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Western vs Eastern Philosophy

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Is anyone familiar with Mircea Eliade? He is a German philosopher whose work extensively involves the academic study of our Eastern/Bharatiya philosophical foundations. His work essentially stresses the idea that Western philosophy is far too concerned with epistemological problems that they never reach the level that ancient Vedanta accomplished.


Socratic, Platonic and Aristotelian ideas were more concerned with the origins of knowledge, ethical principles, and universalism. Meanwhile, the great sages and rishis of Bharat Varsh were calculating the chakra system, the nature of the human mind, ideas of reincarnation, and methods of reaching/communicating with the divine. What is known as Freudian psychology is developed far before Freud in the Svetasvatara Upanishad by theorizing the 3 states of consciousness.


When studying the fabric of Western philosophy and comparing it to Vedic ideas, I think its pretty well established that Western philosophers seem to dwell too much on answering questions of universalism according to logic. In the end, the famous quote by Socrates "All I know is that I know nothing" seems to be the capstone of all of Western thought. Eastern thought, however, seems to skip all the questions regarding the nature of knowledge and goes far beyond: to understand the gross, subtle, and causal aspects of human existence, the nature and potential of the mind, and other mental and physical disciplines to answer the same questions that Western philosophers sought to answer.


Eastern philosophy wins. Vedic ideas and concepts are very precious to the development of philosophy as we know today. Unfortunately, the Vedas and Vedanta are given very little credit in most colleges and universities today.

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Not so fast, in the battle of Western Philosophy vs Eastern Philosophy, the only winner is philosophy, and the failure lays on you.


We already had a huge exposure to Vedanta philosophy via Plotinius, and it's smeared like jam through Christian Orthodoxy and Catholicism as the philosophical language traditionally used to explain Christianity. He lived three centuries after Christ, in Egypt, which had long established ties with India.


The west had a huge influence on Indic thought as well, Buddha's conception of Being and Dialectics were greek imports from after Plato and Aristotle. Maybe everyone here has been scratching their heads as to why the era Buddha lived in went from 680 BC down to the 300s? It's because exactly that- scholars east and west noted the trends of migration at that time went east (jews existed in his province 60 years before his birth to give you a hint). Later, after Alexander the Great's invasion, we left a huge Macedonian and Greek population behind, and they laid the foundations for the main expansion of Buddhism both west (total failure) and into central asia and china (huge success).


The system of Astrology used in India is a western invention. Much of the meditative practices used in India are Hermetic in origin as well, stretching back in embryonic form to Babylonia in the Caudecisis cults, and we can trace the evolution of the Chakra system in the west- including in Plato's work where it was still very much evolving.


The Migration of Symbols: Chapter VI. The Winged Globe, the Caduceus, and the Trisula: II. The Origins of the Caduceus










It's not unknown to occur in temples in India, but clearly has a western origin, Mesopotamia and Egypt and Athens to be exact.


I find this all hilarious, given how many people still hold to the Aryan Invasion theory, in trying to show evidence of a superiority of one system of philosophy over another in terms of geography. It's a massive fail..... Aryans came from the North West, like Alexander, and like the Muslims. Think about the implications. It's a duh moment..... India was never that isolated.


I've heard of some try to stretch the Rg Veda back to 9000 BC on the basis of a glacier lake mentioned in it that fed the Saraswati.... fair enough.... but we have Gobekli Tepe thousands of years older. You can claim fabulous underground cities lost.... cities that apparently never wanted to build or expand inland..... we lay claim as well..... we too have flood myths of advanced underwater civilizations and cryptic ruins.


In the west, we're not left trying to figure out what came before the Indo-European culture.... we know our roots in mesopotamia and the bronze age culture. India has random groups like the Vedas in Sri Lanka to point to. Farther back in history we look, the less pretty the synthesis of East vs West looks.


Besides, the Hermetic tradition in the west continued to evolve well past the Chakra system in India. We went into labeling the parts of the mind in Hermatics and Kabbalah, and have the Ennegram from Christian Roman times (preserved via the Sufi) and Alchemy from Egypt. We went Jungian- post Freudian.... long, long ago.


This isn't a post to undermine Indic philosophy. I wouldn't be here on sites such as this if I cared to. It's to point out we too have just as complex a history, and it's not all that easy to claim superiority. We all came from somewhere, and in every generation people go elsewhere, carrying with them ideas. Greeks and Romans recorded debating Jains and Buddhists. We leant a great amount of our knowledge in return to India and it's a core part of the thinking of the sub continent in general. It's not shameful to acknowledge this. It's reasonable. It's why we can after a little adjustment so rapidly go into comparison of religions east and west.


We had out Zen movements in the west with the Navel Gazing in the Byzantine Empire, German Mandalas, Bhakti style chanting in monasteries and Jesus prayers and roaming homeless Cynics and indifferent Stoics.

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