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The Awakened OnesPhenomenology of Visionary Experience$
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Gananath Obeyesekere

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153621

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153621.001.0001

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The Visionary Experience

The Visionary Experience

Theoretical Understandings

(p.19) Book 1 The Visionary Experience
The Awakened Ones

Gananath Obeyesekere

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores Buddha's spiritual awakening. It argues that, the Buddha awoke from a physical and spiritual death into a new life very much in the way of an initiation ritual, imitating, in his own inimitable way, the lives of other heroes of myth. In order to understand this view of the Buddha's spiritual experience, one must take the Buddhist mythos seriously rather than relegate it to secondary importance, the strategy of many Indologists as well as that of contemporary intellectuals in Buddhist nations. The remainder of the chapter discusses time and space in visionary experience; what is meant by the Buddha giving primacy to knowledge acquired through concentration; the emergence of aphoristic thinking; and the visionary experiences of Daniel Paul Schreber, the most famous madman in modern history, and his attempts to theorize about them.

Keywords:   Buddha, spiritual awakening, spiritual experience, Buddhists, imagination, time, space, visionary experience, Daniel Paul Schreber, aphoristic thinking

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