This book explores mind-body philosophy from an Asian perspective. It sheds new light on a problem central in modern Western thought. Yuasa shows that Eastern philosophy has generally formulated its view of mind-body unity as an achievement a state to be acquired--rather than as essential or innate. Depending on the individual's own developmental state, the mind-body connection can vary from near dissociation to almost perfect integration. Whereas Western mind-body theories have typically asked what the mind-body is, Yuasa asks how the mind-body relation varies on a spectrum from the psychotic to the yogi, from the debilitated to the athletic, from the awkward novice to the master musician.
Yuasa first examines various Asian texts dealing with Buddhist meditation, kundalini yoga, acupuncture, ethics, and epistemology, developing a concept of the "dark consciousness" (not identical with the psychoanalytic unconscious) as a vehicle for explaining their basic view. He shows that the mind-body image found in those texts has a striking correlation to themes in contemporary French phenomenology, Jungian psychoanalysis, psychomatic medicine, and neurophysiology. The book clears the ground for a provocative meeting between East and West, establishing a philosophical region on which science and religion can be mutually illuminating.
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