tions between how the various schools of classical Vedanta conceived of the rela¯ tionship between the individuated, bodily self and the unitary brahman or atman ¯ are entirely glossed over, as are distinctions between the very different ways that spe´ ¯ cific Advaita, Visistadvaita, and other theistic bhakti movements conceived of the re lationship that bliss (ananda) bore to consciousness that was unified with brahman. ¯ The reader is left with the impression that Advaita Vedanta was responsible for all ¯ these representations of joyful mystical experience and asceticism, which offsets Schopenhauer's ascetic negativity. A more detailed explication of the complexity of the Indian traditions of metaphysics and asceticism would very much help to throw Schopenhauer's imperfect understanding of Indian thought and religious practices into necessarily sharper relief. In his desire to represent genuine philosophy as a vocation inspired by ``deathcontemplation,'' Singh seems to want to construct a kind of perennialism out of the varieties of world philosophies. He seems temperately convinced that the modern technical specializations of philosophy have drawn us away from what inspires the most genuine type of wonder, the problem of death, and from the most authentic pursuit of transformative wisdom, the practice of
Philosophy East and West – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 11, 2009
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