The Self and the World: Vedanta, Sufism, and the Presocratics in a Phenomenological View
This article examines two opposing perspectives in the formulation of phenomenological analysis which take as a starting point either the self, or the world. The phenomenologically grounded (based on direct intuition) focus on self-knowledge in ancient philosophy and esotericism emerges out of its apparent epistemological counter, the world. A similar dialectical synthesis can be traced in Tymieniecka’s Philosophy of Life, with its emphasis on the primacy of the world in analysis. To that end, the article examines phenomenological reduction of the self in Western egology, a more holistic approach of the practical philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, the function of the Heart and the mutual mirroring of world and self in Sufism, and the shaping of the self by the world in Greek doxographical traditions. It suggests that the human condition has the possibility of an awareness which encompasses the world, as in the Sufi notion of the Heart, and that the positioning of the self in the entire context of life brings one closer to “things as they are” in Tymieniecka’s philosophy of life.