On the perennial philosophy and its immense importance for medicine, culture and human happiness


Author: Søren Ventegodt
Page Range: 197-208
Published in: Journal of Alternative Medicine Research, 15#2 (2023)
ISSN: 1939-5868

Table of Contents


The perennial philosophy is an overarching principle in art, music, literature, religion and the sciences that can serve to illustrate and even embody some of the most central themes of human existence, that are so simple yet so universal, that they can be hardly expressed in conversational terms. Approach/objective: To give a conceptual outline of what constitutes the perennial philosophy and why we are usually kept away from it by exploring basic notions of ego, consciousness, love and the structure of disease. Material: In-depth exploration of the perennial philosophy as a pattern in Hippocratic medical writings, artistic and rhetorical literature, spiritual and religious texts as well as in philosophy and science; with examples and quotations from leading figures from a variety of political backgrounds, religious traditions and creative culture. Discussion: Evaluation of the perennial philosophy within the specific context of psychology and its relevance for the healing process in medicine in three dimensions: 1) Love for oneself and others as an intimate and immediate way to encounter divinity, reality and (self-) consciousness; 2) the courage to be as the willingness to step forward and claim one’s own happiness and joy in life and 3) sexuality as an integral part of human nature and the base to a sustainable and respectful dealing with environmental nature as a whole.

Keywords: Philosophy of life, perennial philosophy, medical practice, medical ethics. depth psychology, Hippocrates, spirituality, religion, divinity, consciousness, love, self-insight, healing, sexuality

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