PHL 352 -- EASTERN PHILOSOPHY

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                                                                                                                                    Ryoanji in Kyoto, Japan
 

        This course takes place in three acts:

        ACT I:   ANCIENT CHINA

                    In the first part of our journey, we will begin in China in the year 500 B.C.E.  In this year, Confucius or K'ung Tzu (Master K'ung) was in his fifties.  This year also helps us to anchor the mysterious Old Master, Lao Tzu, whom legend places as an older contemporary of Confucius.  Lao Tzu is honored as the author of the Tao Te Ching.  Earlier still is the I Ching, or Book of Changes.  This ancient wisdom text will be used throughout.

 At the start, we will introduce the Tao, Yin-Yang, the Law of the Five Elements and the teachings of the I Ching -- all this in a way in which Lao Tzu and Confucius will complement each other.

        ACT II:  ENTER THE BUDDHA
 In the second part of our journey, we will return again to the year 500 B.C.E., but this time circling over to India.  There we shall meet the third great influence on Chinese philosophy: Siddhartha Gautama who awakened to become the Buddha.  We will focus on the experience/insight of the Buddha and will follow the Mahayana strand of Buddhism as it enters China and becomes Zen.

ACT III:  ZEN BUDDHISM ENTERS JAPAN

 In the final leg of the journey, we will examine how Zen Buddhism travels to Japan and explore its influence on the arts, crafts, and culture of Japan.

AIMS OF THE COURSE:

 1) To introduce students to a new way of seeing and being -- the three strands of Taoist,  Confucian and
                Buddhist thought as it intertwines in China and then is brought to     Japan.
 2) To aid students to move back and forth between eastern worldviews and our own early 21st century USA
                worldview and between the living past and the living present.
 3) To gain new possibilities to live more widely and more deeply

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