This classic compendium of cross-cultural mystical references, entertainingly and informatively fleshed out by the author of Brave New World and Doors of Perception, is a welcome reference for anyone curious about serious, accessible literature on the nature of the eternal, the timeless, and the one--mysticism in a positive sense. It is peculiar in some respects: Huxley believes in the efficacy of magic (~morphic resonance); he is convinced that Hinduism and Buddhism are intrinsically less violent world views than the great monotheisms (based on their history); and he uses some strange, and slightly fuddy-duddy phrases, such as "poverty of spirit" to designate a positive condition. He emphasizes the necessity of including spirit along with body and mind in any complete description of humanity. Some of the strangeness of this work to the modern reader owes to its datedness; it was written in 1944, and Huxley is clearly hugely disenchanted with the nationalistic politics that have been tearing the world apart. Some of the strangeness owes to Huxley's vocabulary which, like any mystical vocabulary, must be oblique. Nonetheless, it would be difficult to imagine a more useful, diverse, or erudite compendium of mysticism in a work of this size. I was delighted and surprised to see that he even referenced Alan Watts, who only came into his own as a writer decades later, but was already analyzing, in more technical works, eastern philosophy such as Zen. The basic idea of the philosophia perennis, or perennial philosophy, is that nirvana and samsara, time and eternity, the individual and the cosmos are one. This insight is described as advaita in Hinduism, annata in Buddhism, and (though perhaps less clearly) the union of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Christianity. Islamic mystic Jallaludin Rumi wrote poems about it, and Zen banned reading of sacred works to foment it. Huxley, like Watts, thinks Jesus was a misunderstood mystic; J.C.'s main difference seems to be that he staked his life on the essential nonduality of himself and the universe, barely flinching along the way. Huxley would no doubt be thrilled to see the veritable scientific proofs of the cross-cultural insights collectively termed the perennial philosophy in experiments such as those by Alain Aspect, explained by "ontological" quantum theories such as those of David Bohm. He would not, however, be happy to see the present slide back toward medieval-style religionizing in the name of partisan beliefs and blood politics.