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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 Cosmic “It”

The Cosmic “It”

The Abstract Being of the Intellectuals

(p.127) Book 3 The Cosmic “It”
The Awakened Ones

Gananath Obeyesekere

Columbia University Press

This chapter begins with Plotinus (204–76 ce), whose thinking provides a bridge linking the two traditions of Buddhism and Christianity. Plotinus believed in a doctrine of rebirth, thereby showing an inner affinity with the Pythagorean tradition and also bridging Greek thought with the Indic traditions of Buddhism and the Upanisads. The discussion then juxtaposes Plotinus and the Buddha and the experience of the furthermost reach of what some would call the mystical experience. It is a difficult path with an abstract salvific goal that could be grasped by only a few. The final section examines David Bohm (1917–1992) and his extremely speculative theory or metaphysics of mind. He tries to give epistemological meaning to the idea of another order of reality that underlies the physical structure of the phenomenal world we live in, daring to make sense of the very constitution of the noumenon as it were. But in his attempt to found a new metaphysics, grounding the intellectualist view of the Absolute on relativity theory and quantum mechanics, he moves away from both.

Keywords:   Plotinus, Buddhism, Christianity, rebirth, Buddha, mystical experience, David Bohm, metaphysics

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