Perennialist Worship
Perennialist Worship
Perennialist Worship

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  Ordinary worship is an act of religious or mundane devotion directed towards an entity (being, object, event, or process). Such acts of worship may be performed individually, in an informal or formal group, or by a designated leader.

  The word "worship" is derived from the Koinέ Greek word proskuneo, meaning "to kiss the hand to or toward an entity, in token of reverence."

  "Worship" also derives from the Old English word, weorpscipe, meaning honour shown to an entity; so it's historic meaning is "worth-ship:" to give worth to something.

  Worship is defined by Webster as:
  • The act of paying divine honor to the Supreme Being
  • Obsequious or submissive respect; extravagant admiration; adoration; idolatry
  In this essay, we'll examine the many manifestations of ordinary religious and mundane worship and the completely different meaning and practice of Perennialist Worship. Perennialists consider ordinary religious worship to be extremely presumptuous: humans taking on the air of being so exalted that they can ascribe worth to their conception of God. They consider the rampant worship of wealth and possessions, fostered by capitalist ideology and practice as blasphemy.

  In considering this entire area of thought, Perenialists hold the opinion: "Gratitude, humility, and self-surrender constitute the essence of worship of the One Quintessence." In this, as in so many other significant areas of human existence, the difference of opinion between organized, sacerdotal religions and the Perennial Tradition is extreme.

  From the beginning of human history, humans have worshipped those entities (persons, objects, events, and processes) they considered worthy of adoration or demanding subservience.

  Most humans, throughout history, have worshipped some type of "golden calf," a non-human entity that demands their submission to its lethal ideology and tyranny.

  From approximately 1,800 BCE, almost all humans have worshipped some form of capitalist ideology and tyranny: the subjection of the poor to the rich.

  Obscenely rich capitalists have worshipped money and power throughout the centuries, murdering the working class without compunction. Through propagandistic mind manipulation, through control of corporations and jobs, and through seizng control of the political and financial centers of power, capitalists have forced workers to worship capitalist symbols of power and ideology.

  Since war is an essential element of capitalist profit and power, the working masses are made to worship mindless jingoism, providing cannon fodder for all capitalist wars.

"Persons in an oligarchy worship and admire nothing but riches and rich men, and are ambitious of nothing so much as the acquisition of wealth and the means of acquiring it. . . The oligarch is not a man of cultivation."

Plato, Commonwealth, Book VIII, 53d, 554b

  The capitalist rich at present are destroying all social protections for the working class--e.g., social security, medicare and medicaid, food-stamps, unemployment benefits--and giving hundreds of billions of taxpayer money to obscenely wealthy billionaires--through looting medicaid and through bailouts for criminal banksters.

  The demonic wealthy capitalists make no apology for implementing programs that are, and will continue in, murdering millions of workers. They increase their imperialist wars, resulting in thousands of deaths, suicides, and disfigurements.

Counterfeit Religious Worship

  Contemporary persons are not only being debased into sub-humans by political-economic-social predatdors, but by demonic religious leaders as well, as Fyodor Dostoyevsky made clear in his depiction of The Grand Inquisitor.

"So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship. But man seeks to worship what is established beyond dispute, so that all men would agree at once to worship it. For these pitiful creatures are concerned not only to find what one or the other can worship, but to find community of worship is the chief misery of every man individually and of all humanity from the beginning of time. For the sake of common worship they've slain each other with the sword. They have set up gods and challenged one another, 'Put away your gods and come and worship ours, or we will kill you and your gods!'"

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Grand Inquisitor

  In his Spaccio della bestia triomfante, Bruno states that Christianity has tried to destroy the original Perennialist message, passing edicts to outlaw its teaching, substituting the worship of icons and relics for the search for personal illumination, encouraging bad morals, and starting or championing constant wars. Anyone who studies the history of Christianity objectively would have little to disagree with in Bruno's description. We could also add that Christianity tortured and murdered people it judged to be heretical, such as Joan of Arc, Servetus, Bruno, Campanella, Galileo, and a myriad more.

Our Father, Psychoanalysis,
 who art in our Subconscious.
Sublimated be thy Oedipal Complex,
Thy Infantile Sexuality be repressed
Thy Birth Trauma be compensated for
 as it is not in life.
Give us this therapeutic hour
 our daily free association,
And lead us not into slips of the tongue.
For thine is the totem, the taboo,
 and the $275 per hour fee,

Perennialist Worship

"No man can be a true worshipper of God who has not gained understanding of these two principles of wisdom: that the soul is the the most elemental of all entities which are born into the mortal world, and that the soul is immortal and rules over the body."

Plato, Laws

  Perennialist worship is a form of activity, the correct performance of which is a part of esoteric Perennialist wisdom. Both Pythagoras and Plato attained understanding of the correct performance of worship, among many other points of wisdom, when studying with Egyptian savants.

"Here in Egypt he [Pythagoras] frequented all the temples with the greatest diligence, and most studious research, during which time he won the esteem and admiration of all the priests and prophets with whom he associated. Having most solicitously familiarized himself with every detail, he did not, nevertheless, neglect any contemporary celebrity, whether sage renowned for wisdom, or peculiarly performed mystery; he did not fail to visit any place where he thought he might discover something worthwhile. That is how he visited all of the Egyptian priests, acquiring all the wisdom each possessed. He thus passed twenty-two years in the sanctuaries of temples, studying astronomy and geometry, and being initiated in no casual or superficial manner in all the mysteries of the Gods. At length, however, he was taken captive by the soldiers of Cambyses, and carried off to Babylon. Here he was overjoyed to associate with the Magi, who instructed him in their venerable knowledge, and in the most perfect worship of the Gods. Through their assistance, likewise, he studied and completed arithmetic, music, and all the other sciences. After twelve years, about the fifty-sixth year of his age, he returned to Samos."

Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, Studies in Egypt and Babylonia

  Plato's works, Timaeus and Critias, indicate that about 560 B.C.E. in the temple of Neith at Sais in Egypt there were secret halls containing historical records which had been kept for more than 9,000 years. Proclus gives the name of the high priest with whom Plato spoke in Sais as Pateneit. Plato knew of these esoteric Mystery Treasures, because he had studied with Egyptian hierophants in the Egyptian temples.

"Plato was initiated into the 'Greater Mysteries' at the age of 49. The initiation took place in one of the subterranean halls of the Great Pyramid in Egypt. The ISIAC TABLE formed the altar, before which the Divine Plato stood and received that which was always his, but which the ceremony of the Mysteries enkindled and brought from its dormant state. With this ascent, after three days in the Great Hall, he was received by the Hierophant of the Pyramid (the Hierophant was seen only by those who had passed the three days, the three degrees, the three dimensions) and given verbally the Highest Esoteric Teachings, each accompanied with its appropriate Symbol. After a further three months' sojourn in the halls of the Pyramid, the Initiate Plato was sent out into the world to do the work of the Great Order, as Pythagoras and Orpheus had been before him."

Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages

   Plato, and other Perennialist teachers such as Hermes, Pythagoras, Socrates, Jesus, and Paul, understood that, as Paul put it:
"God who made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is he served by men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he is not far from each one of us; for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain even of your own poets have said."

  Worship is a Divine Science which requires that a person be initiated into this Mystery. As Paul explained, God does not dwell in human temples and is not served by ordinary worship. Most human worship, directed toward a specific conception of God (Jehovah, Allah, Ahriman, etc.) is based on the impertinent presumption that God needs humans to praise and adore him. Paul explained that God does not "need" anything, such as human veneration.

  Perennialist worship consists primarily of:
  • The expression of heartfelt, humble gratitude:
    "Thank you, Lord God."

  • The humble submission of one's life to God:
    "I submit my life and being to you, Lord God."

  • The heartfelt expression of personal remorse: "Please forgive me, Lord God."

   We humbly express, directly to God, our gratitude for existence, eternal being, and all things. And we submit, offer up, proffer, our very life and being to God to do with as He deems best. In this act of submission, we recognize that ultimately "we live and move and have our being in God," and that we submit or proffer to Him only the power over our lives that God has given us.

  Perennialists do not engage in formalized religious ceremonies 1 or sacraments. 2 Most ordinary acts of worship aggrandize the worshipper, not the deity. Adoration, for example, assumes that humans are so exalted that their adoration is of great worth to their conception of deity.

  Most ordinary acts of worship--and prayer--assume that God benefits by humans telling Him what He is, what he does, or what he should do.
"Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty"
"A mighty fortress is our God."
  For most of us, prayer goes something like this:
"God, you don't seem to be doing things quite right, so I want to make some suggestions. I need this particular effect in my life and you don't seem to understand that. So, I'm informing you of what's wrong with your universe and asking you kindly if you won't fix it according to my desires.
Oh, by the way, thanks."
   Such non-prayer reveals what kind of Deity we think rules the universe and the Higher Realm: a being who doesn't quite understand--and needs our constant guidance, an arbitrary deity who succumbs to special pleading. If we're to worship in a genuine way and pray for regeneration and harmonization, then we must drastically change our conception of the divine.

   "The spirit of God is vigilant to note in every nation those who are able to receive light, and they are employed as agents to spread the light according to man's capacity, and to re-vivify the dead letter. Through these divine instruments the interior truths of the Sanctuary were taken into every nation, and modified symbolically according to their customs, capacity for instruction, climate, and receptiveness. So that the external types of every religion, worship, ceremonies and Sacred Books in general have more or less clearly, as their object of instruction, the interior truths of the Sanctuary, by which man . . . will be conducted to the universal knowledge of the one Absolute Truth."

Karl von Eckhartshausen, The Cloud Upon the Sanctuary, 1795

  Worship, when understood and performed correctly, is an activity which benefits humans relative to their "worth, capacity and earning of it." Counterfeit worship is detrimental to those who carry it out, leading its practitioners to delusively believe they are doing something stupendous "for" their conception of deity.

"The spiritual world is not at the behest of our desires and intentions. Quite the contrary: it is always a gift: not a generic gift, but a gift given by a specific giver, a spiritual being. For the spiritual world is a world of beings--from the highest angelic hierarchies to the so-called dead. Spiritual knowing is not something we can take. It must be received. Therefore, to approach such knowing-receiving, we must silence our desires, purposes, and intentions and present ourselves in devoted, expectant, sensitive waiting. Whatever comes originates in the spiritual world, not in us."

Christopher Bamford, Introduction to Inner
Reading and Inner Hearing, by Rudolf Steiner

  The essence of Perennialist worship is the ongoing development of ourselves as fit companions for communion with Higher Beings.


1 Ceremony: An expression of shared feelings and attitudes through more or less formally ordered actions of an essentially symbolic nature performed on appropriate occasions. A ceremony involves stereotyped bodily movements, often in relation to objects (words, images, music) possessing symbolic meaning. For example, people bow or genuflect, tip hats, present arms, slaughter cattle, salute flags, and perform a myriad of other ceremonial actions. Ceremonies express, perpetuate, and transmit elements of the societal value and sentiment system and aim at preserving such values and sentiments from doubt and opposition; moreover, they intensify the solidarity of the participants. Ceremonies are found in all societies.

2 Sacrament: An outward sign of something sacred. In Christianity, a sacrament is commonly defined as having been instituted by Jesus and consisting of a visible sign of invisible grace. Christianity is divided as to the number and operation of sacraments. The traditional view held by Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and certain Anglicans counts the sacraments as seven--Eucharist, baptism, confirmation, penance, anointing of the sick, matrimony, and holy orders. These are held to produce grace in the soul of the recipient by the very performance of the sacramental act (ex opere operato); the recipient need only have the right intention. Most Protestant denominations recognize two sacraments--baptism and communion, or the Lord's Supper. Protestants hold generally that it is the faith of the participant, itself a gift of God, rather than the power of the sacramental act that produces grace.