By Mircea Eliade
Publish yr note: initially released in French less than the identify Histoire des croyances et des idees religieuses. Vol. 2: De Gautama Bouddha au triomphe du christianisme Payot, Paris, 1978. First released in english in 1982
In quantity 2 of this huge paintings, Mircea Eliade maintains his magisterial growth throughout the historical past of spiritual principles. The religions of historical China, Brahmanism and Hinduism, Buddha and his contemporaries, Roman faith, Celtic and German religions, Judaism, the Hellenistic interval, the Iranian syntheses, and the start of Christianity—all are encompassed during this quantity.
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Additional info for A History of Religious Ideas, Volume 2: From Gautama Buddha to the Triumph of Christianity
Be the ravine of the world and the Supreme Te will not fail you, and you can return to the state of infancy" (28. 1-2). From a certain point of view, the Taoist attempts to obtain the modality of the androgyne, the archaic ideal of human perfection. 68 But the integration of the two sexes makes it easier to return to the state of infancy, that is, "to the beginning" of individual existence; such a return makes possible the periodic regeneration of life. " For him, fullness of life, spontaneity, and bliss are bestowed only at the beginning of a "creation" or of a new epiphany of life.
Emptiness, the void, is associated, on the one hand, with the notion of fertility and maternity and, on the other hand, with the absence of sensible qualities (the special modality ofthe Tao). The image ofthe thirty spokes converging toward the emptiness of the hub inspires an especially rich symbolism, evident in "the virtue of the leader who attracts to himself all beings, of the sovereign Unity that gives order to mUltiplicity around it," but also evident in the Taoist who, "when he is empty, that is, purified of passions and desires, is completely inhabited by the Tao" (Kaltenmark, p.
2, "weakness is the function of the Tao"). In short, just like Confucius, who proposes his ideal of the "perfect man" both to sovereigns and to any man wishing to learn, Lao Tzu invites political and military leaders to behave in the manner of Taoists, in other words, to accept the same exemplary model: that of the Tao. But this is the only similarity between the two masters. Lao Tzu criticizes and rejects the Confucian system, that is, the importance of the rites, respect for social values, and rationalism.
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