The age of the sages : the Axial Age in Asia and the Near by Mark W. Muesse

By Mark W. Muesse

By means of atmosphere traditions and thinkers resembling Zoroaster, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Gautama Buddha, Confucius, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle facet through aspect, we can see extra basically the questions with which they struggled, their similarities and adjustments, and the way their principles have prompted non secular suggestion right down to our day

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As part of this quest, axial sages developed a new way of thinking about the world and the place of humanity within it. S. N. Eisenstadt, one of the first scholars to study the sociological dimensions of the Axial Age, calls this way of looking at life “transcendental consciousness,”[6] the ability to stand back and see the world more comprehensively, as a totality, and to look at it more critically and reflectively, not merely accepting the world as it appears or as tradition says it is. Transcendental consciousness produced novel conceptions of the world’s ultimate reality.

Like impetuous winds, the drinks have lifted me up. Have I not drunk Soma? The drinks have lifted me up, like swift horses bolting with a chariot. Have I not drunk Soma? . . . . . . . . . . . . The five tribes are no more to me than a mote in the eye. Have I not drunk Soma? . . . . . . . . . . . . In my vastness, I surpassed the sky and this vast earth. Have I not drunk Soma? Yes! I will place the earth here, or perhaps there. Have I not drunk Soma? . . . . . . .

119, trans. Doniger, 131–32. ↵ 2 The Life of Zoroaster Precious little is known about Zoroaster beyond his name. Most scholars agree that a biographical account of him would be tenuous at best, and wildly varying speculations have been put forth as to when and where he lived. Some research puts his birth anywhere between 1500 and 1000 bce or even earlier. Mary Boyce, one of the leading specialists in this area, dates him to around 1200 bce. According to tradition, his birth date was 628 bce, making him an older contemporary of Confucius.

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