E.S. Kraay

Gaspar and the Perennial Tradition

E.S. KraayBefore I wrote a single word to any of my books, I had a core concept clearly in my mind:  what is this book about?  In the case of Gaspar, Another Tale of the Christ, I began – and finished – with the conviction that truth is universal, it is the same in the east as it is in the west.

For those of you who have read the book, you will understand that concept.  Gaspar’s story begins in ancient India, moves through the Fertile Crescent to ancient Ireland, returns to Rome and concludes in ancient Judea.  When his journey ends on Golgotha, he knows, as I know that truth is universal.  When Gaspar meets Yeshua on the Mount of Olives, he asks, “What have you learned?”  Yeshua replies,

“I have learned what I have known all along.  Truth is love and love is truth.  A man can love himself.  A man must love himself and a man must love all men on the earth as he loves himself.  That is truth, Gaspar.  There are seven directions and it is true no matter which direction you choose to follow.

“I have been East to you Kanheri, and it is true there.  I have been South to the source of the great river that feeds Egypt, and it is true there.  It is true to the north where winter never ends and where the ground is ever white with snow and ice.  It is true to where the sun sets far beyond the Pillars of Herakles.”  He points to the night sky.  “It is true where men live on distant stars deep in the heavens, and it is true at the very core of this world we inhabit.”  He places his palm upon his chest.  “Most importantly, it is true here, deep inside you where dwells your immortal self.”

I was inundated this week with the Perennial Philosophy.  Four years ago on my Vitruvian Man website, I wrote a post entitled Confluence of Faith, Aldous Huxley and Ruth.  It was about the Perennial Philosophy, man’s continual search for truth.  This week at Mass, we heard the beautiful story of Ruth throughout the week.  It reminded me of that post and drew me back to the Perennial Philosophy and my belief that truth is universal.

This morning, Franciscan Richard Rohr posted a brilliant meditation The Perennial Tradition.  It brought me full circle.  As Fra Rohr writes,

This larger and constantly recurring wisdom has been called the Perennial Tradition or the Perennial Philosophy. No one group owns this content, but most of us own parts of it, and for me the goal is to honor and include as many parts as I can, so that I can be truly catholic. We see this same inclusivity in Jesus to an amazing degree. I see this as the clearest indication that one practices “the true religion.” A true religion is precisely one that can teach you how to recognize and honor God everywhere, and not just inside your own group symbols.

For those of you who have read Gaspar, Another Tale of the Christ, I hope this message came through to you loud and clear.  For those of you who have not yet entered its pages, I invite you to delve into it and the Perennial Philosophy that will indeed make this world a better place to be.


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