The Philosophy of the Upanishads and Ancient Indian Metaphysics

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The legendary Greek figure Orpheus was said to have possessed magical powers capable of moving all living and inanimate things through the sound of his lyre and voice. Over time, the Orphic theme has come to indicate the power of music to unsettle, subvert, and ultimately bring down oppressive realities in order to liberate the soul and expand human life without limits. The liberating effect of music has been a particularly important theme in twentieth-century African American literature.

The nine original essays in Black Orpheus examines the Orphic theme in the fiction of such African American writers as Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, James Baldwin, Nathaniel Mackey, Sherley Anne Williams, Ann Petry, Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, Gayl Jones, and Toni Morrison. The authors discussed in this volume depict music as a mystical, shamanistic, and spiritual power that can miraculously transform the realities of the soul and of the world. Here, the musician uses his or her music as a weapon to shield and protect his or her spirituality. Written by scholars of English, music, women's studies, American studies, cultural theory, and black and Africana studies, the essays in this interdisciplinary collection ultimately explore the thematic, linguistic structural presence of music in twentieth-century African American fiction.

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CHAPTER I
1
The social antecedents of Brahmanism and Buddhism
7
First beginnings of cosmologic speculation in the Vedic hymns
14
Polyandry
20
Current in Egypt Adopted by Empedocles the Pythago
25
Brahman the principle of reality The coeternal principle
45
Isvara omniscient the giver of recompense the internal ruler
51
Isvara the first figment of the worldfiction
53
Yajňavalkya and Maitreyi
150
Ārtabhāga to enumerate the elements of sensible experience
157
Uddalaka questions him on the nature of the thread soul
164
The Self is uniform characterless vision and thought
171
Yājiavalkyas visit to Janaka Their conversation
177
CHAPTER VII
183
Śankarāchāryas statement of Buddhist sensationalism
190
The philosophy of the Sankhyas A real and independent
199

Reascent to the fontal Self
59
The perfect sage is subject to no moral
65
The state of the soul in union with pure Self
71
Within the earthly body is the invisible body that clothes
77
The scale of beatitudes that may be ascended by the sage
83
The great text That art thou
89
CHAPTER IV
95
The religion of rites prolongs the migration of the soul
96
He must repair to an accredited teacher
103
Mental purity required of the aspirant
109
CHAPTER V
116
The third gift a knowledge of the soul and of its real nature
123
The liberated theosophist wakes up out of this dreamworld
129
Everlasting peace for them only that find the light of
135
Dialogues of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
144
The Sānkhyas pervert the plain sense of the Upanishuds
203
The Sānkhya doctrine of real modifications counter to
209
The river of metempsychosis
215
Invocation of Rudra for aid in meditation
226
The Self is the light of the world
232
Part of Colebi ookes statement a glaring erior
239
The duality of subject and object has only a quasiexistence
245
The Mundaka Upanishad speaks of daily life and Vedic
246
Gārgi questions him What is the web of the worldfiction
247
The world is as fictitious as an optical illusion
253
It is woven over the Self the principle that gives fixity
257
The belief in metempsychosis prevalent among the lower
260
The new religion no more spiritual than the old conformity
266
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