες ἀκρότητες τοῦ ἐκκρεμοῦς ποὺ περιόριζαν καὶ χειραγωγούσαν μία ἀΚέφαλη, διασπασμένη Δύση, ὁ περεννιαλισμὸς (ἢ Διηνεκὴς Φιλοσοφία) ὑπόσχεται νὰ θέσει τέλος στὶς ἀκρότητες καὶ νὰ δώσει μία τελική, ὁλοκληρωτική, «οἰκουμενικὴ» ἀπάντηση στὸ πρόβλημα τῶν διαιρέσεων, παρέχοντας μία «ἑνότητα» ποὺ βρίσκεται ταυτόχρονα τόσο πέρα ἀπὸ ὅλες τὶς Ἀποκαλύψεις ὅσο καὶ διὰ μέσου αὐτῶν.

Τί εἶναι ὁ Περεννιαλισμός;

Σὲ γενικὲς γραμμές, περεννιαλισμὸς εἶναι ἡ ἰδέα ὅτι στὴν καρδιὰ ὅλων τῶν μεγάλων θρησκειῶν βρίσκεται ἡ ἴδια μυστικὴ ἐμπειρία τῆς Ἀπώτερης, Ἀπόλυτης Πραγματικότητας. Ἡ Διηνεκὴς Φιλοσοφία ἔχει τὶς ἱστορικὲς ῥίζες τῆς στὸν συγκρητισμὸ Ἀναγεννησιακῶν ἀνθρωπιστῶν ὅπως τὸν Marsilio Ficino καὶ τὸν Pico della Mirandola, οἱ ὁποῖοι πρότειναν ὅτι ὁ Πλάτων, ὁ Ἰησοῦς, ἡ Καμπάλα καὶ ὁ Ἑρμὴς ὁ Τρισμέγιστος ὅλοι ὁδηγοῦσαν πρὸς τὴν ἴδια Θεία Πραγματικότητα. Ἐκδοχὲς τοῦ περεννιαλισμοῦ ἐπίσης βρίσκονται στὸν ὑπερβατισμὸ τοῦ Emerson, τοῦ Coleridge καὶ τοῦ Thoreau. Ἡ Μασονία, ἡ Θεοσοφικὴ Ἐταιρεία καὶ τὸ ἔργο τοῦ Aldous Huxley The Perennial Philosophy (Ἡ Διηνεκὴς Φιλοσοφία, 1945) διέδωσαν εὐρύτερα τὴν οἰκουμενικὴ ἐκδοχὴ τοῦ περεννιαλισμοῦ καὶ τὴν δεκαετία τοῦ ᾽60 ἔγινε ὁ ἀκρογωνιαῖος λίθος τῆς Νέας Ἐποχῆς.

Αὐτὸ ὅμως ποὺ μᾶς ἐνδιαφέρει ἰδιαιτέρως εἶναι ἡ ἐξέλιξη τοῦ περεννιαλισμοῦ κατὰ τὸν εἰκοστὸ αἰῶνα καὶ συγκεκριμένα ὅπως παρουσιάστηκε ἀπὸ τὴν ὑπὸ τῆς Βεδάντας ἐπηρεασμένη Traditionalist Σχολή, εἰδικὰ ἀπὸ τὸν Rene Geunon, ὁ ὁποῖος σημειωτέον ὅτι κατὰ πάσα πιθανότητα γνώρισε τὸν περεννιαλισμὸ τὰ χρόνια ποὺ πέρασε στὴν Μασονικὴ Στοά.

Ἐνῷ ὁ Huxley καὶ ἄλλοι ἀσπάστηκαν ἕναν «μυστικὸ οὐνιβερσαλισμό», ἡ Traditionalist Σχολὴ, ποὺ τὴν ἐκπροσωποῦσαν οἱ Guenon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Frithjof Schuon, καὶ ἀργότερα οἱ Titus Burckhardt, Martin Lings, Huston Smith καὶ ἄλλους, προσανατολίζεται πρὸς τὶς ὀρθόδοξες θρησκευτικὲς παραδόσεις καὶ ἀποῤῥίπτει τὸν νεωτερικὸ συγκρητισμὸ καὶ οὐνιβερσαλισμό. Αὐτὴ ἡ σχολὴ θὰ ἀποτελέσει τὸ ἀντικείμενο τῆς παρούσης ἐργασίας λόγῳ τοῦ ὅτι τὰ ἔργα τους ἔχουν τραβήξει σαφῶς περισσότερο τὴν προσοχὴ καὶ ὀρισμένων Ὀρθοδόξων ἀκαδημαϊκῶν θεολόγων καὶ κληρικῶν.

Σύμφωνα μὲ τὴν Traditionalist Σχολή, ἡ διηνεκὴς φιλοσοφία εἶναι «ἀπόλυτη Ἀλήθεια καὶ ἄπειρη Παρουσία».1

«Ὡς Ἀπόλυτη Ἀλήθεια εἶναι ἡ διηνεκὴς σοφία (sophia perennis) ποὺ ἀποτελεῖ τὴν ὑπερβατικὴ πηγὴ πάντων τῶν ἐμφύτως ὀρθοδόξων θρησκειῶν τῆς ἀνθρωπότητας… Ὡς Ἄπειρη Παρουσία εἶναι ἡ διηνεκὴς θρησκεία (religio perennis) ποὺ ζεῖ ἐντὸς τῆς καρδιᾶς πάντων τῶν ἐμφύτως ὀρθοδόξων θρησκειῶν… Αὐτὴ ἀκριβῶς εἶναι ἡ “μόνη θρησκεία” ποὺ ὁ Frithjof Schuon ἀπεκάλεσε “ὑποκείμενη θρησκεία” ἢ “θρησκεία τῆς καρδιᾶς” (religio cordis), ἡ ὁποία ἀποτελεῖ τὴν καρδιὰ πάντων τῶν θρησκειῶν… [καὶ] τῆς ὁποίας ἡ φύση εἶναι οὐσιαστικὰ πέρα ἀπὸ τύπους, οἰκουμενική, ἢ πνευματική… Μὲ ἄλλα λόγια, ἡ “ὑποκείμενη θρησκεία” παραμένει ὑπερβατικὴ ὡς πρὸς τὶς θρησκεῖες, ἐνῶ παρὰ ταῦτα διατηρεῖ μία ζωοποιὸ παρουσία ἐντὸς αὐτῶν.»2

Ἑπομένως, γιὰ τὸν περεννιαλιστὴ φιλόσοφο, «ὁ Χριστιανισμός», ὅπως γράφει ὁ Clinton Minaar, «διαφέρει σαφέστατα ἀπὸ τὸ Ἰσλὰμ ἢ τὸν Βουδισμὸ ὡς πρὸς τὸν τύπο, εἶναι ὅμως ἕνα μὲ αὐτοὺς ὡς οὐσία (ἢ ὡς διηνεκὴς φιλοσοφία).»3

Ἀμέσως γίνεται φανερὸ τί δυνατότητες παρέχει αὐτὴ ἡ θεώρηση τῶν θρησκειῶν γιὰ τὴν «ἑνότητα» τῆς ἀνθρωπότητας ἀλλὰ καὶ τί περιμένει ὅσους θὰ ἀρνηθοῦν αὐτὴν τὴν «ἑνότητα» καὶ θὰ ἐπιμένουν νὰ παραμένουν μὲ τὸν Ἔνσαρκο Χριστό. Ἀλλὰ προτρέχω [τοῦ ἑαυτοῦ μου].

Εἶναι ὑψίστης σημασίας νὰ κατανοήσουμε τὴν περεννιαλιστικὴ θεώρηση τῶν πραγμάτων οὔτως ὥστε νὰ εἴμαστε σὲ θέση νὰ τὴν ἐντοπίζουμε καὶ νὰ τὴν διακρίνουμε ὅταν προωθεῖται ἀκόμη καὶ μεταξὺ ἀνθρώπων ἐντὸς τῆς Ἐκκλησίας. Ἴσως νὰ γίνει καλύτερα κατανοητὴ μὲ ἕνα σχεδιάγραμμα.

Φανταστεῖτε τὴν εἰκόνα ἑνὸς κύκλου μὲ τὸ Ἀπόλυτο στὸ κέντρο (αὐτὸς εἶναι ὁ ἐσωτερικὸς τομέας — μυστικισμός, γνῶσις, ἕνωσις), μὲ μερικὲς ἀκτῖνες νὰ ἐκπορεύονται πρὸς τὰ ἔξω, πρὸς τὴν περιφέρεια, οἱ ὁποῖες ἀκτῖνες εἶναι οἱ διάφορες ἀποκαλύψεις τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ μὲ μονοπάτια ποὺ ὁδηγοῦν πίσω σ᾽ Αὐτόν, στὸν ὁποῖον ἑνώνονται ὑπερβάτικα. Οἱ θρησκεῖες, ἄν καὶ ἑνωμένες στὸ κέντρο, βρίσκονται στὴν ἄκρη τῆς περιφέρειας, ξεχωριστὴ καὶ ἀπόμακρη ἡ κάθε μιὰ ἀπὸ τὴν ἄλλη (αὐτὸς εἶναι ὁ ἐξωτερικὸς τομέας — τύποι, δόγματα, τελετές).

Ἀπὸ αὐτὸ τὸ σχεδιάγραμμα καταλαβαίνει κανεὶς πόσο κεντρικὸ στὴν περεννιαλιστικὴ θεωρία εἶναι τὸ ζήτημα τῆς ἐξωτερικῆς καὶ ἐξωτερικῆς φανέρωσης τοῦ ἐσωτερισμοῦ καὶ ἐξωτερισμοῦ τῆς κάθε θρησκείας. Τὸ περεννιαλιστικὸ δόγμα διδάσκει πὼς κάθε θρησκεία ἔχει μία ἐπίσημη, θεσμικὴ διάσταση, ἡ ὁποία εἶναι ἡ ἐξωτερικὴ διάσταση ἐκείνης τῆς θρησκείας, ὅπου διαφέρει ῥιζικὰ ἀπὸ τὶς ἄλλες, καὶ ἐπίσης πὼς κάθε θρησκεία ἔχει μία ἐσωτερικὴ διάσταση, ἡ ὁποία βρίσκεται στὶς πνευματικὲς μεθόδους τῶν θρησκειῶν, ὅπου ἀπ᾽ ὅ,τι φαίνεται πλησιάζουν περισσότερο ἡ μία τὴν ἄλλη καὶ μποροῦν νὰ φτάσουν ἀκόμη καὶ στὸ σημεῖο τῆς ταυτότητας. Θὰ ἐξετάσουμε αὐτὴν τὴν ἰδέα παρακάτω, ἀφοῦ πρῶτα παρουσιάσουμε ἄλλες πλευρὲς τῆς περεννιαλιστικῆς θεώρησης.

Ἡ περεννιαλιστικὴ θεώρηση τῆς θρησκείας βασίζεται στὴν ἀξιωματικὴ θεωρία πολλαπλῶν καὶ διαφόρων Ἀποκαλύψεων, «οἱ ὁποῖες “ἀποκρυσταλλώνουν” καὶ νὰ “ἐνεργοποιοῦν”, σὲ διαφόρους βαθμούς κατὰ περίπτωση, τὸν πυρήνα τῶν βεβαιοτήτων ὁ ὁποῖος…ἐνυπάρχει ἀιωνίως στὴν θεία Παντογνωσία».4

Ἀλλὰ αὐτὸ ἀναπόφευκτα μᾶς κάνει νὰ ἀναρωτηθοῦμε: γιὰ ποιὸν πειστικὸ λόγο νὰ ἐπιθυμεῖ ἄραγε ὁ Θεὸς πολλαπλὲς ἀποκαλύψεις τοῦ ἑαυτοῦ του, οἱ ὁποῖες νὰ εἶναι ἐμφανῶς ἀποκλίνουσες καὶ ὁλοφάνερα ἀντίθετες; Γιὰ τὸν Schuon, ὁ λόγος εἶναι ὅτι οἱ διαιρέσεις τῆς ἀνθρωπότητας τὸ ἀπαιτοῦν. Ἡ ἀνθρωπότητα «εἶναι διαιρεμένη σὲ διάφορους ξεχωριστοὺς κλάδους, ὁ καθένας τῶν ὁποίων ἔχει τὰ δικά του ἰδιάζοντα χαρακτηριστικά, ψυχολογικὰ καὶ μή, τὰ ὁποῖα καθορίζουν τὴν δεκτικότητά του πρὸς τὴν ἀλήθεια καὶ διαμορφώνουν τὴν ἀντίληψη ποὺ ἐχει τῆς πραγματικότητας».5 Σὲ αὐτοὺς τοὺς ποικίλους κλάδους λοιπόν, ὁ Θεὸς ἀπηύθυνε ποικίλες ἀποκαλύψεις, οἱ ὁποῖες διαμορφώθηκαν ἀπὸ τὶς ἰδιαιτερότητες κάθε ὁμαδοποίησης τῆς ἀνθρωπότητας:

«…Αὐτὸ ποὺ καθορίζει τὴς διαφορὲς τῶν τύπων τῆς Ἀληθείας εἶναι ἡ διαφορὰ τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων δοχείων. Γιὰ χιλιᾶδες χρόνια ἡ ἀνθρωπότητα ἔχει ἤδη χωριστεῖ σὲ πολλοὺς ῥιζικὰ διαφορετικοὺς κλάδους, οἱ ὁποῖοι ἀποτελοῦν ἰσάριθμες πλήρεις ἀνθρωπότητες, λίγο-πολὺ κλειστὲς στὸν ἑαυτό τους. Ἡ ὕπαρξη πνευματικῶν δοχείων τόσο διαφορετικῶν καὶ τόσο πρωτότυπων ἀπαιτεῖ διαφοροποιημένες διαθλάσεις τῆς μίας Ἀληθείας6

Ἑπομένως, οἱ περεννιαλιστὲς πιστεύουν πὼς ὁ Θεὸς ἔχει ἀναθέσει κάθε μία ἀπὸ τὶς «μεγάλες παγκόσμιες θρησκεῖες» σὲ συγκεκριμένο τομέα ἢ φυλὴ τῆς ἀνθρωπότητας, καὶ «ἡ κάθε μία εἶναι πλήρως ἀληθινὴ μὲ τὴν ἔννοια ὅτι παρέχει στοὺς πιστούς της ὅλα ὅσα χρειάζονται γιὰ νὰ φτάσουν τὴν ὕψιστη ἢ πιὸ ὁλοκληρωμένη ἀνθρώπινη κατάσταση».7 Ἰσλὰμ γιὰ τοὺς Ἄραβες, Ἱνδουισμό, Βουδισμὸ καὶ Ταοϊσμὸ γιὰ τοὺς λαοὺς τῆς Ἄπω Ἀνατολῆς, Χριστιανισμὸ γιὰ τοὺς λαοὺς τῆς Δύσης, Ἰουδαϊσμὸ γιὰ μία ἐκλογὴ Σημιτικῶν λαῶν, καὶ οὔτω καθεξῆς.

Ἡ ἰδέα ὅτι ὁ Θεὸς μοιράζει ἀποκαλύψεις τοῦ ἑαυτοῦ του κομμένες στὰ μέτρα τῶν ὑποκατηγοριῶν τῆς ἀνθρωπότητας, τόσο κρίσιμη γιὰ ὁλόκληρη τὴν περεννιαλιστικὴ θεώρηση, ἔρχεται σὲ πλήρη ἀντίθεση μὲ τὴν ξεκάθαρη μαρτυρία τῆς ἱστορίας τῆς σωτηρίας ποὺ ἀρχίζει ἀπὸ τὴν Ἡμέρα τῆς Πεντηκοστῆς, κατὰ τὴν ὁποία ἀνατράπηκε ἡ κατάρα τῆς Βαβὲλ καὶ ἐνεργοποιήθηκε ἐν Χριστῷ ἡ ἑνότητα ὅλων τῶν φυλῶν τῶν ἀνθρώπων. Ἐν Χριστῷ τὸ «μεσότοιχον» ξεπεράστηκε καὶ οἱ «πολλὲς… ἀνθρωπότητες» ἑνώθηκαν, μιᾶς καὶ ἔχουν ἀπὸ κοινοῦ τὴν μία ἀνθρώπινη φύση ποὺ ἀνέλαβε ὁ Χριστὸς καὶ ποὺ τώρα κάθεται στὰ δεξιὰ τοῦ Πατρός. Ὅπως γράφει ὁ πατὴρ Γεώργιος Φλωρόφσκυ,

Ἡ Ἐκκλησία εἶναι ἡ ἴδια ἡ πληρότητα· εἶναι ἡ συνέχιση καὶ ἐκπλήρωση τῆς θεανθρώπινης ἕνωσης. Ἡ Ἐκκλησία εἶναι ἡ μεταμορφωμένη καὶ ἀναγεννημένη ἀνθρωπότητα. Ἡ ἔννοια αὐτῆς τῆς ἀναγεννήσεως καὶ μεταμορφώσεως εἶναι ὅτι ἐν τῇ Ἐκκλησίᾳ ἡ ἀνθρωπότητα γίνεται μία ἑνότητα, «ἐν ἑνὶ σώματι». Ἡ ζωὴ τῆς Ἐκκλησίας εἶναι ἑνότητα καὶ ἕνωση. Τὸ σῶμα «συνυφαίνεται» καὶ «αὐξάνει» ἐν ἑνότητι Πνεύματος, ἐν ἑνότητι ἀγάπης. Ὁ χῶρος τῆς Ἐκκλησίας εἶναι ἑνότητα. Καὶ φυσικὰ αὐτὴ ἡ ἑνότητα δὲν εἶναι ἐξωτερικὴ ἑνότητα, ἀλλὰ ἐσωτερική, ἐνδόμυχη, ὀργανική. Εἶναι ἡ ἑνότητα τοῦ ζῶντος σώματος, ἡ ἑνότητα τοῦ ὀργανισμοῦ. Ἡ Ἐκκλησία εἶναι ἑνότητα ὄχι ἁπλῶς μὲ τὴν ἔννοια ὅτι εἶναι μία καὶ μοναδική· εἶναι ἑνότητα πρωτίστως ἐπειδὴ ἡ ἴδια ἡ ὕπαρξή της συνίσταται ἀπὸ τὴν ἐπανένωση τῆς χωρισμένης καὶ διαιρεμένης ἀνθρωπότητας. Αὐτὴ ἡ ἑνότητα εἶναι ποὺ ἀποτελεῖ τὴν καθολικότητα τῆς Ἐκκλησίας. Μέσα στὴν Ἐκκλησία ἡ ἀνθρωπότητα περνάει σὲ ἄλλο πεδίο, εἰσέρχεται σὲ νέο τρόπο ὑπάρξεως.8

Ἐπιφανεῖς Ἐκκλησιαστικοὶ Ἠγέτες Ἐκφράζουν Περεννιαλισμό

Ἀπὸ τὰ τμήματα θρησκευτικῶν σπουδῶν μέχρι τὰ ὑπουργεῖα ἐξωτερικῶν, καὶ ὅλο καὶ περισσότερο στὰ τμήματα θεολογίας καὶ ἱεραρχίας, ἡ «ἀξιοπρέπεια» καὶ «ἀποδεκτότητα» τῆς Διηνεκοῦς Φιλοσοφίας τὴν ἔχει ἐν πολλοῖς καταστήσει κυρίαρχη πνευματικὴ φιλοσοφία τῶν ἡμερῶν μας. Διάσημοι λόγιοι ἢ ἔχουν ἐπηρεαστεῖ ἀπὸ αὐτὴν σὲ μεγάλο βαθμὸ ἢ ἔχουν προσχωρήσει στὶς τάξεις της· ὅλοι ἀπὸ τὸν Ken Wilber ὣς τὸν John Tavener ὣς τὸν Πρίγκηπα Καρολο, ἐκεῖνον τὸν φημισμένο προσκυνητὴ τοῦ Βατοπεδίου.

Τὴν ἄποψη ὅτι ὁ Θεὸς ἐπιθυμεῖ πολλαπλὲς ἀποκαλύψεις κάποτε μποροῦσες νὰ τὴν βρεῖς μόνο ἀναμεταξὺ τῶν λογίων τῶν ἀφιερωμένων στὴν Διηνεκὴ Φιλοσοφία· σήμερα τὴν μοιράζονται καὶ τὴν ἐκφράζουν οἱ ἀνώτατοι ἐκπροσώποι τοῦ Χριστιανισμοῦ καὶ τοῦ Ἰσλάμ. Τὸν Φεβρουάριο τοῦ 2019, ὁ Πάπας Φραγκίσκος καὶ ὁ Μεγάλος Ἰμάμης τοῦ Ἀλ-Ἀζὰρ Ἄχμεντ ἀλ Ταγιὲμπ συνυπέγραψαν τὸ Κείμενο περὶ Ἀνθρώπινης Ἀδελφοσύνης γιὰ Παγκόσμια Εἰρήνη καὶ Συμβίωση κατὰ τὴν διάρκεια παγκοσμίου συνεδρίου περὶ αὐτοῦ τοῦ θέματος στὸ Abu Dhabi. Σὲ αὐτὴν τὴν κοινὴ δήλωση διατυπώθηκε ἕνας μεγάς στῦλος τοῦ περεννιαλισμοῦ:

«Ἡ πολλαπλότητα καὶ ἡ ποικιλία θρησκειῶν, χρωμάτων, φύλων [ἀρσενικοῦ, θυληκοῦ], φυλῶν καὶ γλωσσῶν εἶναι σύμφωνη μὲ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ μεσ᾽ στὴν σοφία του9

Ἡ ἐπίδραση τοῦ περεννιαλισμοῦ καθόλου δὲν περιορίζεται στοὺς ἀρχηγοὺς τῶν ἑτεροδόξων. Ὀρθόδοξοι ἱεράρχες ἔχουν ἐκφραστεῖ μὲ πανομοιότυπους ὅρους, οὐσιαστικὰ παραθέτοντας ἀπὸ τὰ ἔργα τοῦ Schuon καὶ τοῦ Coomaraswamy. Ὅπως δήλωσε καὶ ἕνας γνωστὸς Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριαρχείου σὲ πρόσφατη διαθρησκειακὴ συνάντηση,

«Ὅταν ἀνυψώνεις μία θρησκεία πάνω ἀπὸ ὅλες τὶς ἄλλες, εἶναι σὰν νὰ ἀποφασίζεις ἐσὺ ὅτι ὑπάρχει μόνο ἕνα μονοπάτι ποὺ ὁδηγεῖ στὸ κορυφὴ τοῦ βουνοῦ. Ἡ ἀλήθεια ὅμως εἶναι ὅτι ἐσὺ ἁπλῶς δὲν μπορεῖς νὰ δεῖς τὶς μυριάδες τῶν μονοπατιῶν ποὺ ὁδηγοῦν στὸν ἴδιο προορισμό, ἐπειδὴ περιβάλλεσαι ἀπὸ κοτρόνες προκαταλήψεως ποὺ σοῦ ἀποκρύπτουν τὴν θέα.»10

Εἶναι δύσκολο νὰ συλλάβει κανεὶς δήλωση πιὸ σύμφωνη μὲ τὸν περεννιαλισμὸ καὶ μὲ τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἐποχῆς καὶ πιὸ ἀβάσιμη καὶ ἀταίριαστη μὲ τὸ φρόνημα τῶν Ἁγίων τοῦ Θεοῦ, τῶν ἀληθινῶν μύστων τῆς ζωῆς τῆς Ἁγίας Τριάδος. Ἡ ἰσότητα τῶν θρησκειῶν καὶ ἡ ἐσωτερική τους ἑνότητα καὶ τὰ σωτηριώδη μονοπάτια ποὺ ὁδηγοῦν ἀπὸ τὸ ἐξωτερικὸ στὸ ἀπόλυτο (σήματα κατατεθέντα τοῦ περεννιαλισμοῦ) εἶναι ὅλα παρόντα. Αὐτὸ ὅμως ποὺ παρουσιάζει ἀκόμη μεγαλύτερο ἐνδιαφέρον γιὰ ἑμᾶς εἶναι ἡ ταύτιση τῆς πιστότητας στὸν Χριστὸ, ὡς τὴν μόνη Ὁδὸ πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα, μὲ τὴν μισαλλοδοξία καὶ τὴν προκατάληψη. Αὐτὸ θυμίζει τὶς κρίσεις δύο γνωστῶν Ὀρθοδόξων ἀπολογητῶν, τὴν ἀπάντηση τοῦ πατρὸς Ἰωάννη Ῥωμανίδη στὴν συμφωνία τοῦ Μπαλαμάντ καὶ τὴν πρόῤῥηση τοῦ πατρὸς Δανιὴλ Συσόγιεφ γιὰ τὸ μέλλον τῆς Ὀρθόδοξης ἰεραποστολῆς καὶ διωγμοῦ.

Ὅταν οἱ Ὀρθόδοξοι στὸ Μπαλαμὰντ εἶχαν πέσει σὲ πλάνη καὶ ἐπεξέτειναν πλήρη ἀναγνώριση τῶν μυστηρίων τῶν Λατίνων, ὁ πατὴρ Ἰωάννης διορατικὰ συνειδητοποίησε ὅτι ἀπὸ ἐδὼ καὶ στὸ ἑξῆς ἡ μόνη εὔλογη ἐξήγηση γιὰ τὴν συνεχιζόμενη ἄρνηση τῶν Ὀρθοδόξων νὰ συγκοινωνοῦν καὶ νὰ συλλειτουργοῦν θὰ ἦταν ἡ μισαλλοδοξία.

Ἀκόμη πιὸ εὔστοχες ἦταν οἱ παρατηρήσεις τοῦ πατρὸς Δανιήλ. Ὁ πατὴρ Δανιὴλ ἦταν μέγας ἱεραπόστολος καὶ ἡ ἐμπειρία του κηρύττοντας καὶ διδάσκοντας τὴν πίστη σὲ πολλοὺς ἑτεροδόξους, συμπεριλαμβανομένων καὶ ἄνω τῶν ὀγδόντα μουσουλμάνων ποὺ ἀσπάστηκαν τὴν Ὀρθοδοξία χάρη στὸ ἔργο του, τὸν ἔκανε νὰ δεῖ καθαρὰ τὴν φύση τοῦ διωγμοῦ ποὺ πλησιάζει. Ἡ πρόκληση ποὺ ἔρχεται δὲν θὰ εἶναι γιὰ τοὺς χριστιανοὺς νὰ ἀρνηθοῦν τὴν Θεότητα τοῦ Χριστοῦ στὰ ἴσια. Θὰ τοὺς ἀπαιτηθεῖ ὅμως νὰ ἀποδεχθοῦν τὶς μὴ χριστιανικὲς θρησκεῖες ὡς ἐξίσου σωτήρια μονοπάτια πρὸς τὸν Ἕνα Θεό. Οἱ χριστιανοὶ θὰ διαιρεθοῦν: ὅσοι θὰ ἀποδεχθοῦν αὐτὴν τὴν πρόταση θὰ ἑνωθοῦν κατ᾽ αὐτὸν τὸν τρόπο μὲ τὶς θρησκεῖες, ἐνῷ ὅσοι ἀρνηθοῦν θὰ διωχθοῦν ὡς μισαλλόδοξοι καὶ ἐπικίνδυνοι γιὰ τὴν κοινωνικὴ εἰρήνη καὶ ἀσφάλεια.

Σύντομη Ὀρθόδοξη Ἀνάλυση τῆς Περεννιαλιστικῆς Θεώρησης

Τί νὰ πεῖ κανεὶς, στὸν περιορισμένο χρόνο ποὺ μᾶς δίνεται, γιὰ τὴν περεννιαλιστικὴ θεώρηση; Κατ᾽ ἀρχάς, ὅσον ἀφορᾶ τὸ ζήτημα τῆς γνώσεως, τὴν γνωσιολογία, παρατηροῦμε ὅτι, ὰν καὶ θεωρητικὰ οἱ ἐσωτερικὲς γνώσεις ὀφείλουν νὰ ἀποκτῶνται a posteriori, ἐκ τῶν ὑστέρων, ὑποτίθενται a priori, ἐκ τῶν πρωτέρων. Αὐτὸ ποὺ εἶναι οὐσιαστικὰ καθαρή, διανοητικὴ εἰκασία ἐκ μέρους τοῦ συγγραφέως (ἀφοῦ δὲν μπορεῖ, ἐξ ὁρισμοῦ, νὰ ἔχει προσωπικὴ ἐμπειρία κάθε θρησκείας), ἐκτίθεται μὲ ἐξαιρετικὴ ἀλλὰ ἀδικαιολόγητη πεποίθηση (ὑπερηφάνεια, ἔπαρση). Ἐπίσης, οἱ θρησκευτικὲς ἀντιλήψεις ποὺ ἐκπροσωποῦν οἱ περεννιαλιστὲς εἶναι σχεδὸν ἀποκλειστικὰ μὴ Χριστιανικὲς καὶ εἰδικὰ μὴ Ὀρθόδοξες. Αὐτὸ δὲν τοὺς ἀποτρέπει ἀπὸ τὸ νὰ διαβεβαιώνουν τοὺς ἀναγνῶστες τοὺς ὅτι οὔσιαστικά, ἔσωτερικά, ὁ τρόπος προσευχῆς, καθάρσεως καὶ κοινωνίας εἶναι πραγματικὰ πολὺ παρόμοια ἢ καὶ πανομοιότυπα κατὰ μῆκος τοῦ θρησκευτικοῦ τοπίου. Εἶναι ἄκρως βολικὸ γιὰ τοὺς περεννιαλιστὲς τὸ ὅτι ἡ «ἑνότητα τῶν θρησκειῶν» βρίσκεται πέραν τοῦ διαχωριστικοῦ τείχους μεταξὺ ἐσωτερικοῦ καὶ ἐξωτερικοῦ καὶ ἑπομένως ἀποτελεῖ μία πραγματικότητα ποὺ ποτέ δὲν μπορεῖ ἐμπειρικὰ νὰ ἐπιβεβαιωθεῖ, μιᾶς καὶ ὁ κάθε πιστὸς ἀναγκαστικὰ παραμένει ἐντὸς τῆς δικῆς του θρησκευτικῆς παράδοσης. Τελικὰ λοιπὸν εἶναι θέμα ἐμπιστοσύνης στοὺς περεννιαλιστὲς «διδασκάλους» καὶ παρατηρεῖται ὅτι ἀκόμη καὶ διάσημοι προσήλυτοι στὴν Ὀρθοδοξία διατηροῦν ἀρκετὴ ἐμπιστοσύνη σ᾽ αὐτούς, τόση ὥστε βλέπουν τὴν Ὀρθοδοξία μέσα ἀπὸ τὸ πρίσμα τοῦ περεννιαλισμοῦ καὶ ὄχι τὸ ἀντίστροφο.

Ὀφείλουμε ὡστόσο νὰ ῥωτήσουμε: εἶναι κὰν ἔγκυρη αὐτὴ ἡ ὀξεία ἀντίθεση ἐξωτερικοῦ καὶ ἐσωτερικοῦ; Ἀπὸ τὴν Ὀρθόδοξη Πατερικὴ Παράδοση καὶ ἐμπειρία τοῦ Θεοῦ ἔχουμε καμμία βάση γιὰ μία τέτοια ὀξεία διαφοροποίηση μεταξὺ τῶν τύπων καὶ τοῦ Πνεύματος; Ὁ Ὀρθόδοξος ῥεαλισμὸς δὲν μᾶς ἐπιτρέπει νὰ διαχωρίσουμε τὴν Σάρκα ποὺ ἐνδύθηκε ὁ Λόγος ἀπὸ τὸ Πνεῦμα ποὺ ἀπέστειλε ὁ Λόγος καὶ τὸ ὁποῖο κατέρχεται ἐπὶ τῶν τύπων τοῦ ἄρτου καὶ τοῦ οἴνου, μεταμορφώνοντάς τα στὸ Σῶμα καὶ στὸ Αἷμα ποὺ βρίσκονται αὐτὴν τὴν στιγμὴ στὰ δεξιά τοῦ Πατρός. Πράμγατι, ἡ μεταμόρφωση αὐτῶν τῶν ἐξωτερικῶν τύπων ὑπὸ τοῦ Πνεύματος σὲ Ζωὴ Αἰώνιο λαμβάνει χώρα πέραν τοῦ διαχωριστικοῦ τείχους μεταξὺ ἐσωτερικοῦ καὶ ἐξωτερικοῦ, ὅπου ἑμεῖς ἀνεβαίνουμε ὅσω ἀκόμη εἴμαστε ἐν σαρκί. Αὐτὴ ἀκριβῶς ἡ «σκανδαλώδης» ἰδιαιτερότητα τῆς Ἐνσαρκώσεως καὶ τῆς Αἰωνίου Ταυτότητας τοῦ Λόγου μὲ τὴν Σάρκα ποὺ προσέλαβε εἶναι «πρόσκομμα» γιὰ τὶς θρησκεῖες τοῦ κόσμου καὶ θέτει τὸ Σῶμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ ξέχωρα ὡς ἐπὶ γῆς Οὐρανὸ καὶ οὐδαμῶς θρησκεῖα. Στὸ Πρόσωπο τοῦ Χριστοῦ τὸ ἔσωτερικὸ Ἀπόλυτο ἐφανερώθη μὲ ἐξωτερικὴ μορφὴ, ἀφοῦ «Θεὸς ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί» (Α´ Τιμ. 3,16), «ὁ ἑωρακὼς [τὸν Χριστὸν] ἑώρακε τὸν πατέρα» (Ἰω. 14,9) καὶ «δι᾿ αὐτοῦ ἔχομεν τὴν προσαγωγὴν… ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα» (Ἐφ. 2,18).

Δὲν ἔχουμε αὐτόπτες μάρτυρες τοῦ Λόγου ποὺ νὰ πιστοποιοῦν τὴν ὕπαρξή του μὲ τὴν μορφὴ ἑνὸς βιβλίου, πόσῳ μᾶλλον του Κορανίου, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον Αὐτός, «ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ, ἀλλ᾿ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσε μορφὴν δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος» (Φιλ. 2,6). Ἀντίθετα πρὸς τὶς θεωρίες τῶν περεννιαλιστῶν, ἡ ἐμπειρία τῶν θρησκειῶν, εἰδικὰ τοῦ Ἰσλάμ, δὲν εἶναι ὲμπειρία ἑνὸς κενωτικοῦ Θεοὺ, ο οποίος «σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἐταπείνωσεν ἑαυτὸν γενόμενος ὑπήκοος μέχρι θανάτου, θανάτου δὲ σταυροῦ» (Φιλ. 2,8). Ἐπίσης, ἀντίθετα πρὸς τὴν περεννιαλιστικὴ ἰδέα τῆς οἰκονομίας της εν Χριστώ σωτηρίας περιορισμένης σὲ ἕναν τομέα τῆς ἀνθρωπότητας καὶ στὸν περιορισμὸ τοῦ ὀνόματος τοῦ Ἔνσαρκου Λόγου στὴν «ἐξωτερικὴ» σφαίρα, ἀκόμη καὶ σὲ ἕνα μόνο μέρος του, ἑμεῖς κηρύττουμε Χριστὸ Ἐσταυρωμένο, τὸν ὁποῖο «καὶ ὁ Θεὸς αὐτὸν ὑπερύψωσε καὶ ἐχαρίσατο αὐτῷ ὄνομα τὸ ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα, ἵνα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ πᾶν γόνυ κάμψῃ ἐπουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων, καὶ πᾶσα γλῶσσα ἐξομολογήσηται ὅτι Κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς εἰς δόξαν Θεοῦ πατρός» (Φιλ. 2,9-11).

Στὸ Σῶμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ, στὴν Ἐκκλησία, ἔχουμε τὴν ἑνότητα γῆς καὶ οὐρανῶν, χρόνου καὶ αἰωνιότητας, τῆς πηγῆς τῆς Ἀποκαλύψεως καὶ τῆς φανερωμένης Ἀληθείας, τοῦ ἀπολύτου καῖ τοῦ πεπερασμένου. Μιᾶς καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἔγινε καὶ παρέμεινε σάρξ, ὁ «ἐξωτερικὸς» Προσωπικὸς τρόπος ὑπάρξεως τοῦ Θεοῦ εἶναι ταυτόχρονα καὶ ὁ «ἐσωτερικὸς» «ἀνώτερος τρόπος ὑπάρξεως» τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ὁ Λόγος ποὺ ἔγινε σάρκα καὶ κάθεται στὰ δεξιὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς ῆλθε, καὶ θὰ ξαναέλθει, γιὰ νὰ κρίνει ὅλους τοὺς ἀνθρώπους καὶ ὄχι μόνο ἕναν τομέα τῆς ἀνθρωπότητας, ὄχι βάσει κάποιου ἐσωτερικοῦ, μυστικοῦ, κρυμμένου πνευματικοῦ νόμου ἀλλὰ βάσει τῶν Ἐντολῶν του, οἱ ὁποῖες δόθηκαν γιὰ νὰ ζοῦν ὅλοι σύμφωνα μὲ αὐτὲς καὶ ἐν αὐταῖς, διότι ἀποτελοῦν ὄχι κτιστοὺς τύπους ἀλλὰ ἄκτιστες θεῖες ἐνέργειες.

Γιὰ ποιὸν λόγο σηματοδοτεῖ ἡ ἄνοδος τοῦ περεννιαλισμοῦ τὸ τέλος τοῦ Οἰκουμενισμοῦ;

Θὰ πρέπει νὰ ἔχει ἤδη καταστεῖ σαφὲς ὅτι μὲ τὸν περεννιαλισμὸ δὲν ἔχουμε οἰκουμενισμὸ κατὰ τὴν συνηθισμένη, κοινή του σημασία, ἀφοῦ ἡ ἑνότητα περὶ τῆς ὁποίας μιλοῦν αὐτοὶ οἱ φιλόσοφοι ὑφίσταται μόνο στὸ ὑπερβατικὸ πεδίο — στὸ πεδίο τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὁ ὁποῖος εἶναι ὁ ἴδιος Ὑπερβατικὴ Ἑνότητα. Δὲν ἐργάζονται λοιπὸν γιὰ μία φανερὴ ἑνότητα ἐν ἀληθείᾳ, ὅπως ἐργάζεται [τάχα] ὁ σύγχρονος οἰκουμενισμός, γιὰ τὸν ἁπλούστατο λόγο ὅτι ἤδη ἀναγνωρίζουν αὐτὴν τὴν ἑνότητα ὡς ὑπάρχουσα στὸ ἐσωτερικό, ὑπερβατικὸ πεδίο καὶ δὲν ἔχουν καμμία ἐπιθυμία γιὰ ἑνότητα στὸ φανερό, ἐξωτερικό, ἐγκόσμιο πεδίο.

Ἡ προσπάθεια νὰ ἐπιτευχθεῖ τὸ ἀδύνατο, νὰ δημιουργηθεῖ δηλαδὴ ἕνα ὡραῖο μωσαϊκὸ τοῦ Σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἀπὸ τὰ πολλὰ καὶ θρυμματισμένα κομμάτια τοῦ Προτεσταντισμοῦ σύντομα θὰ ἐγκαταλειφθεῖ ὁριστικά. Τὸ τέλος τοῦ οἰκουμενισμοῦ ὅπως τὸν ξέραμε πλησιάζει. Ἡ «ἑνότητα» ποὺ ζητᾶ ὁ κόσμος θὰ βρεθεῖ στὴν ὑπερβατικὴ ἑνότητα τῶν θρησκειῶν ποὺ προσφέρει ὁ περεννιαλισμός.

Καὶ αὐτὴ ἡ ἑνότητα θὰ βιωθεῖ ὡς ἕνας δεινὸς πειρασμός, ὁ ὁποῖος θὰ ἐπισκεφτεῖ τὴν Ἐκκλησία παγκοσμίως· θὰ ξεθωριάσει, γιὰ νὰ παραμερίσει, τὸ Θεανθρώπινο πρόσωπο τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστού καὶ τοῦ Σώματός του, τῆς Ἐκκλησίας. Αὐτὸς ὁ πειρασμὸς θὰ εἶναι ὁ τελευταῖος τῆς ἱστορίας. Ἔχει προφητευτεῖ ἀπὸ τὸν ἴδιο τὸν Χριστὸ στὸ βιβλίο τῆς Ἀποκαλύψεως. Λέγει: «Ὅτι ἐτήρησας τὸν λόγον τῆς ὑπομονῆς μου, κἀγώ σε τηρήσω ἐκ τῆς ὥρας τοῦ πειρασμοῦ, τῆς μελλούσης ἔρχεσθαι ἐπὶ τῆς οἰκουμένης ὅλης, πειράσαι τοὺς κατοικοῦντας ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς» (Ἀπ. 3,10). Ὅπως μᾶς λέει ὁ μεγάλος γέροντας Ἀθανάσιος Μυτιληναῖος, «ὁ πειρασμὸς αὐτός, ἀφοῦ θὰ καλύπτει ὁλόκληρη τὴν οἰκουμένη, δὲν θὰ εἶναι παρὰ ἡ μεγάλη νοθεία τῆς πίστεως εἰς τὸ θεανθρώπινο πρόσωπο τοῦ Χριστοῦ».

Ἀποκαλυπτικὰ γεγονότα ἀνατέλλουν στὸν ὁρίζοντα. Ὅπως ἀκριβῶς ἡ ἐσχάτη γενιὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων θὰ κραυγάσει γιὰ εἰρήνη καὶ ἀσφάλεια ἀκριβῶς ἐπειδὴ δὲν θὰ τὴν ἔχουν (καὶ τότε θὰ πέσει ἡ μάχαιρα), οἱ ἄνθρωποι ποὺ τώρα κραυγάζουν γιὰ ἑνότητα καὶ μάλιστα παγκόσμια ἑνότητα (ἀκριβῶς ἐπειδὴ δὲν τὴν ἔχουν) θὰ τὴν βροῦνε στὸν περεννιαλισμό, ὁ ὁποῖος τοὺς δίνει αὐτὴν τὴν ἑνότητα σχέδον χωρὶς κόπο (χωρὶς τὸν Σταυρὸ καὶ τὴν σταύρωση τοῦ νοός). Ὅπως τὸν κομμουνισμό, ὁ ὁποῖος δὲν μποροῦσε νὰ ἰκανοποιήσει τὴν λαχτάρα τῶν ἀνθρώπων λόγῳ τοῦ ἀρνητικοῦ, καταπιεστικοῦ προσανατολισμοῦ του, ὁ συγκρητιστικὸς οἰκουμενισμὸς τῆς νεωτερικότητας δὲν ἰκανοποιεῖ τὴν λαχτάρα τῶν ἀνθρώπων γιὰ μία βαθύτερη, μυστικὴ ἑνότητα τοῦ κάθε ἀνθρώπου καὶ τῆς καθόλου ἀνθρωπότητας. Ἡ ἀνθρωπότητα θὰ ἀπαιτήσει μιὰ γερή, παραδοσιακὴ καὶ οἰκουμενικὰ ἀποδεκτὴ ἐξήγηση (ἐλκυστικὴ πρὸς τοὺς ἀσιᾶτες) ὡς πρὸς τὸ πῶς ἡ θρησκεία δὲν διαιρεῖ ἀλλὰ ἑνώνει τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα. Ὁ περεννιαλισμὸς εἶναι σὲ θέση νὰ γίνει ἡ θεωρητικὴ βάση πολλῶν χριστιανῶν (ἀκόμη καὶ «ὀρθοδόξων») γιὰ τὴν οὐσιαστική, ἂν καὶ ὑπερβατικὴ καὶ ἐσωτερική, ἑνότητα τῶν θρησκειῶν ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἀντιχρίστου.

Ἐπιτέλους τὸ ἐκκρεμὲς σταμάτησε τὴν ταλάντευσή του, μιᾶς καὶ φτάσαμε στὴν δωδεκάτη ὥρα τῆς ἱστορίας, τὴν καρδιὰ τῆς νύχτας τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, ὁπότε μαθητὲς κοιμοῦνται καὶ προδίδουν προδότες καὶ ὁ Ἔνσαρκος Χριστὸς, ὁ Ἐσταυρωμένος, παραμερίζεται γιὰ χάρη ἑνὸς Σωτῆρος ἄνευ σταυροῦ.

1 Lings, Martin; Minnaar, Clinton (2007), The Underlying Religion: An Introduction to the Perennial Philosophy, World Wisdom, p. xii.

2 Ἔ.ἄ.

3 Ἔ. ἄ. σ. xv (ιε´).

4 Oldmeadow, Harry (2010), Frithjof Schuon and the Perennial Philosophy, Word Wisdom, ISBN 978-1-935493-09-9, page vii.

5 Oldmeadow, Harry, Traditionalism: Religion in the light of the Perennial Philosophy, Sophia Perennis, San Rafael, CA., 2000, p. 69.

6 Schuon, Frithjof, Gnosis: Divine Wisdom, Perennial Books, London, 1979, p. 29.

7 Cutsinger, James, “Perennial Philosophy and Christianity”:…

8 Florovsky, Fr. Georges, “The Catholicity of the Church”:, p. 3.

9 Source:…

10 Source:


  1. Truly, Father Peter Heers is our Patriarch.

    Quoting from his wisdom:

    And this unity will be experienced as a grave temptation, which will visit the church worldwide, for it will obscure, in order to set aside, the Theanthropic Person of Jesus Christ and His Body, the Church. This will be the last temptation of history. It has been prophesied by Christ Himself in the Book of Revelation. He says, “thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10). As the great Elder Athanasius Mitilianaios tells us, “because this temptation will affect the entire world it will be the great adulteration of faith in the Theanthropic Person of Christ.”

  2. Yes IF ONLY!
    Peter Heers and many other excellent high quality clergymen should be Patriarch of Greek Orthodox instead of the lemon in Istanbul.

  3. A priest told me the disgusting news:

    that Prince of Darkness aka
    Alex Karloutsos was behind not allowing
    the faithful near St Nicholas Shrine last Tuesday morning.
    After all he only caters to the country club elites.
    What a skunk!

  4. POD aka AK…How many more “events” are necessary to perpetuate the charades? The Shrine of Crime is less and 1/2 completed. THERE IS NO MORE MONEY UNLESS THE ‘ELITES’ fund the shrine.


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