A Divine Reality
The Perennial Tradition refers to the understanding that although the world's spiritual teachings differ in important ways, the common experience of enlightenment reveals the following themes:
There is a divine, spiritual reality that is the ground of all being and multiplicity.
The substance of the human soul or mind is divine spirit and consciousness, imbued with a natural urge to know and reveal itself as such.
The real goal of existence, and cure for suffering, is to reach this spiritual self-knowledge which brings wisdom and conscious union (Love) with all beings.
The material universe and human lifespan, although temporary and not absolute, provides the matrix for our spiritual realization, and should be honored on its level.
The Common Experience
Cohen & Phipps
The Perennial Philosophy
Coming Home: The Experience of Enlightenment in Sacred Traditions
The more God is in all things, the more He is outside them. The more He is within, the more without.
The Atman is that by which the universe is pervaded, but which nothing pervades.
Tao is in all things, but is not identical with beings, for it is neither differentiated nor limited.
Mind comes from this sublime and completely unified source above; it is divided only as it enters into the universe of distinctions.
When the Ten Thousand things are viewed in their oneness, we return to the Origin and remain where we have always been.
ON THE NATURE OF GOD
Knowing that Creation is not an accident and that it has a deeper meaning than is apparent to the eye, the seers of all ages have time and again drawn the attention of the world to the fact that, although for a certain period of his life on this planet man may identify himself exclusively with the life of the senses, his transcendental destiny is God-realization.
The happiness of God-realization is the Goal of all Creation. The real happiness which comes through realizing God is worth all physical and mental sufferings in the universe. Then all suffering is as if it were not. The happiness of God-realization is self-sustained, eternally fresh and unfailing, boundless and indescribable; and it is for this happiness that the world has sprung into existence.
We believe in God, the Living Spirit Almighty—One, indestructible, absolute, and self-existent Cause. This One manifests itself in and through all creation, but is not absorbed by its creation.
We believe in the incarnation of Spirit in everyone and that all people are incarnations of the one Spirit. We believe in the unity of all life, and that the highest God and the innermost God is one God. We believe that God is personal to all who feel this indwelling Presence.
We believe in the direct revelation of Truth through the intuitive and spiritual nature of the individual and that any person who lives in close contact with the indwelling God may become a revealer of Truth. We believe that the Universal Spirit, which is God, operates through a Universal Mind which is the Law of God and that we are surrounded by this Creative Mind which receives the direct impress of our thought and acts upon it. We believe in the eternal Goodness, the eternal Love and the eternal Givingness of Life to all.
- Religious Science
God is. God is the one presence, the one power, the one force and source of all. There are no competitors to God, no reality existent outside of God. God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (present everywhere). There is no place where God is not, simply because nothing exists without God. God is neither a man nor a woman nor a thing.
God is no one's father or mother or benefactor. These terms are used only to help us understand relationships - ours to God - not to establish a more human type of parentage. We use such terms as a matter of convenience or because it is comforting to do so. We call ourselves children of God because we do not know what else to call ourselves, and it seems as good a term as any to use. We are made in the image of God, not in the sense of physical appearance, but with respect to the power of our souls and the potential of our minds. God is the Creator; we are co-creators. It would be more appropriate and more in line with Truth, if we called ourselves extensions of God or, perhaps, thoughts in the Mind of God. It would even be appropriate to use another name for God, like The Force, The One, The All, The Is-ness, The One Mind, The Source, or whatever conveys that sense of deity that is without limitation or boundary, beyond what can be comprehended.
While God is more than any name, protocol, hierarchy, concept, or grandiosity could describe or define; God truly is as near as our next breath - as close as our next thought. We are part of God and existent with God. A belief in separation, that we could possibly exist and have our being apart from God, is the only real sin. This belief is of our own making. God has not decreed separation; this we did ourselves by our own perception that somehow, some way, we could transcend That Which Cannot Be Transcended.
God is not dependent on our belief, for our belief or disbelief in God does not affect God - only us.
God is not a member of any church or religion. It is the churches and the religions that are members within the vastness and the glory that is God. There is no one religion just as there is no "chosen" people or person, nor any single way of regarding what cannot be fully comprehended. We are all "sons" of God in the sense that we are all souls of God's creation, without gender, without form, without nationality, complete and whole and perfect as we explore the never-endingness of God's wonderment. A spark from the essence of All God Is resides in each and every one of us has an unbreakable connection, that thread or cord that ensures we remain a part of That Which We Could Never Leave.
The splendorous joy of recognizing and acknowledging our special-ness, our greatness, as creations of God and as co-creators with God, is akin to being engulfed by overwhelming floodtides of God's Glorious Love.
P.M.H. Atwater, NDE Experiencer & Researcher