On Awakening and Remembering


Borrowing from the teachings of both Western and Eastern mystics–who all point to the same celestial goal–Perry writes in depth about the regeneration of the miracle of human consciousness so that, to paraphrase Aristotle, the soul can become all that it knows. To awaken it through the midwifery of words is the object of this masterful book.

  • 9781887752404
  • 434

Product Description

Borrowing from the teachings of both Western and Eastern mystics–who all point to the same celestial goal–Perry writes in depth about the regeneration of the miracle of human consciousness so that, to paraphrase Aristotle, the soul can become all that it knows. As Emerson attested: “my own mind is the direct revelation which I have from God.”

To undertake this, Perry proposes, in the footsteps of the great American Transcendentalists Emerson and Thoreau, that one awaken to one’s integral possibility as a human being, to cultivate, in Thoreau’s words, “an infinite expectation of the dawn.”
To miss that single chance is as tragic as it is unforgivable.
To know the true is to be true just as to know the good is to be good; one’s being always proves one’s understanding.
To be born a human being is to be born with the unique -“once-only”-gift of total consciousness, of the knowledge between the True and the false, the Real and the illusory, as also that of Good and evil.
And it is also to be born with the capacity to choose the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. If man could but seize his God-given means to realize these, he could attain perfect happiness

“This book would be unnecessary,” Perry writes, “were it not for what can only be termed a collective degeneration of consciousness.” Moreover, emphasis is placed throughout this book on the vital necessity of virtue, of nobility of character and behavior, for the divine mysteries do not yield their secrets to idle curiosity. And this understanding–whose essence mingles with the divine intellect–lies in man’s immortal substance. To awaken it through the midwifery of words is the object of this masterful book.


"When, in a gesture that proved to be momentous, an anonymous child handed Saint Augustine an open Bible, all she said was, 'Take, read.' It risks hyperbole to draw the comparison, but that is all that I really want to say as I hand the reader this extraordinary book. I have encountered few other books that speak more directly and helpfully to the changed outlook that we so desperately need. This is a profound book. Few writings in recent years have done as much to further--in ways that makes life feel different-my understanding of the ultimate nature of things. Perry's thoughts are as advanced as one will find anywhere--this is clearly the higher mathematics of the human spirit."
--Huston Smith
A profound treasury of wisdom, at once metaphysical and therefore timeless and applicable and therefore timely. As every book lover knows, most bookstores have a "how-to" section filled with books covering a vast range of human pursuits. But nowhere will the seeker find a more comprehensive "how-to" and "why-to" book for spiritual and therefore truly practical life than this one. Again, these same bookstores have books on many religions and spiritual paths. And again, this book covers the field. It is a book to be read again and again in order to plumb its depths. As Huston Smith writes in the Preface, "the reader...holds in his hands one of the all-too-rare phenomena today, a genuinely thought-provoking book." The stated goal of the book is "to awaken [understanding] through the midwifery of words." The book is pleasurable to read due to the use of words that make prose flow like poetry. The beauty of expression impresses the mind and heart with the profound ideas of the text. It is as though Beauty and Truth flowed together, thus appealing deeply to the human Soul. As Plato says, "Beauty is that which delights the Soul." By beautifully expressing his ideas, the truths Mark Perry has presented are well-served. His well-posed question, "...what would be the attributes, the perceptible qualities, whose manifestation indicates the living presence of the center?" hands each reader a challenge yet a promise. As Huston Smith writes, "...genuinely thought-provoking." May On Awakening & Remembering find a treasured place on many bookshelves.
-Louise Wilson, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
“Providence recently placed in my hands a copy of “On Awakening and Remembering”. Its scholarship and spiritual maturity is an inspiration. I have been studying the perennial philosophy for many decades and I absolutely agree with Huston Smith’s words in the Preface. It’s profoundly important and the culmination of a lifetime’s searching on my part.” “...the beauty and accuracy of its English is consistent with the perfection of its message. I have spent many decades without any formal education studying Western and Eastern spiritual writings. I believe we all of us have a destiny laid before us which we can choose to fill—or leave unfulfilled. In an atheistic and deteriorating society it is a joy to read one’s intuitions echoed elsewhere. (I was starting to think “I alone am left.”) You book did my soul good. It was a joy to the heart. I can’t be alone in wishing you well.” 'Mysterium Ineffable' (United States) -
A letter from another reader sent to Fons Vitae regarding 'On Awakening and Remembering"
"On Awakening and Remembering" is an eloquent statement of the way of Knowledge as it relates to knowing that which matters most in our lives, namely knowing God, and all that this entails by way of consequence. It is also related to that body of sapience which has been labeled the Sophia Perennis (timeless wisdom). The Sophia Perennis, a term coined by the contemporary sage Frithjof Schuon, seeks the underlying matrix of ideas that animate all the myriad expressions of transcendence and sacredness that perfume our lives in this lower world, and without which life would be, as the post-modernists now believe, meaningless. Mark Perry, son of the famed philosopher Withall Perry, has graced us with arguments and erudition equal in their own way to the Master himself. His topics range from those dealing with epistemological concerns, metaphysical nuance, and the spiritual authority vis-à-vis temporal power as it manifested in the ancient world. The breadth of his learning is extraordinary (and it is worth noting that Mr. Perry is self-educated), in that one finds in Perry a full understanding of the subtleties of sacred symbolism, theological niceties, and most important of all spiritual method. These are contrasted with what has sought to route them in the collective consciousness in the past few hundred years in the West, namely modern and by extension post-modern hermeneutics (we say hermeneutics because we cannot with good conscience refer to these perspectives as philosophical, which of course means the love of wisdom). Perry also tackles the issue of logic and its importance in spiritual discourse, as well as the issue of pious excess in Western theology which unintentionally exiles our supernaturally natural intelligence and condemns it to the fetters of rationalism or sentimentalism; when in fact our intelligence must--at least for those endowed with an active intelligence--dominate our reason and sentiment, since this is the natural order of things. The natural order of things, that celestial hierarchy which bestows justice, as Plato spoke of it, upon the chaos of the countless competing drives and impulses within man--that is where one must begin; otherwise there is no center, no starting point, and hence no sense of proportion in setting out to know and orient ourselves to Truth. Perry moves easily between various metaphysical languages, from Neoplatonic to Vedantic, and employs the full range of sacred writ which, each in their own manner, bespeak the highest Truth. The author accomplishes this not without a touch of humor and those fascinating shifts of perspective which highlights all of the writings of the sages who speak on behalf of this perspective. While solving the bedeviling issues in Western theology between Being as such, and the creator God, the demiurge, and the allowance given to the principal of negation (evil) in the world of men, Perry also explores how men are to 'be' in the sense of the egos relationship with Being, which in not other than Virtue. To be a little more specific, Perry discusses suffering, and how suffering aught to be appropriated by the individual so as to unveil the root of our individuality, which in fact opens us out onto the annihilation of individuality, at least insofar as this individuality mires us in that suffocating fog of narcissism, and hence protracted suffering. In another part of the book Perry discusses what he has termed the eighth deadly sin, namely a blameworthy stupidity, or an apathy when it comes to knowing, which, while not equating ignorance per say, is nonetheless a damning carelessness vis-à-vis knowledge and virtue, or a contentment in nescience. This contentment, this slovenly attitude toward knowledge of the nature of things, sets into motion a spiritual degeneration of the worst kind, and eventually poisons the heart of men--and historically paved the road for the arrival of that comedy known as the European renaissance. In a way the eighth deadly sin prefigures the other seven in the sense that, "the root of all evil is nescience of the Self." Somewhere else Perry cracks open the shell of the polarization of modern societies that forces everyone into the rival camps of fanaticism on one hand and relativism on the other. Since both of these camps are, at root, the same ideologically with different sets of blindly championed values, the sage integrates and transcends both and lends to them their balance in this world of paradox. This actually allows for a great deal of insight into our collective history and the complexity and scandal it presents us, while lending us those first principals that resolve paradox. Much more can be said about this remarkable work, but it would be fitting at this point to refer the reader to the work itself instead of trying to summarize points that no doubt demand a fuller treatment than this reviewer is qualified to give. We hope that Mr. Perry will honor us with another work of similar caliber in the near future. In the meantime there is enough here to occupy us for some time to come."
An reviewer writes: "The true lover of knowledge is always striving after Being--that is his nature." - Plato