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The religions of Tibet

Author: Giuseppe Tucci

Tibetan Buddhism, better known as Lamaism, entered Tibet in the seventh century. B.C from Central Asia, from China, from India. Two parts are distinguished in it that do not contrast but complement each other: the speculative and the gnostic; the first is the theoretical introduction, the second the effect, the mystical experience; iter meditative that, yoga and esoteric ascetic practice this: two branches of the same trunk. It is not easy to understand Tibetan Buddhism, because the terminology cannot always be translated adequately into our philosophical language; the path of gnosis is a complicated experience: introspection, self-hallucination, inner dramas that involve the psychosomatic life of the individual. It is therefore the Buddhism of the "Great Vehicle" or above all of the Diamond Vehicle (not of the small vehicle) that which triumphantly crossed Asia from Iran, which introduced new elements, to China, to Japan; religion perhaps today awakening in the decline of others suffocated by a conformism emptied of a concrete and vivifying spiritual content. Indeed Buddhism shows signs of new vigor and recovery not only in Japan but in Europe and especially in America. It is difficult to follow the meditative life, more difficult to describe the various moments that occur in the life of the initiate, in the progressive transference of the human person to an unfailing and indefinable transhuman plane. The aim is for everyone to become Buddha, but one can renounce this definitive leap of plans to remain in life, an edifying and redeeming example of virtues with the aim of guiding others to salvation. Our body is a necessary means of redemption: the five material components of which it is the result are transformed into the five supreme Buddhas, but also into the five innate passions within us. The complex meditations consist in the implementation of different plans, in liturgies in which the woman is an indispensable partner, as she is in many Tantric schools, but to achieve the innate, indefinable primordial unity, beyond any definition or verbal expression . Ascetic and solitary life on the one hand and monastic life on the other, the latter giving rise to the great monastic institutions which are gigantic economic and political powers. But the people do not forget their indigenous deities, the worship of the mountains and the sky, which are inserted by virtue of the tolerance of Buddhism in the immense Olympus of this religion; who seems to worship many gods, yet all of them regard them as empty experiences, fleeting symbols aroused by the 'void' by virtue of our uncontrolled imagination; then bold and subtle speculations, marvelous anticipations of the achievements of psycho-analysis overlap with primitive rites and customs, with what the author defines as "popular religion" which in turn inherits beliefs and myths from the multifaceted primitive religion (Bon) varies from region to region, from clan to clan, but essentially magical.

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