By Mircea Eliade
Publish yr note: initially released in French below the name Histoire des croyances et des idees religieuses. Vol. 2: De Gautama Bouddha au triomphe du christianisme Payot, Paris, 1978. First released in english in 1982
In quantity 2 of this huge paintings, Mircea Eliade maintains his magisterial development in the course of the background of non secular principles. 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 beginning of Christianity—all are encompassed during this quantity.
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Extra info for A History of Religious Ideas, Volume 2: From Gautama Buddha to the Triumph of Christianity
Ayin (aspect), a yang (aspect)-that is the Tao," says a brief treatise. 46 The unceasing transformation of the universe by the alternation of the yang and the yin manifests, so to speak, the exterior aspect of the Tao. But as soon as we attempt to grasp the ontological structure of the Tao, we encounter innumerable difficulties. " Tao' 'first of all suggests the image of a way to be followed" and "the idea of controlling conduct, of moral rule"; but it also means' 'the art of putting Heaven and Earth, the sacred powers and men, in communication," the magico-religious power of the 45.
So Lao Tzu speaks of a "second," contingent Tao; but this cannot be apprehended either. "I gaze and I see nothing .... I listen and I hear nothing. . 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.
59. At least four different positions are held: (I) Lao Tzu is the same person as Lao Tan ofthe sixth century and hence could have been visited by Confucius; (2) Lao Tzu lived in the so-called "Spring and Autumn" period (ca. 774-481), but he is not the author of the Tao T€ Ching; (3) he lived in the period of the Warring Kingdoms (ca. 404-221), but it is not certain that he wrote the Tao T€ Ching; (4) he is not a historical personage. See Wing-tsit Chan, The Way of Lao Tzu, pp. , and Jan Yiin-Hua, "Problems of Tao and Tao Te Ching," p.