A History of Religious Ideas, Volume 2: From Gautama Buddha by Mircea Eliade

By Mircea Eliade

Publish 12 months 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
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In quantity 2 of this enormous paintings, Mircea Eliade maintains his magisterial growth in the course of the background of non secular rules. The religions of old 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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States that through' 'perfect meditation. . " Through meditation the two partners must "lose consciousness of their body and consciousness of the external world"; then, after uttering prayers, the man must concentrate on the loins and the woman on the heart. "90 The Immortal Jung Ch'eng Kung's knowledge of the method of "repairing and conducting" was perfect. "He drew the essence from the mysterious Female" (see above, note 67); his principle was that the vital spirits that reside in the Valley do not die, for by them life is maintained and the breath is nourished.

The Taoists are acquainted with several techniques for prolonging life indefinitely 68. See Eliade, The Two and the One, pp. 78 ff. 69. This is, of course, a common idea, shared by all traditional societies: perfection belongs to the beginning of the (cosmic or "historical") cycle, and "decadence" soon makes itself felt. " The quest for long life forms part of the quest for the Tao. But Lao Tzu does not appear to have believed in physical immortality or in the survival of the human personality.

The first line of the Tao Te Ching affirms: "A tao of which it is possible to speak [tao] is not the permanent Tao [ch'ang tao]" (1. 1). This is as much as to say that the Tao of which Lao Tzu is speaking, the model of the Taoist, is not the Ch'ang Tao 64. " " 'Long' and 'short' exist only comparatively; 'high' and 'low' are interconnected" (2. 1-2, 5-6). 65 The latter, constituted by the totality ofthe Real, transcends the modalities of beings and therefore is inaccessible to knowing. Neither Lao Tzu nor Chuang Tzu tries to prove its existence-an attitude well known to be shared by many mystics.

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