By Mircea Eliade
Publish 12 months note: initially released in French less than 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 keeps his magisterial development in the course of the background of spiritual principles. The religions of historic China, Brahmanism and Hinduism, Buddha and his contemporaries, Roman faith, Celtic and German religions, Judaism, the Hellenistic interval, the Iranian syntheses, and the start of Christianity—all are encompassed during this quantity.
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Additional info for A History of Religious Ideas, Volume 2: From Gautama Buddha to the Triumph of Christianity
In all probability, the "Obscure deeper than obscurity itself" refers to the typically Taoist experience of ecstasy, to which we shall return. 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.
86. Maspero, "Les procedes de 'nourrir Ie principe vital' dans la religion taoiste ancienne," pp. ; Maspero, Le taoi'sme, pp. 107 ff. 87. See Maspero, "Les procedes," pp. ; Eliade, Yoga, pp. 53 ff. We may add that the "deep and silent" breathing of ecstasy resembled the breathing of animals during hibernation, and it is known that, for the Chinese, the fullness and spontaneity of animal life constituted the supreme example of an existence in perfect harmony with the cosmos. 88. Preface to the treatise "Oral Formulas for Embryonic Respiration," trans.
Hence it contains, in hidden form, the mystery of regeneration through death (for burning symbolizes death). It follows that cinnabar can insure the perpetual regeneration of the human body and, in the last analysis, can procure immortality. The great alchemist Ko Hung (283-343) writes that ten pills of a mixture of cinnabar and honey, taken in the course of a year, make white hair become black and lost teeth grow again; if one goes on for longer than a year, one obtains immortality. 103 But cinnabar can also be created inside the human body, first of all by distillation of the sperm in the Fields of Cinnabar (see p.
A History of Religious Ideas, Volume 2: From Gautama Buddha to the Triumph of Christianity by Mircea Eliade