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Philosophy 312: Oriental Philosophy
Our Approach to the Study of Oriental Philosophy

Abstract: The general focus of our study of Oriental Philosophy is characterized.

I. This course is an attempt to expand our awareness beyond our Western thought and to include some different ways to see and understand the world.

A. The world has almost become a global village--you can patch through a telephone call to almost anyone in the world in a few hours or actually be there within the day.  The Internet, as presently constituted, treats national barriers to communications as superfluous and obsolete.  Shortwave radio immediately connects us to different cultures.

B. We have to take each other seriously now; for the first time in history,  we are truly citizens of the world.  Kipling's famous statement, "East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet until heaven and earth come together on God's judgment day" has fallen by the wayside as a historical curiosity.

II. Our study of philosophies of the East will center on spiritual discipline, especially the techniques of self-awareness and self-realization.

A. The mutual exchange of philosophies in the past century has led to many oversimplifications and misunderstandings.  It is my hope that these notes provide a basis for an introductory study which is reasonably basic and more helpful than not.

     

     

1. The view is assumed here that things in the world are neither bad nor good in themselves but are a product of human minds and purposes.

2. This course represents a genuine effort to show the relevance of Oriental philosophy, practically and psychologically.  The basic teachings covered are not especially academic and scholastic.

3. Even so, some historical and technical background information is essential to understanding and interpreting the philosophies.

B. If we obtain a nonintellectual and intuitive understanding of the basic teaching and techniques of a few of the practices of the East, I believe our lives can be significantly enriched.  


 
     

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