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

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
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In quantity 2 of this enormous paintings, Mircea Eliade keeps his magisterial development throughout the background of non secular principles. The religions of historic China, Brahmanism and Hinduism, Buddha and his contemporaries, Roman faith, Celtic and German religions, Judaism, the Hellenistic interval, the Iranian syntheses, and the delivery 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

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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 Tao Te Ching is not explicit on this point. 70 To put the problem in its proper context, it must be remembered that the Taoist technique of ecstasy is shamanic in origin and structure.

P. 57. The Taoists and alchemy 37 One of the chief goals of the Taoist sexual technique is to mingle the semen with the breath in the lower Field of Cinnabar and there, below the navel, to form the "mysterious embryo" of the new immortal body. Nourished exclusively on the "breath," this embryo develops into a "pure body" that, upon the adept's seeming death, detaches itself from his corpse and joins the other Immortals. In order to "repair the brain," the adept had to absorb a great amount of Yin; this is why he often changed partners.

It is known that feathers are one 34 THE RELIGIONS OF ANCIENT CHINA formula for the Master's final apotheosis. A second category comprised the adepts who lived for centuries in a sort of earthly paradise: the Wonderful Islands or the Sacred Mountain, K'unWn. 82 They returned to earth from time to time to transmit the formulas for physical immortality to certain neophytes worthy to receive it. Finally, the third category included those who did not attain to the earthly paradises until after death.

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