It is not unusual for Western philosophers to deny existence to the 'self': that unified, separate, persisting thinker/owner/agent that we take ourselves to be. Following Hume and James, such philosophers have denied the self existence by treating as illusory its supposed unity and unbroken persistence. These qualities are deemed mere fictions, borne from imagination (etc.) acting upon a bundle of discrete thoughts, feelings and perceptions.
A classic since 1928, this masterly encyclopedia of ancient mythology, ritual, symbolism, and the arcane mysteries of the ages is available for the first time in a compact "reader's edition."
Like no other book of the twentieth century, Manly P. Hall's legendary The Secret Teachings of All Ages is a codex to the ancient occult and esoteric traditions of the world. Students of hidden wisdom, ancient symbols, and arcane practices treasure Hall's magnum opus above all other works.
The Indian philosopher Acharya Nagarjuna (c. 150-250 CE) was the founder of the Madhyamaka (Middle Path) school of Mahayana Buddhism and arguably the most influential Buddhist thinker after Buddha himself. Indeed, in the Tibetan and East Asian traditions, Nagarjuna is often referred to as the 'second Buddha.' His primary contribution to Buddhist thought lies is in the further development of the concept of sunyata or 'emptiness.' For Nagarjuna, all phenomena are without any svabhaba, literally 'own-nature' or 'self-nature', and thus without any underlying essence. In this book, Jan Westerhoff offers a systematic account of Nagarjuna's philosophical position. He reads Nagarjuna in his own philosophical context, but he does not hesitate to show that the issues of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy have at least family resemblances to issues in European philosophy.
- The Buddhist philosophical tradition is vast, internally diverse, and comprises texts written in a variety of canonical languages. It is hence often difficult for those with training in Western philosophy who wish to approach this tradition for the first time to know where to start, and difficult for those who wish to introduce and teach courses in Buddhist philosophy to find suitable textbooks that adequately represent the diversity of the tradition, expose students to important primary texts in reliable translations, that contextualize those texts, and that foreground specifically philosophical issues.