The concept of “perennial essence” and its relationship with “Khosravani wisdom” in Illuminationist philosophy has prompted some researchers, such as Henry Corbin, to consider the purpose of Illuminationist philosophy and Suhrawardī’s “huge lifelong project” to be the r More
The concept of “perennial essence” and its relationship with “Khosravani wisdom” in Illuminationist philosophy has prompted some researchers, such as Henry Corbin, to consider the purpose of Illuminationist philosophy and Suhrawardī’s “huge lifelong project” to be the revival of the philosophy of ancient Persia known as Khosravani wisdom. The present study reveals that several pieces of evidence in Illuminationist philosophy indicate that his goal was to establish a new school of philosophy rather than merely reviving a traditional one. An analysis of the concept of “perennial” and the related concepts and the attention to the newly emerged referents of perennial essence in various civilizations disclose the truth of Suhrawardī’s view. There are several differences between the concepts of “establishment” and “revival”; revival is a secondary, dependent, and imitative job, while establishment is an original, fundamental, and innovative endeavor which can also be followed by revival. Moreover, revival is consistent with historical changes, while pre-eternity is not a historical entity and is, rather, metahistorical, and any reception from perennial essence means receiving from a metahistorical source. Hence, discovering the relationship between ancient Persia and Suhrawardī’s Illuminationist philosophy could never be Suhrawardī’s main purpose. If he considers Khosravani wisdom to be a manifestation of the perennial essence, his view of Pythagorean philosophy and other schools of philosophy in some civilizations such as those of India and Babylonia should be the same. As a result, the advocates of the idea of the revival of Persian wisdom should repeat exactly the same views regarding the revival of Greek philosophy and other philosophical schools, while this is not the case. Therefore, Suhrawardī’s main purpose, unlike what some researchers claim, was to establish the Illuminationist philosophy and not to revive Khosravani wisdom. A careful scrutiny of the content of the theory of perennial essence and its concomitants nullifies any claim as to Suhrawardī’s being a Shu‘ūbi philosopher or the dominance of neo-Shu‘ūbism over his philosophical thoughts.