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.
II. The world is not
Maya—the meaning and reality are now seen to be in things, according to Siddhartha.
B. He could see for himself that there comes a point where it is easier for him to learn without a teacher.
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?
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.
B. What is the Self apart from its properties?
1. The Daisy theory of the Self. E.g., Hume's analysis
self and Locke's notion of
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].
A. This is progress for Siddhartha, for he has passed through the following stages:
1. Self is the role it plays—he leaves home.
B. He experiences the personal crisis of the existentialist—he is completely alone in this world.
2. Self is noumena—he leaves the Samanas.
3. Self is caused (a thing)—he leaves the Buddha.
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.
2. Forlorness: as a result of anguish, we are condemned to establish our own values.
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.
a. We have to interpret the signs as best we can. There is no
certainty in outcomes.
3. Despair: we must act without hope as to whether we act rightly or
wrongly because we cannot know with certainty.
b. We have to impose value on what we do, and we cannot assume
the values come from others.
a. There is no external standard to measure up to. Yet, we are
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.