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Philosophy 312: Oriental Philosophy

Directions: Answer any seven of the following questions as clearly and completely as possible. Give examples for each question.

1. Interpolating back from Siddhartha's destiny, what could be inferred about Siddhartha's karma before he joined the Samanas?

2. In Siddhartha's later life with Vasudeva, he became like the Child-People, yet he had an edge toward self-realization which they did not have. Explain what this was.

3. Siddhartha preferred the sorrow of his son's love rather than a tranquil life without him. Suppose the son would not have left. Could Siddhartha have been happy? How?

4. "You cannot trap the Self in a net of thoughts." Explain what this quotation means. Include in your discussion the concepts of Atman, Samsara, and Maya.

5. Siddhartha says there are many ways to lose yourself. Explain what this means, and describe four different ways.

6. Why did Siddhartha part with Buddha and Govinda stay with Buddha? Give both philosophical reasons and psychological reasons for your view.

7. Siddhartha's keys to life were "I can think, I can wait, and I can fast." What does this mean? What does he lack (if anything)? Why ought we emulate him?

8. Why does Vadsudeva seem to have no big problems in life? Why does he speak so much about the River? What does time mean to him?

9. What roles do thinking, intuition, valuing (feeling), and sensation play in obtaining enlightenment for Siddhartha?

10. What is selfless love? What does this have to do with time's being an illusion and thoughts distorting reality?


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