By Mircea Eliade
In quantity 2 of this huge paintings, Mircea Eliade maintains his magisterial development throughout the historical past of spiritual principles. The religions of old China, Brahmanism and Hinduism, Buddha and his contemporaries, Roman faith, Celtic and German religions, Judaism, the Hellenistic interval, the Iranian syntheses, and the start of Christianity—all are encompassed during this quantity.
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Extra resources for A History of Religious Ideas: From Gautama Buddha to the Triumph of Christianity
Despite his success among his numerous disciples, Confucius was convinced, shortly before his death, that his mission had been a total failure. But his disciples managed, from generation to generation, 54. His family tlame was K'ung. " Confucius: The power of the rites 23 to pass on the essence of his teaching, and 250 years after his death the sovereign ofthe Han dynasty (ca. D. 206-20) decided to entrust the administration of the empire to the Confucianists. From then on the Master's doctrines guided the civil service and the making of governmental policy for more than two thousand years.
See the discussion of these two positions in Norman Girardot, "Part of the Way," pp. 320-24. 81. On the relations among wings, down, magical flight, and Taoism, see Kaltenmark, Le Lie-sien Tchouan, pp. 12 ff. It is known that feathers are one 34 THE RELIGIONS OF ANCIENT CHINA formula for the Master's final apotheosis. A second category comprised the adepts who lived for centuries in a sort of earthly paradise: the Wonderful Islands or the Sacred Mountain, K'unWn. 82 They returned to earth from time to time to transmit the formulas for physical immortality to certain neophytes worthy to receive it.
Of the most frequent symbols of "shamanic flight"; see Eliade. Shamanism. v. "magic flight" (pp. ). 82. We have here the exemplary image of paradisal territories that are not under the dominion of time and are accessible only to the initiated. According to the historian SsG-rna Ch'ien. C. had sent out expeditions in search of these supernatural islands (Memoires. trans. Chavannes. vol. 3. pp. 436-37). 83. See some examples in Maspero. Le taoisme. pp. 84-85. 84. " Techniques of long life 35 and feed on medicinal pla,nts and mineral substances able to kill the three demons.
A History of Religious Ideas: From Gautama Buddha to the Triumph of Christianity by Mircea Eliade