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Forgotten Truth * Huston Smith (1976)

Forgotten TruthI had not heard of this book, nor of the author before I noticed a reference to it in a book that I read recently. Apparently it was first published under the title Forgotten Truth: the Perennial Tradition, was reprinted under this title a couple of times and later republished under the title Forgotten Truth: The Common Vision of the World’s Religions, because the “Perennial Tradition” in the title would lower the sales? In any case, Smith (1919-) is a scholar and author of the popular Religions Of Man/The World’s Religions and he follows the ideas of Traditionalists such as Guénon and Burckhardt. Interested in a book in this ‘low period’ of Traditionalism, I got this book which is both easy and cheap to get second hand. Smith obviously a scholar, mostly deals with contemporary subjects and why things are differently as we usually think. Evolution theory, the idea of progress and mostly the role of science in general are put in a different perspective. This might be interesting as an introduction for people who are looking for alternative ideas on a variety of still current subjects, but when you, like me, have read your share of ‘Perennial literature’, nothing much new is to be found here. Moreover, like I said before, I am not so much interested in this level of knowledge, I would love to run into something more metaphysically Traditionalistic. In any case, Forgotten Truth is a good introduction for Western thinking people. There is not all that much Tradition to be found, rather the hows and whys of the incorrectness of many modern ideas and theories. After that, you might want to learn more about religions and this author seems to be able to provide that too, but I have not read any of these works.
1976 harper & row, isbn 0060139021

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