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Axial Age - Essay Example

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Name: College: Course: Tutor: Date: What evidence does the Axial Age provide that ‘man is a meaning seeking creature’? The Axial Age is the period in history extending from 600 to 200 BCE, during which several key regions of the world underwent revolutionary thinking and change in human understanding and attitudes to existence…
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Axial Age
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Download file to see previous pages This crucial period in history gave rise to the philosophies of Siddhartha Gautama ‘The Buddha’, Greek philosophers such as Solon and Thucydides, and the Hebrew prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah (Plott, 32). One of the key transformations that occurred during the axial age is that people became conscious of their nature, existence, and limitations. Societies whose lives had previously been extensively dictated by religious extremism and disorder, transformed into cultured and civilized settlements governed by rules and regulations that imposed limits on human behaviors and actions. As these societies became more orderly, people for the first time had the opportunity to observe, analyze, and understand many of the natural and human phenomena around them. This enabled them to understand the reason for the occurrence of many of the events around them and how to bring them under their control. Many scholars and philosophers have opposed the propositions and ideas expressed by the proponents of the Axial Age, especially German philosopher Karl Jaspers, who was the first person to identify the period as key to human reconnaissance for meaning, and coined the phrase ‘Axial Age’. ...
inking, and the parallels that scholars and philosophers such as Karl Jaspers have identified between different civilizations are mostly coincidental (Plott, 39). The Axial Age in India: Buddhism However, the arguments of opposers of the importance of the Axial Age lack justification because analysis of the various ideas and teachings of key philosophers and religious leaders who spearheaded the paradigm shift of the period bear remarkable similarities suggesting parallels in their way of thinking. The teachings of Siddhartha Gautama ‘The Buddha’ set the foundation for the birth of Buddhism. Siddhartha was born to a king, and wealth and splendor characterized his early life. His father shielded him from experiencing and acquiring knowledge of the harsh life that the common man lived. Thus, suffering and poverty were altogether foreign to him. However, when he became a young man and was about to inherit his father’s throne, he became exposed to his subjects and for the first time, got the opportunity to interact with the poor, the sick, and the elderly. He observed widespread suffering that depressed him and pushed him to begin questioning the meaning of life. He then made the decision to leave the palace and the royalty and lead the life of an ascetic. He began to meditate on the meaning of life which eventually led him to what Buddhists refer to as ‘the awakening’ (The Human Journey, His conceived ideas and belief were completely different from the extreme asceticism of the time, which he believed did not work. His ideologies began to move away from the extreme self-mortification and self-indulgence of the time. Siddhartha’s intensive meditation on the cause of suffering enabled him to become ‘enlightened’ and gain insight ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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