Friday, December 31, 2010


"...The Buddha's enlightenment is the most important single moment in Oriental mythology, a counterpart of the Crucifixion of the West. The Buddha beneath the Tree of Enlightenment (the Bo Tree) and Christ on Holy Rood (the Tree of Redemption) are analogous figures, incorporating an archetypal World Savior, World Tree motif, which is of immemorial antiquity.

...The point is that Buddhahood, Enlightenment, cannot be communicated, but only the way to Enlightenment. This doctrine of the incommunicability of the Truth which is beyond names and forms is basic to the great Oriental, as well as to the Platonic, traditions.

Whereas the truths of science are communicable, being demonstrable hypotheses rationally founded on observable facts - ritual, mythology, and metaphysics are but guides to the brink of a transcendent illumination, the final step to which must be taken by each in his own silent experience.

Hence one of the Sanskrit terms for sage is muni, "the silent one." Sakyamuni (one of the titles of Gautama Buddha) means "the silent one or sage (muni) of the Sakya clan." Though he is the founder of a widely taught religion, the ultimate core of his doctrine remains concealed, necessarily, in silence."

Page 25, 'The Hero with a Thousand Faces' , the seminal work of comparative mythology by Joseph Campbell

No comments:

Blog Archive