Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Perennis Continues

In the 1980's a small group of independent scholars started a study group called the Institute for Perennial Studies. Grounding our work in the philosophia perennis we would apply those principles to our task; hence the name. We published the journal Perennis for a couple years before the core of the study group went in separate directions and we cease to publish.

The Institute for Perennial Studies had a question as its mission statement. The question was, "After thousands of years of sustained human habitation what factors have brought us to the place where mass annihilation was possible?" This question seemed so fundamental, so obvious, so natural to ask. Yet virtually no one was asking this question.

I know now that the reason no one was asking this question was because, well, why would anyone ask such a thing. The United States was soaring, Europe was rebuilt and shaking off the effects of WW II, and the "Third World" was under control. The future seemed bright for most people so why would anyone ask a dumb question like the one we posed.

Since then I have taken what we learned in our studies back in the 1980's and attempted to apply them to the real world. I put our critique up against the best contemporary thinking testing our findings to see if they held up under the rigors of time.

As my schedule allows I will post vignettes of what I have learned from 20 years of observations that have arisen from the original insights given to us through our studies of the effects of modernism and its allied beliefs and how this cluster of ideas impacts culture.

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