As part of uncovering our culture — that of us Cro-Magnids — any writer will find that everything we have now serves as a placeholder for what we once knew and need to discover again.
We know that the Indo-Europeans, who ranged the steppes and forests of Europe and Asia, had a religion of their own, and that it carried on in the pagan traditions, Hinduism, and Greco-Roman religions.
Those ideas in turn were borrowed by newer religions like Buddhism and Christianity.
Some of our sanest writers such as Aldous Huxley noted that the major religions share core beliefs which are probably a remnant of the PIEF:
At the core of the Perennial Philosophy we find four fundamental doctrines.
- The phenomenal world of matter and of individualized consciousness — the world of things and animals and men and even gods — is the manifestation of a Divine Ground within which all partial realities have their being, and apart from which they would be non-existent.
- Human beings are capable not merely of knowing about the Divine Ground by inference; they can also realize its existence by a direct intuition, superior to discursive reasoning. This immediate knowledge unites the knower with that which is known.
- Man possesses a double nature, a phenomenal ego and an eternal Self, which is the inner man, the spirit, the spark of divinity within the soul. It is possible for a man, if he so desires, to identify himself with the spirit and therefore with the Divine Ground, which is of the same or like nature with the spirit.
- Man’s life on earth has only one end and purpose: to identify himself with his eternal Self and so to come to unitive knowledge of the Divine Ground.
The PIEF resembles our present day hermetic belief systems as well which tend not to formalize themselves as religion but as philosophy, with New Thought leading the way.
New Thought even makes it into popular culture through The Law of Attraction, which in its original expression says simply that like structures group across forms (matter, energy, thought) in parallel.
This thoroughly esoteric belief informs us how the world works beyond the visible. Things do not come to us until we have developed corresponding patterns in our minds that attract them.
From this, naturally, we get hierarchy. Those who can shape their minds toward reality best are those who not only make (mostly) the right decisions, but also draw toward them the best results.
In this view, reactive responses to stress produce negative, internally-focused feedback loops where we expect bad things and therefore, produce bad things by attracting disorder to us.
The point of this view is that our goal becomes not treating each other well, or worshiping the right symbols, but keeping ourselves relevant not to external objects but to the whole of the external.
That means all that exists in this world and any other layers it has, for all time. We think of eternity in the PIEF because we see the present as transient and those who attempt to hide in it from what they fear as weakening themselves.
Unlike modern religions, the PIEF does not have “evil” per se. It sees disorder, stupidity, cowardice, avarice, and obsessions as symptoms of a disordered mind, and disorder draws only chaos, failure, and doom.
Instead of believing in a Satan or scapegoat, this religion sees most of human life as disordered and looks for the few exceptions to hold up as examples of the potential of living.
It views humans as soul-bearing creatures who are trapped in their neurotic minds and therefore disordered, which is why most human activity ends in mediocrity leading to tragedy.
Naturally, for most modern people this religion will make no sense. It promises nothing. It gives no guidance. It only tells us to learn from history and shape our minds accordingly.
As the age of decay in which we have been entrapped slowly ends, these types of ideas will come back, expressed first within existing religions and later, as manifestations in each of our cultures.