Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist

By Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki | Go to book overview

II.
The Basis of Buddhist Philosophy

I

BUDDHIST philosophy is based on the experience Buddha had about twenty-five centuries ago. To understand, therefore, what Buddhist philosophy is, it is necessary to know what that experience was which Buddha had after six years' hard thinking and ascetic austerities and exercises in meditation.

We generally think that philosophy is a matter of pure intellect, and, therefore, that the best philosophy comes out of a mind most richly endowed with intellectual acumen and dialectical subtleties. But this is not the case. It is true that those who are poorly equipped with intellectual powers cannot be good philosophers. Intellect, however, is not the whole thing. There must be a deep power of imagination, there must be a strong, inflexible will-power, there must be a keen insight into the nature of man, and finally there must be an actual seeing of the truth as synthesized in the whole being of the man himself.

I wish to emphasize this idea of "seeing." It is not enough to "know" as the term is ordinarily understood. Knowledge unless it is accompanied by a personal experience is superficial and no kind of philosophy can be built upon such a

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Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • BOARD OF EDITORS of WORLD PERSPECTIVES iv
  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • World Perspectives ix
  • Preface xix
  • Section One 1
  • I. Meister Eckhart and Buddhism 3
  • Ii. the Basis of Buddhist Philosophy 36
  • Iii. "A Little Point" and Satori 76
  • Iv. Living in the Light of Eternity 93
  • Appendices 113
  • V. Transmigration 115
  • Vi. Crucifixion and Enlightenment 129
  • Section Two 141
  • Vii. Kono-Mama ("I Am That I Am") 143
  • Appendices 159
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