Spiritual Titanism: Indian, Chinese, and Western Perspectives

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This work in comparative philosophy uses the concept of Titanism to critique certain trends in both Eastern and Western philosophy. Titanism is an extreme form of humanism in which human beings take on divine attributes and prerogatives. The author finds the most explicit forms of spiritual Titanism in the Jaina, Samkhya, and Yoga traditions, where yogis claim powers and knowledge that in the West are only attributed to God. These philosophies are also radically dualistic, and liberation involves a complete ...
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Overview

This work in comparative philosophy uses the concept of Titanism to critique certain trends in both Eastern and Western philosophy. Titanism is an extreme form of humanism in which human beings take on divine attributes and prerogatives. The author finds the most explicit forms of spiritual Titanism in the Jaina, Samkhya, and Yoga traditions, where yogis claim powers and knowledge that in the West are only attributed to God. These philosophies are also radically dualistic, and liberation involves a complete transcendence of the body, society, and nature. Five types of spiritual Titanism are identified; and, in addition to this typology, a heuristic based on Nietzsche's three metamorphoses of camel, lion, and child is offered. The book determines that answers to spiritual Titanism begin not only with the Hindu Goddess religion, but also are found in Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism, especially Zen Buddhism and Confucianism.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Acknowledgments xvii
Introduction 1
The Titans: Superhuman and Superdivine 2
Uttaravada versus Avataravada 9
Summaries of the Chapters 12
Nietzsche's Ubermensch Not a Titan 17
Chapter 1 Titanism in the West 23
Introduction 23
Humanism and Superhumanism 24
Existentialism and Titanism 27
Christian Titanism and the Incarnation 29
Western Answers to Titanism 33
Chapter 2 The Self and Constructive Postmodernism 39
Introduction 39
Premodernism, Modernism, and Postmodernism 40
Hebraic and Buddhist Skandhas 45
Problems with Indian Dualisms 48
A Critique of Advaita Vedanta 51
A Buddhist Dialectic of Reconstruction 54
Conclusions 56
Chapter 3 Prometheus East: Greek and Hindu Titans 59
Introduction 59
Asura Titanism 60
Human Titans in the Puranas 67
Titans and Olympians 72
Conclusions 76
Chapter 4 Jaina Superhumanism and Gnostic Titanism 79
Introduction 79
Jaina Colossi and the Cosmic Man 80
The Status of the Jaina Gods 82
Man Is God and Homo Mensura 83
Omniscience: Mahavira and the Buddha 85
Anekantavada and Gnostic Titanism 90
Panzooism, Mind-Body, and Process Philosophy 92
Conclusions 97
Chapter 5 Hindu Titanism 99
Introduction 99
Types of Indian Titanism 100
Yoga Titanism 102
The Purusa Hymn and its Legacy 104
The Purusa as Cosmic Yogi 108
Monism, Ecology, and Titanism 109
Chapter 6 The Yogi and the Goddess 113
Prologue: The Dancing Goddess 113
Introduction 114
The Material Principle: East and West 114
The Goddess in Indian Philosophy 117
Puranic Expressions of the Goddess 120
Kurtz's Psychoanalytic Interpretation 127
Does the Goddess Speak with a Woman's Voice? 130
Conclusions 134
Epilogue: The Triumph of the Goddess 136
Chapter 7 Neo-Vedanta and Aurobindo's Superman 139
Introduction 139
Ramakrishna: Kali's Child 140
Vivekananda's "Manly" Neo-Vedanta 145
Supermind, Superman, and Supernature 148
Conclusions 155
Chapter 8 Buddhism, Humanism, and Titanism 157
Introduction 157
Buddhist Humanism 158
The Buddha Is Just the Buddha 161
The Buddha as Mahapurisa 163
The Cosmological Buddha of Mahayana 164
The Siddhas: Buddha's Lions 167
Zen, the Body, and Society 171
Conclusions 176
Chapter 9 On the Deification of Confucius 177
Introduction 177
A History of Confucius' Elevation 178
Is the Sage God? 184
The Sage as a Great Person 189
Chapter 10 Xunzi and Neo-Confucianism 191
Introduction 191
Xunzi, Tian, and the Cosmic Triad 192
Is Xunzi a Technological Titan? 195
Machle: Xunzi Not a Titan 199
Neo-Confucianism and Titanism 201
Self, Body, and Society 205
Chapter 11 Laozi, Zhuangzi, and Nietzsche 207
Introduction 207
Purusa and Panku 208
Immortality and the Immortals 212
Zhuangzi and Postmodernism 215
Zhuangzi and the Perfect Person 221
Zhuangzi and Nietzsche 226
The Triumph of the Confucian Sage 233
Notes 237
Selected Bibliography 283
Index 297
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