Returning to the World, Indian Music and Stray Camels

We come back to our library news with an article by Michio Tokunaga on the Pure Land Buddhist understanding of reaching Paradise and then “returning to the world”.

A “practicer of shinjin” lives in linear time when viewed from the perspective of living in this world with a limited physical existence, and, at the same time, transcends it when viewed from the perspective of Amida’s working beyond time.

• Another new addition is an introductory article on Indian Music by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, with precious insights into the foundations and spiritual symbolism of one of the world’s most ancient musical traditions.

Indian music is essentially impersonal: it reflects an emotion and an experience which are deeper and wider and older than the emotion or wisdom of any single individual. Its sorrow is without tears, its joy without exultation and it is passionate without any loss of serenity. It is in the deepest sense of the words all-human… The peace of the Abyss which underlies all art is one and the same, whether we find it in Europe or in Asia.

• Finally, in his essay “Stray Camels in China”, William Chittick articulates carefully an Islamic theological approach to dialogue in depth with other faiths.

In order to discuss first principles with followers of other traditions, Muslims need to recognize that the fundamental message of the Quran is God’s universal truth and universal reality, and this means the precedence and predominance of mercy in all things.