The Oceanic Feeling: The Origins of Religious Sentiment in Ancient India

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Springer Science & Business Media, Jun 30, 1980 - Philosophy - 213 pages
By way of a personal note, I can reveal to the reader that I was led to Sanskrit by an exposure to Indian philosophy while still a child. These early mystical interests gave way in the university to scholarly pursuits and, through reading the works of Franklin Edgerton, Louis Renou and Etienne Lamotte, I was introduced to the scientific study of the· past, to philology and the academic study of an ancient literature. In this period I wrote a number of books on Sanskrit aesthetics, concentrating on the sophisticated Indian notions of suggestion. This work has culminated in a three-volume study of the Dhvanyaloka and the Dhvanyalokalocana, for the Harvard Oriental Series. Eventually I found that I wanted to broaden my concern with India, to learn what was at the universal core of my studies and what could be of interest to everyone. In reading Indian literature, I came across so many bizarre tales and ideas that seemed incomprehensible and removed from the concerns of everyday life that I became troubled. Vedantic ideas of the world as a dream, for example, to which I had been particularly partial, seemed grandiose and megalomanic. I turned away with increasing scepticism from what I felt to be the hysterical outpourings of mystical and religious fanaticism.
 

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Contents

III
1
IV
33
V
51
VI
68
VII
80
VIII
110
IX
125
X
142
XI
143
XII
208
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About the author (1980)

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is the author of "Dogs Never Lie About Love: Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs"; "When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals"; "My Father's Guru: A Journey Through Spirituality & Disillusion"; "Final Analysis: The Making & Unmaking of a Psychoanalyst"; & "The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory", among other books. After receiving his undergraduate degree & a Ph.D. in Sanskrit & Indian Studies from Harvard University, he completed a full clinical training program in psychoanalysis at the Toronto Psychoanalytic Institute from 1970 to 1978. Masson served for one year as Projects Director of the Sigmund Freud Archives in London.

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