The Book Depository The Doctrine of the Awakening by Julius Evola

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The Book Depository The Doctrine of the Awakening by Julius Evola
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Description: The Doctrine of the Awakening : Paperback : Inner Traditions Bear and Company : 9780892815531 : 0892815531 : 03 Jan 2000 : Italian philosopher Julius Evola pares away centuries of adaptations to reveal Buddhist practice in its original context. Most surprisingly, he argues that the widespread belief in reincarnation is not an original Buddhist tenet. Evola presents actual practices of concentration and visualization, and places them in the larger metaphysical context of the Buddhist model of mind and universe. The Book Depository The Doctrine of the Awakening by Julius Evola - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

 

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Product ID: 9780892815531

MPN: 0892815531

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Author: abasu1979

Rating: 5

Review: 'You do not possess life - it is life that possesses you.' The course of time that spans human existence and endeavour, i.e. history, has often been conceived of in terms of a life cycle - most eloquently by German philosopher Dr. Oswald Spengler in 'The Decline of the West'. This view has been overshadowed in the last few centuries by a linear perspective based on the idea of progress, with history being envisaged as mankind's advance from primitive barbarism through medieval superstition to contemporary civilization. Today, this conception is not merely prevalent, but almost universal. Nevertheless, there exists a third perspective that, whilst familiar to many ancient cultures, is virtually unknown today: the history of man as a regression. In this view, the course of time is a downward spiral from the spiritual heights of solar tradition descending to sentimental monotheism, before finally degenerating into the modern world of materialism, whose inhabitants falsely believe they are free even as their entire lives are ruled by external forces. Against this process of decadence arise sages and heroes who, through their teachings and actions, set forth another path - a way that leads to independence rather than dependence. Writing in some of the darkest hours of Western civilization, the Italian genius Baron Julius Evola demonstrates in 'The Doctrine of Awakening' that primal Buddhism is one such path - open to any individual who wishes to rise above the world rather than to wallow in it. The main text, which consists of 19 chapters, is divided into two parts: Principles and Practice. The bulk of the book is dedicated to the latter, which covers the various stages of spiritual self-development, culminating in complete transcendence, whilst the first part provides the essential background of the doctrine and its enduring relevance. A separate preface and introduction by two other thinkers, prepare the reader for the work, and also serve as short commentaries on it. The central theme of Baron Evola's masterpiece is the path to Enlightenment (Awakening) - the point where a man ceases to be an object swayed by any and all external influences, and instead emerges as a being that stands unconditioned. It is this path - a path that involves destroying craving after craving, attaining complete control of body and mind, and ultimately freeing oneself from one's thoughts, that leads to final liberation from the 'samsara', the cycle of birth, restlessness, suffering, death and rebirth. It hardly needs to be added that many, (possibly most) men do not see life in these terms, but the author, with the wisdom of the past at his command, demonstrates that this is merely a sign of the spiritual sterility of the age. Underlying the primary subject of the text, are a number of secondary issues which, though less important, are nonetheless interesting. Reflecting the political atmosphere of the time, (and probably to counter the views of Mr. Houston S. Chamberlain in 'Arische Weltanschauung'), Baron Evola strongly stresses the 'Aryan' nature of the original Buddhist doctrine - as a path made and meant for the noble sons of the higher castes, (the Aryaputra). It is perhaps more accurate to note that the path presupposes a certain degree of leisure and detachment that is more likely to be found among male aristocrats than among ordinary men who are consumed by work and family concerns. Nonetheless, the path remains open to all, and the author himself mentions that the doctrine is not limited in its application to any single culture or region. Another matter which Baron Evola addresses is the general failure of Western Indologists to understand, let alone appreciate, such doctrines and teachings. As the author rightly notes, asceticism in the Buddhist sense is of an altogether different nature from the self-mortification of the Christian 'sinner', for it is self-conquest aiming at ascension, not self-harm inflicted in order to gain salvation. Failing to penetrate the subject matter in any depth because doing so would contradict their stereotypes, occidental scholars end up disseminating superficial analyses of Indian culture, an unfortunate state of affairs that persists to this day. Being aware of such inherent biases, the author takes great care to avoid them. Given the difficulty of the subject, not least because it involves a mode of thinking that is altogether foreign to the modern world, The Doctrine of Awakening is a demanding read. Some familiarity with Buddhist teachings or with Idealist philosophy will facilitate the reader's comprehension, as will knowledge of Baron Evola's other works, particularly 'Revolt Against The Modern World'. Even then, the author's use of original Indian terms, (such as 'nidana', 'jnana', 'asava', etc..) as well as words like 'sidereal', 'docetism' and 'nonpareil' suffice to render the text rather challenging. However, this should not deter the serious reader, especially since Baron Evola's exposition of the doctrine is clear and systematic. The universality of suffering, the fleeting nature of existence and the quest to discover its meaning - all this has not been - and perhaps cannot be - addressed by external development, which is increasingly the only form of development that the men of the present comprehend. For those who can detach themselves from the prevailing madness, the various paths of inward development exist, paths which enable one to overcome the great problems of life. The Doctrine of Awakening is one such path - the austere ascent of the man who seeks neither to worship divinities nor even to become one, but to transcend them altogether.

 

Author: pockley@mbox.vol.cz

Rating: 1

Review: This book has more to do with a philosophy professor trying to impress his peers than with a concerted attempt to explain Buddhist philosophy: I know this because I used the same absurd, unnecessarily obtuse lingo in my MA thesis! If you want to educate yourself about Buddhism, this book is a complete waste of money. The only light relief is accidental: to appease the Nazi authorities, Evola tries to prove Buddha was fair-skinned and blue-eyed, and that Buddhist practice is one route towards achievement of the ubermensch. Otherwise, a complete waste of your cash. Wish I hadn't bought it.

 

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