Religions of the Eastern World

Jessica Burns November 10, 2003 Religions of the Eastern World Within the Buddhist tradition, lies three 'vehicles', or three main religious ways of life. As a whole, Buddhism is spread worldwide and its patterns of practice and instruction prove to be rather diverse, as they split accordingly into their three respective traditions. The first of these vehicles is the Theravada, or Hinayana, which extended from India to Southeast Asia. The 'Little Vehicle', as it is sometimes called, was thought to be rather conservative and refuses to deify the Buddha or accept scriptures written after the Tripitaka, or three baskets of sacred text. Next is the Mahayana, spreading from India to central and eastern Asia. Whereas Theravada maintained a rather fervent focus on the Sakyamuni of the present age as well as his self-control and spiritual insight, the Mahayana stressed the principle of the aforementioned insight as accomplished by "enlightened beings of past and future worlds." Another difference in these first two vehicles lies in how Mahayana fills the heavens with powers beyond deities or humans, something Theravada doctrine was hesitant to consider. In addition, several other differences between the Theravada and Mahayana traditions exist, however the focus of this paper is to speculate more on the third vehicle, or Vajrayana, and expand on Tibetan Buddhism as seen in the movie

  • Word count: 1851
  • Level: University Degree
  • Subject: Historical and Philosophical studies
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The Cycle of Karma

ID number : 4580175 Due date: 05/02/2003 EC 1 section 2 John McNulty Assignment 1:Narration The Cycle of Karma Buddhism has many teachings. The Buddha teached people to believe in the fact. The Buddha's teaching is really true and never out-of-date. It's always true every era especially the cycle of karma, which is the heart of the teaching. Karma or deed can be either good or bad. Everyone has karma. Some people have sins more than merits but some groups of people do not. In the past, I never realized the story about merit and sin until one day I heard an amazing and unbelievable story from my uncle. It is a true story that happened with my uncle 29 years ago. My uncle's experience is like the cycle of karma. The cycle of karma is believed that what you do is what you will deserve. My uncle was the first lieutenant in 1974. He worked for the government as a commander in Ubonrajchathanee. One day, he got an order to take the army about one hundred people in order to suppressed the terrorists who were the communists at Phoophannoi in Nakornpanom. His army had walked for 2 days to get there. On the way, there was a villager's dog that followed his army. Every soldier had the compassion and took care of this dog according to fate.

  • Word count: 1692
  • Level: University Degree
  • Subject: Historical and Philosophical studies
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The Philosophy of Zen and Shin Buddhism

The Philosophy of Zen and Shin Buddhism Alec Griswold 2/15/04 Prof. Brackett Through the study of Pure Land and Zen Buddhism in Japan one discovers that Buddhism has transformed into more of a philosophy than a religion. Although the particular sect in Pure Land Buddhism called Shin Buddhism still includes religious worship it has been simplified to aid those on the path to enlightenment. Furthermore, Shin Buddhism can help one answer their most important philosophical questions like, Who am I? Why do I suffer so? Where am I going? What is my purpose? What does it mean to be a human being? What happens after death? Shin Buddhism is a way of life and a philosophical path, which offers a liberal, voluntary, peaceful and deeply mystical spirituality. Zen Buddhism provides a path in which one can discover the true nature of themselves. This form of Buddhism encompasses many philosophical elements that are used to direct one on their path to enlightenment. Furthermore Zen is not a religion in the sense that it is popularly understood; for Zen has no God to worship, no ceremonial rites to observe, and no future abode to which the dead are destined. In essence Zen is free from all these dogmatic and religious impediments. Whatever teachings there are in Zen, they come out of one's own mind. Fundamentally we teach ourselves and Zen merely points the way. Zen Buddhism is

  • Word count: 1636
  • Level: University Degree
  • Subject: Historical and Philosophical studies
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What is Mary Shelley's relationship to the Enlightenment?

What is Mary Shelley's relationship to the Enlightenment? The Enlightenment broadly means the new wave of ideas and attitudes which surfaced during the late seventeenth an eighteenth centuries. They attempted to break free from old ideas and institutions such as the Catholic church. The Enlightenment had many facets, it was involved in science, philosophy, religion, politics, society, economics and nearly every other aspect of life. A number of philosophers during this time were interested in the notion of "the state of nature", this is a hypothetical situation of what human life was like before society was formed. It was argued that in the state of nature the human soul was fully exposed, this could help the present society to create a peaceful, harmonious and virtuous framework to live in. The conceptions of the state of nature varied greatly, from Hobbes' bloody war against all to Rousseau's belief in the noble savage - satisfied with the most basic requirements. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus in 1818. It is about a young scientist who manages to create a living monster. However, the monster is then left to its own devices and cast out of society. The monster becomes bitter and takes revenge on its creator. The book can be seen to have a number of interpretations, it was written towards the end of the Enlightenment period and so draws from this

  • Word count: 1618
  • Level: University Degree
  • Subject: Historical and Philosophical studies
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What roles did ideas associated with either Newton or Locke play in the Movement? Illustrate by reference to the work of a particular philosopher.

What roles did ideas associated with either Newton or Locke play in the Movement? Illustrate by reference to the work of a particular philosopher. The 'Enlightenment' is the term commonly used to refer the changes in intellectual attitudes and means of thinking that occurred in the period circa the eighteenth century. Enlightenment as a phenomenon itself has been described by Kant as "man's release from his self-incurred tutelage" and he elaborates that "tutelage is man's inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another. Self-incurred is this tutelage when its cause lies not in lack of reason but in a lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another" (Kant, 1785). Kant is in effect describing enlightenment as enabling ways of thinking to break from the traditional ideas of the past and provide a new, rational form of thought, and he sums this up with the motto "Have courage to use your own reason!" (Kant, 1785). This essay will in part attempt to examine to what extent the work of Newton fulfils Kant's concept of enlightenment. The 'Age of Enlightenment' therefore can be thought of as a period when new concepts of enlightened thought were initiated. It is not an event, in that it cannot be pinpointed to an exact timescale, and "only existed to the extent that it appears meaningful to isolate certain beliefs and ways of thinking

  • Word count: 1616
  • Level: University Degree
  • Subject: Historical and Philosophical studies
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Blackcave - creative writing.

Michael Le Professor Dubuclet Rhetoric 1301-003 26 November 2003 Blackcave It is dark in the cave, really dark. There is a man sitting in the corner chained at the neck and wrist. Images fly by on the wall so fast that he can barely make out what they mean. Suddenly, someone grabs him by the neck and drags him up the stairs. The caveman screams and refuses to go. The cave is his home and he does not want to go outside of this comfortable place. The cave is the world to this man. Even with all his effort, he eventually gives in and follows the man out of the cave. The sun blinds him subconsciously at first sight; the caveman slowly regains his sight and sees the world for what it is. Outside of the cave is true knowledge (Plato 107). This caveman is now enlightened. Similar to this caveman in Plato's "The Allegory of the Cave," the character John Preston in the movie Equilibrium takes the same path to enlightenment. Equilibrium in many ways supports Plato's argument for the necessity of enlightenment and resembles the allegory in many ways; although the outcomes are different, it proves that even though there are many drawbacks, in the end, the rewards, of truth and freedom, are worth every bit of the effort. "The Allegory of the Cave" describes a man's journey to obtain true knowledge-enlightenment. The allegory depicts a cave which holds prisoners, chained to the wall.

  • Word count: 1613
  • Level: University Degree
  • Subject: Historical and Philosophical studies
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Emergence of Enlightenment.

Enlightenment When it was published, people and mostly the conservative did not believe in what he said nor anticipate. Perhaps most significant from a religious standpoint was that by characterizing the earth as just another planet in an immense universe, Copernicus destroyed the idea of Aristotle. Where then was heaven? Especially protestant leaders attacked his ideas. Before it was published, Luther heard of his theories and spoke about him as the "new astrologer who wants to prove that the earth moves and goes round... The fool wants to turn the whole art of astronomy upside down". The catholic reaction was milder at first but declared the theory false in 1616. When a new star appeared in 1572 the people started to doubt that the heavenly spheres really existed, because it was not possible for them to change, since they were unchangeable and perfect. In 1577 a comet went through the sky and people then started to doubt even more. From Brahe to Galileo Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) agreed with this though. He was according to himself the leading astronomer of Europe after having collected detailed information of the star in 1572. He studied stars with the naked eye the next 20 years. Brahe's contributions were the great mass of data he had collected. He wasn't as good in mathematics though, but that he left for his assistant Kepler to do. Kepler formulated 3 famous laws of

  • Word count: 1583
  • Level: University Degree
  • Subject: Historical and Philosophical studies
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What were the main characteristics of the Enlightenment?

Date 24.11.2000 Course title: Sociology Surname: Manesi Forename: Sofia Course code: SO 300 Essay No1 Essay title: What were the main characteristics of the Enlightenment? This essay is going to discuss the main characteristics of the most important event that took place during the 18th century, Enlightenment (1715 - 1799). However, before my analysis of its main characteristics begins, it would be helpful making a small review of how things were in society before the start of this movement. Until the 18th century, just before the Enlightenment era started, people's knowledge was really limited. The only information they had about world nature and society, human creation and about people's place, duties and destiny in the world, was from what the Christian Church was popularising through the Bible and many other religious scripts. The Bible and the several religious scripts were transmitted in religious institutes, colleges, schools, and churches. Obviously, the Christendom in combination to the monarchs was the ruler of the epoch. People strictly leant on tradition, and had total faith in religion. The clergy had managed to make them believe that there was no way of improvement and that they should blindly trust the Church. Consequently, commonalty could not understand

  • Word count: 1564
  • Level: University Degree
  • Subject: Historical and Philosophical studies
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The Elusiveness and Effectiveness of Zen Buddhism.

History of India April 28, 2004 The Elusiveness and Effectiveness of Zen Buddhism Of all the sects and divisions of Buddhism, one of the hardest to describe in words is unquestionably Zen. As one of the core values of the religion (although some would call it a philosophy) is that there is no value in relying on the texts or the words of others, attributing a dictionary style definition to this sense of enlightenment is a difficult task. Zen teachers seek to clarify to their students that things cannot be explained in words but can only be learned through concrete personal experience. They assert that enlightenment cannot be achieved through words, for words, which are just a "logical" description, do not elucidate the truest essence of an object. Despite being difficult to express through written or spoken words, it is one of the most popular forms of Buddhism in Western society. Though it has had great success in its Western advances, Zen has roots strong in Southeast Asia, where it arrived in roughly 520 AD from the India, the motherland of Buddhism. Buddhism developed in India as a nonconformist counterpart to the local dominating religion that is Hinduism. It denied the authority of the caste system and did not accept the importance and value of the extensive Vedic rites and rituals. Eventually, Buddhism was near extinguished from India, as the Hindu religion

  • Word count: 1504
  • Level: University Degree
  • Subject: Historical and Philosophical studies
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Religion in Ancient Egypt and China

Religion in Ancient Egypt In today's society, religion is the foundation of most cultures and families. Religion has played a significant role on how the way people live, which affect values and norms of most cultures. Religion was the most important aspect of everyday life in Egypt. Before studying the Egypt civilization, one may assume that the Egyptians worshiped only pyramids, cats, and Pharaohs. To be honest and truthful, I had the same assumptions when I thought about religion in Ancient Egypt. However, as I further studied the Egyptian culture, I leaned that they had a variety of gods and goddesses. In fact, the Egyptians were polytheistic, having many gods. Some being land gods, sun gods, nature gods, and of course the Nile River. While conducting my research on the religion of Ancient Egypt, I found out there was not specific word for religion. In our text, "The Essential World History", it states "there was not specific religion because it was an inseparable element of the world order to which Egyptians society belonged" (Duiker 12). Siegfried Morenz writes, "The gods individual persons, defined and characterized by their form and name. In this respect they are like human beings" (Morenz 24). The Egyptians had gods for everything. Sir Flinders Petrie states, "The earliest gods were the personifications of the sky and the earth. The sky goddesses was called Nut and

  • Word count: 1437
  • Level: University Degree
  • Subject: Historical and Philosophical studies
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