By Fabio Rambelli

One of many first makes an attempt ever to offer in a scientific approach a non-western semiotic process. This ebook seems to be at jap esoteric Buddhism and relies round unique texts, knowledgeable through particular and rigorous semiotic different types. it's a designated advent to special features of the idea and rituals of the japanese Shingon tradition.

Semiotic issues are deeply ingrained within the Buddhist highbrow and non secular discourse, starting with the concept that the area isn't what it sounds as if to be, which demands a extra exact realizing of the self and fact. This in flip leads to sustained discussions at the prestige of language and representations, and at the chance and techniques to grasp fact past fable; such unusual wisdom is explicitly outlined as enlightenment. therefore, for Buddhism, semiotics is at once correct to salvation; this can be a key element that's frequently missed even by means of Buddhologists. This booklet discusses extensive the most parts of Buddhist semiotics as dependent totally on unique eastern pre-modern assets. it's a an important ebook within the fields of semiotics and spiritual experiences.

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Extra info for A Buddhist Theory of Semiotics: Signs, Ontology, and Salvation in Japanese Esoteric Buddhism (Continuum Advances in Semiotics)

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47 He thereby gave epistemic relevance to the Esoteric concept of an unaltered transmission based upon an original ostension (see Chapter Two). In more general terms, Esoteric Buddhist soteriology presupposes a pansemiotic universe in which everything is organized in a systematic way and endowed with meaning. This general view is based on three postulates: (i) the entire cosmos (Sk. dharmadhātu, Jp. hokkai) is the Buddha in his unconditioned modality (Sk. dharmakāya, Jp. hosshin); (ii) the Dharmakāya is 14 A BUDDHIST THEORY OF SEMIOTICS constituted of the six cosmic elements (Jp.

Mental factors include mental faculties such as perception, volition, and ideation, mental functions such as desire, memory, and meditation (Sk. samādhi, Jp. ), negative mental states (afflictions, Sk. kleśa, Jp. bonnō: greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance, doubt, and wrong ideas), secondary afflictions, and neutral mental states (such as regret and sleep). Material dharmas include the five bodily sense organs and the corresponding five realms of material objects (respectively, eye/forms, ear/sounds, nose/odors, tongue/tastes, body/tactile perception).

There are, in turn, two kinds of seeds: (i) linguistic and karmic seeds; (ii) innate and newly produced bīja. The phenomenal existence of the subject and the outside world is closely related to the language that articulates them; language is stored as linguistic seeds. Seeds articulate reality either through words or by indices: in the first case, their activity is called “expressing meaning” (Jp. hyōgi), a reference to a distinction between signifier (the expression) and signified (its meaning); in the second case, their activity is called “expressing an object” (kenkyō) without the use of words.

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