Segments in this Video

Huston Smith's Early Years (04:12)


Huston Smith's upbringing in China did not prepare him for the modern Western world. Having arrived in the U.S. to attend Bible college, Smith decides not to return to China as a missionary.

From Christianity to Mysticism (04:36)

Huston Smith experienced an epiphany that shifted his professional goals. He became a professor of religion and philosophy. In California he encountered mysticism and was influenced by Aldous Huxley's "The Perennial Philosophy."

Nature of Reality (02:49)

The concept of a perennial philosophy is grounded in non-historical truth that has survived over the ages and concerns the nature of reality and the ultimate, divine reality. These concepts have manifested themselves in world religions.

Aldous Huxley: Perennial Philosophers (03:04)

Aldous Huxley argues that perennial philosophers were primarily concerned with liberation and enlightenment--helping others to awaken to the divinity within them. One reading of Huxley's book changed Huston Smith's life from Christianity to mysticism.

Mankind's Collective Awakening (03:13)

Futurist and filmmaker Peter Russell discusses the evolutionary model of spirituality developed in the 1930s by Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin. Today's television and the Internet contribute to mankind's acceleration to de Chardin's "omega point."

Humans, Environment, and Spirituality (04:41)

Professor of Islam Seyyed Hossein Nasr asserts that humans must change their relationship to the earth and the environment. If humans successfully make the transition into spirituality, fear and anxiety over the world's rapid changes will diminish.

Human Connection With the Infinite (01:53)

Upon death, Huston Smith argues, human souls will experience infinite truth. In the meantime, humans should live their lives in the pursuit cosmic consciousness.

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Mysticism and the Perennial Philosophy: Huston Smith Speaks

Part of the Series : Beyond Theology
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



Huston Smith has devoted his life to study of the ineffable experience. This program opens windows of understanding into the renowned mystic philosopher’s unceasing quest for truth about the ultimate nature of reality as he shares the story of his early decades: growing up in China in a missionary family, preparation for a career in the ministry, the “aha!” moment in college that redirected him to a career in academia instead, and the shift in worldviews from naturalistic theism to mysticism that resulted from reading Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy. In addition, George Washington University’s Seyyed Hossein Nasr expands upon the concept of the perennial philosophy, while author and futurist Peter Russell considers the idea that humans are “transitional creatures” and are rapidly approaching the omega point described by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. (28 minutes)

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL39595

ISBN: 978-1-60467-563-4

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“This is an ambitious series with some of the most interesting voices in religion in America today. They take us beyond the current conflicts about religion and politics and show us a hopeful vision of faith based on the deepest longings of heart and mind.”  —Bill Moyers


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