Many of the most intelligent reactionaries I interact with are of a school of philosophy called perennialism. Most of them are of Catholic or Orthodox religion. This may sound strange given the nature of the philosophy. Many of them, from my understanding choose such a religion due to the fact that it is the faith of their ancestors. I can not speak to it too heavily for I do not want to give false information. But, this post is not so much about parennialism, it is about something else.
As a Catholic, I cannot accept such a philosophy because it claims to much. It claims that a religion such as Catholicism may be true, but there is salvation outside it. Of course, my lord has commanded otherwise so I cannot in good conscious accept it. However what I can accept is something that Mark Citadel coins as “Mild Christian Hermeticism.” Mark puts it as such,
What we can accept however is what I have coined ‘Mild Christian Hermeticism’, a reference to the great Pagan prophet, Hermes Trismegistus. In this, we can affirm that the sacrifice of the incarnate God on the cross is the only source of salvation and is the final great revelation before man. However, it also allows us to say that knowledge of the divine realm can come from sources outside of the Christian Tradition. Just to illustrate, I can confirm the mystical nature of the Hindu Vedic Scriptures, but deny that they are entirely accurate in their description of reality, or that they offer any kind of redemptive or salvific hope in the complete sense to the Hindu.
Far from a contrived justification, this is actually how notable early church fathers viewed religious matters. Perennialism simply claims too much, though I can attest that its scholars were very well-versed and articulate, and indeed should be studied.
Knowledge of the divine realm, or that beyond the veil may not be exclusive to Christianity alone. It is important to note that we believe that Catholicism (or in Marks case Orthodoxy) is in deed absolute truth, therefore all it teaches is true, however it does not teach everything that is truth. It teaches what is necessary to be saved, and to bring man back into union with the Lord. This of course is all that is necessary, there is no need for most people to peruse knowledge outside of such structure, and in my opinion I recommend against it because it can, especially for those not well versed in their faith, cause error. However, there are a few intelligent enough people who may dabble in esoteric things, and if you do such a thing I highly recommend you be careful and stop if it ever becomes a threat to your faith.
To continue we see that the truth of scripture and the Church are the absolute truth, but they do not reveal to us all the information of the divine realm, mainly because it is unnecessary for its purpose, which is the salvation of fallen man. To further explain how “Mild Christian Hermeticism” works I am going to show a series of graphs to help conceptualize it that were given to me by a fellow Catholic Monarchist I interact with named Alex Forrest (you can find him on twitter if you would like to follow him, he’s a very intelligent man.)
This first graph shows how during the fall of man from grace we lost a portion of the “good” as truth.
This second graph shows how the amount of truth is limited to our capacity to understand it, with regards to our fallible and fallen nature. This graph also fixes the graphical error in the first graph.
The third graph illustrates the importance of the Catholic faith, and its importance to both existence and salvation.
In essence the Catholic Church is a creation by God for us. Its prime goal is to draw mankind back to the divine so that it can reascend to the Kingdom of Heaven. The Beatific Vision is the pinnacle and summation of all truth and is only accessible in this state, aka. Salvation. However, although what the Church teaches is all true, it does not teach all truth, because one, we cannot know all truth this side of heaven and two, it only teaches the truth required to attained the former. It teaches the truth that is necessary for the salvation of souls. This leads to the concept of “Mild Christian Hermeticism”, which in summary is the possibility of attaining some truths outside of the Church, although not necessary for salvation. This can also be seen in the Christianization of particular pagan aspects during the early period of the Church. In essence the Church baptizes any good or truth that comes from a particular pagan philosophy. We can see this most notably in the writings of Aristotle and the other great Greek thinkers.
Therefore, because the perennial philosophy claims that salvation can come from other means it contradicts the truth that we hold, because part of that truth is that Christ’s death and resurrection was necessary for our salvation and the Church is the Lords creation for brining us back into union with him. To claim that salvation may come from outside means claims to much.
This fourth graph shows the relations of different religions.
And finally the fifth graph shows the dangers of higher levels of intellect.
In conclusion we can draw several things from this. Firstly, we see that the Catholic faith teaches only truth, but not all the truth. It only teaches the truth necessary for salvation, which if attained reveals ALL truth. Secondly we see that other truths can be obtained from outside sources, although NOT necessary for salvation. Thirdly, we see that in good conscious a Catholic or Orthodox cannot accept perennial philosophy due to its contradiction of the revealed truth of salvation by the Lord God. And finally, we see that the greater the intellect the greater the risk of error.
Once again I do not recommend nor is it required of you to pursue any outside knowledge of truth, besides that within the Church. It is better to play it safe and stay within the structure of the Church and its revealed truth, then to run the risk of falling into error. If you do pursue outside knowledge be weary and sober of mind and always discard anything that may contradict the truth of the true faith. If it does not contradict then it may be true, but do not take it as an absolute.
Hope this helps. Stay vigilant.