When I was a teenager, my older (and more saintly) brother joined a small Christian church which was rather disdained: The worldly mocked it for being overly conservative and pious, fellow Christians were bothered because of the repeated preaching of victory over sin and the belief that Jesus had been tempted like a human (except for the differences that came from never sinning). I found however that these people had become good from the teachings, and that they had an amazing ability to open the Bible pretty much anywhere and find something useful from it. Eventually I also got that spirit and the Scriptures were opened to me.
A lot of things have happened and that church has changed, and I have also changed but not in the same ways. I set out on a different sort of discovery, learned about different religions and philosophies and the history of human civilizations. I realize that there have been many wise men through the ages from whom I could learn much.
Yesterday I picked up a book I have brought with me through all these years, a collection of articles or very short essays written by the "founder" of that particular church - the guy who managed to irritate the established churches so much that they threw him out. I am not sure how to put this. The clarity of his understanding, and the ability he had to draw from the Bible insights that are applicable regardless of religion, culture or time in history. Of course he frames it all in distinctly Christian words, but it is definitely the perennial religion.
For some of us it is a necessity to learn about different religions and spiritual traditions. But I now also realize that this is not necessarily true for everyone. That one could with just the Bible find all the wisdom in the world. I am not the right person to say whether you could do that with the sacred scripture of other faiths as well. It may well be, what I mean is that it is not for me. The thing is, it is not the letter but the spirit. The actual text is only a container for a spiritual fountain that cannot be exhausted, not in a single lifetime or even by a single church throughout the ages. But without the right spirit, the text will lead one into utter madness.
They say that you do not know what you have until you lose it. But I have now come to believe that you do not know until you find it again.