Thursday, 18 April 2013

Philosophical Perspectives on the Individual - Part 4: Eastern Philosophy

Please read your selected passages in the texts below [feel free to choose alternative texts!]

a) Eihei Dogen Zenji,  Shobogenzo Zuimonki

Please read around in all 6 books. Here the link to the first passage in book 1: down on the left for more)

b) Takuan Soho, The Unfettered Mind 

c) Thich Nhat Hanh, The 14 Mindfulness Trainings

d) The Hyms of the Rig Veda 

-> choose your favourite passages

or watch the youtube version of the Vedas:

e) Patanjali, Yoga Sutras 

-> choose your favourite passages

f) The Bhagavad Gita

Please use these selections to develop your own philosophy of the self further!



  1. For this part I didn’t use any of the sources provided about but created my own personal framework for decision making that represents the way myself consider and makes decisions. I think this is another way of showing the perspective of someone, by knowing how they think and make decisions. I have some copies of this framework and I would like you to see it. If you want to see how my framework looks like and want to know what is the process that my mind goes through when making a decision let me know and I would be happy to show it to you. Maybe this inspires you to create your own framework as well, for the ones that haven’t done it yet. 

  2. Nasadya Sukta- Hymn of Creation

    "Then even nothingness was not, nor existence,
    There was no air then, nor the heavens beyond it.
    What covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping
    Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed?

    Then there was neither death nor immortality
    nor was there then the torch of night and day.
    The One breathed windlessly and self-sustaining.
    There was that One then, and there was no other

    At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness.
    All this was only unillumined water.
    That One which came to be, enclosed in nothing,
    arose at last, born of the power of heat

    In the beginning desire descended on it -
    that was the primal seed, born of the mind.
    The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom
    know that which is is kin to that which is not.

    And they have stretched their cord across the void,
    and know what was above, and what below.
    Seminal powers made fertile mighty forces.
    Below was strength, and over it was impulse

    But, after all, who knows, and who can say
    Whence it all came, and how creation happened?
    the gods themselves are later than creation,
    so who knows truly whence it has arisen?

    Whence all creation had its origin,
    he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
    he, who surveys it all from highest heaven,
    he knows - or maybe even he does not know"

    This is a Cosmology hymn, that tries to explain the origin of creation. It describes the chaos that preceded creation, when there was neither death nor immortality. From this chaos, the "One", animated by its own impulse, breathed and came into existence.

    It is really interesting to see the convergence of thoughts of Rig Vedic sages and modern scientist in the quest of the mystery of the creation of the Universe (like the Big Bang Theory), despite adopting radically different methodologies and despite being separated by a time span of 10,000 years.