The Perennial Tradition, By Norman D. Livergood, is a book available for free viewing online. It is about the current through history of spiritual
I have not read the whole thing: that will take a while. But I will post the link here for anyone who wishes to take a look. Go here to see the names
of all the chapters, and to access the links. Contents
The book seems to deal with the idea of schools or at least a historical current (the perennial tradition of the title) that teach enlightenment.
It is implied that there are more or less set experiences or initiations that provide a specific spiritual growth experience. This is something that
has always interested me though I know little about it.
What comes to mind is the various "degree" rituals of the masons. Occultists such as Aleister Crowley mention various grades or degree also that
seem to correspond to specific experiences.
The idea is attractive to me in that it seems to impose some structure on a subject (spiritual advancement) that is otherwise so vague. Every
religion has its own system of beliefs. The author attempts to trace the elements of the perennial tradition through history and disparate
philosophies and demonstrate that there is one unifying process of spiritual growth that underlies them all.
This, to me, gives the hope that to some extent the subject can be demystified and examined scientifically, although the author suggests that you can
not really understand "the next step" until you achieve the initiation leading up to it. What I would really like to see is a description of the
specific steps, if that is possible. Not that that would automatically give me the corresponding insights, but at least it would provide a framework
for understanding the process. From what I've read so far (not that much) the book doesn't quite go that far, but it does provide a fascinating
glimpse in that direction.
If you dive into a chapter and find it rather dry, try a different chapter. It is large print, illustrated, and easy to skim for the interesting
parts. Trust me, there are some interesting parts.
I look forward to discussing the PROCESS of spiritual developement.
[edit on 4-10-2004 by kinglizard]
[edit on 4-10-2004 by cimmerius]