A Second Conversion

by Huston Smith

Overnight, Heard’s book converted me from the scientific worldview... to the vaster world of the mystics

I was recently asked to write a foreword for the upcoming re-publication of Gerald Heard’s book, Pain, Sex and Time. I suspect that the book would not be brought back into print if I had not referred to it so frequently as having occasioned one of the two conversions I have undergone in my life. The first of these was my conversion from the world of practical affairs to the life of the mind. The second was when, overnight, Heard’s book converted me from the scientific worldview (which takes the visible world to be the only world there is) to the vaster world of the mystics. I am in good company in owing that conversion to Gerald Heard, for Heard also converted Aldous Huxley from the cynical nihilism of his Brave New World to the mysticism of The Perennial Philosophy.

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