REL 353 Dark Self East and West January 19, 2011

1. Review: 

Bhagavad Gita - Arjuna and Krishna: Dharma and Karma

Karma - moral and religious actions that have consequences

Dharma - cosmic order and truth

Karma that binds one to the illusion (maya) of existence:

attachment, ego, competition, conquest, blood lust

Karma that releases one from illusion and leads to liberation (moksa)

non-attachment, atman-Brahman, awareness, self-knowledge

2. Comparison with Abraham and Isaac story found in Kierkegaard's Fear & Trembling


Suspension of ordinary morality (teleological suspension of the ethical)

Higher relationship of faith and/or self-knowledge


View of self and society, nature of reality, religious goals

3. Dark side as defined by religion, dark side of religion

4. Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Jewish thinker and psychotherapist who was thrown into concentration camp

Influenced by Existential Philosophy


Two types of loss to which human beings are condemned: instinct and meaning

Sources of meaning: highly diverse, but often found in work, love, and suffering

Meaning, evil, and morality