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Philosophy 312: Oriental Philosophy
Chapter 4: Awakening

Abstract: The philosophy of Sankara is anticipated—Maya or the world of causes is real. 

I.  Siddhartha began to see as Buddha had preached—he recognized causes.

    A. The world became an exciting place—he begins to see the relationships of the causal whole.

    B. He could see for himself that there comes a point where it is easier for him to learn without a teacher.

II. The world is not Maya—the meaning and reality are now seen to be in things, according to Siddhartha.
    A. The Substance and Attribute Problem: what is the apple apart from its properties? Once we separate the redness, the textures, the shape, and so forth, what is left?  In what do the properties inhere?

    B. What is the Self apart from its properties?

      1. The Daisy theory of the Self. E.g., Hume's analysis of self and Locke's notion of substance as, "Something I know now what."

      2. Note in the next chapter when Siddhartha recognizes, "The self cannot be trapped in a net of thoughts" [39B].

III. And so he begins his life afresh—no longer does he live just as a role (e.g., as an ascetic or Brahmin) [Hesse, 33B], but as a person.

    A. This is progress for Siddhartha, for he has passed through the following stages:

      1. Self is the role it plays—he leaves home.

      2. Self is noumena—he leaves the Samanas.

      3. Self is caused (a thing)—he leaves the Buddha.

    B. He experiences the personal crisis of the existentialist—he is completely alone in this world.

      1. Anguish: we are solely responsible for ourselves. Losing Govinda helps him find himself; helping his friend concealed his own insecurity. Often, when we help others we are not anxious about ourselves.

        a. As Jean-Paul Sartre says, we are the sole authority of our lives.

        b. We cannot give up this responsibility except through self-deception. I.e., through bad faith, allowing others to control us, or choosing not to choose.

      2. Forlorness: as a result of anguish, we are condemned to establish our own values.

        a. We have to interpret the signs as best we can. There is no certainty in outcomes.

        b. We have to impose value on what we do, and we cannot assume the values come from others.

      3. Despair: we must act without hope as to whether we act rightly or wrongly because we cannot know with certainty.

        a. There is no external standard to measure up to. Yet, we are risking everything.

        b. I cannot know the consequences of my choices before I choose. It is possible that the choice might be "right," but the consequences can be good or bad. 

 

 
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