This course is designed to explore the great religious, philosophical and moral concepts that originated in the oriental civilizations but which significantly influenced western cultural traditions. Topics explored include: Hindu doctrines of the universe, Karma, Samsara; philosophical and psychological grounds of Yogic exercises; Buddhist theory of universal suffering, Nirvana and methods to achieve salvation; Islamic concepts of creation, pre-determination and human destiny; Cabalistic mysticism and the numerological method of interpreting the Scriptures; ethical precepts of Confucianism and Taoism; aesthetical principles of Zen; dichotomy of sexuality and spirituality in "Kamasutra" of Vatsyayana; Tantric beliefs in cosmogenic female energy.
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