The uncanny thing is that these scattered linguistic sketches, left behind by diverse personalities separated by vast gulfs of historical change, nonetheless somehow manage to come together into a unified picture of what it 'd be like, experientially, to grasp the unity of the real through the fully realized unity of the self.
Both remind us that our ultimate goal, rightly conceived, is epitomized by the Delphic-Socratic motto " Know Thyself. " Knowing that through which all else is known alone can provide us with the principles by which we an interpret the underlying unity of all knowledge and human experience alike.
From a philosophical point of view, these exts are fascinating because they refute the foundational tenet of the Western philosophical tradition; that is, they refute the basic, inherited Platonic belief that the ay of conceptual abstraction is sufficient to attaining the real.
Who sees variety and eve the unity wanders on from death to death. " ( Katha Upanishad) And to his same intuition of unity must we also circle back at the beginnin of our theorizing if we 're not to sink into despairing nihilism, which is nother word for the loss of a vital, sustaining connection between self and world.
But, if the Upanishads are right, any such approach to the nity of things is flawed, in principle: “ That which an ot be perceived by the eye, but by which the eye is perceivedThat alone know as Brahman and not that which people here worship. ” ( Kena Upanishad) The experientially transformative comprehension of the Atman/Brahman unity seems almost like the las, and possibly also the last, word of wisdom.
As Tagore put it, “ The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end. ” These fragments teach us that we are ignorant of our true happiness, which lies in, as Max Zeller put it, learning to “ relate to th life situation in the deepest sense: not from the approach of the ego that bemoans its fate and rebels against it, but from ...
Nonetheless, the startling realization that the pursuit of self-knowledge leads us to is that our true center of gravity is to be found outside ourselves.
Because attaining unity within the self is the precondition for discerning the unity in things, conceptualization can not sufficiently specify the content of our relation to the world.So the consummation of the philosophic quest to grasp the unity of things can ever be found in a purely theoretical grasp ( though I 'd add that such is probably an invaluable part of the means).
Theory just does n't ten to e enough to drive knowledge home such that it transforms our motivational core, or he way that we see and feel things.
A true goal and measure of knowing, they show, is a personal transformation that reorients our mode of relation to the world.
Wisdom is not even an inert cognitive acquisition, but more fully realized mode of our being that enriches and deepens our whole capacity to respond to every situation of life.
That tory is indee the most damning critique of a purely theoretical approach to wisdom because it shows how such an approach fails to ake the vital transition to the existential realization and integration of learned insight.
Lastly, what forms the currency of our intellectual world, howeve, are those lesser unities that provide us with stylish forms of abstraction from the concrete situation we find ourselves in.
erhaps it is true, in an ultimate sense, that every system and every model is nothing but a counterfeit unity, and that without this active vision of unity that these fragments gesture to, all knowledge is empty acquisition.
The Upanishads not only offer a picture of what the consummating vision of philosophy might look like, of what it 'd be like to look upon the world from the stance of our own highest realization.