By Mircea Eliade
In quantity 2 of this huge paintings, Mircea Eliade keeps his magisterial development in the course of the historical past of spiritual rules. The religions of historical China, Brahmanism and Hinduism, Buddha and his contemporaries, Roman faith, Celtic and German religions, Judaism, the Hellenistic interval, the Iranian syntheses, and the delivery of Christianity—all are encompassed during this quantity.
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Extra info for A History of Religious Ideas: From Gautama Buddha to the Triumph of Christianity
Paul Wheatley, The Pivot of the Four Quarters, pp. , 411 fT. 37. Marcel Granet, La pensee chinoise, p. 324. 38. , pp. ; see also Granet's Danses et legendes de la Chine ancienne, pp. 116 fT. ), the sovereign in a certain sense incarnates the axis mundi and forms the connection between Earth and Heaven. The spatiotemporal symbolism of the "centers of the world" is widespread; it is documented in many archaic cultures as well as in every urban civilization. 39 We should add that, just like the royal palace, the humblest primitive dwellings of China have the same cosmic symbolism: they constitute, that is, an imago mundi.
I find only an undifferentiated Unity.... Indiscernible, it cannot be named" (chap. 66 But certain images and metaphors reveal some significant structures. As we have already pointed out (pp. 21-22), the "second" Tao is called the "Mother of the World" (chaps. 25 and 52). It is symbolized by the "divinity of the Valley," the "Obscure Female" that does not die. 67 The image of the valley suggests the idea of emptiness and at the same time the idea of a receptacle of waters, hence of fecundity.
During his trance the shaman, too, frees himself from time and space: he flies away to the "center of the world"; he reconstitutes the paradisal period before the "fall," when men could ascend to heaven and converse with the gods. But Lao Tzu's journey to the origin of things constitutes a mystical experience of a different kind; for he transcends the limitations that characterize the human condition and hence radically alters its ontological order. Very little is known about the life of Chuang Tzu, the second great master of Taoism.
A History of Religious Ideas: From Gautama Buddha to the Triumph of Christianity by Mircea Eliade