Friday, April 18, 2014
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Primordial Traditions

Primordial Traditions

Primordial Traditions

The idea of the Primordial Tradition evolved out of the concept known as philosophia perennis, or perennial philosophy, which in itself is a development from the prisca theologia of the Middle Ages. Both the idea of the Primordial Tradition and the philosophia perennis attempt to establish common factors amongst different traditions, with the goal of producing a superior gnosis or level of wisdom than that which would have been obtained by the study of a single religion. This is remarkably similar to the mode of study used in comparative mythology and the study of the history of religions. In this sense, the term Primordial Tradition is utilized to describe a system of spiritual thought and metaphysical truths that over-arches all the other religions and esoteric traditions of humanity.


The concept of the Primordial Tradition was well received by both practitioners and the academic community, and its development was actively endorsed by the International Conference of Religions in Chicago, 1893. Outside of the academic community, the idea of the Primordial Tradition received an even better reception, and was advocated by the Traditionalist school – notably Rene Guénon, Julius Evola, and Alain Daniélou. Other figures/works of note to the Primordial Tradition are: Mircea Eliade,  Carl Kerenyi, Emil Cioran, Georges Dumezil, Huston Smith, Heinrich Zimmer, Gottfried Leibniz, Aldous Huxley, Frithjof Schuon, Plato, Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Ananda Coomaraswamy - also the Vedas, Sagas, Greek and Roman Epics, mythology, folklore, and the manifestations of the ideas of Traditions in the works of such authors as Friedrich Nietzsche and Karl Jung. As such it portrays an underlying universal principle in the application of religion and holds that there are common precepts that exist in the substrata of all religions. These universal truths are then reshaped by cultural and historical events to take their own distinct life and vitality.  The term perennial philosophy has also been employed as a translation of the Hindu concept of Sanatana Dharma or the Eternal Tradition.

The Eternal or Primordial Tradition encompasses a wide variety of topics, locations and religions, and it is for this reason that our website is equally diverse in content. The application of the word Primordial does not imply that we are dedicated to the revival of archaic or historical religions. The word  primordial is instead employed to illustrate that the fundamental ideas expressed by certain traditions are so deeply entrenched in the human psyche that their origins are unknown. This can be aptly illustrated by even a basic understanding of the science of comparative mythology or the history of religions. Because these ideas are expressed as symbols, they are far from dead - the Primordial Traditions are the only religions which can really be said to be alive.

Please note: Primordial Traditions does not publish books.