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Philosophy of Transcendence: Selected Problems


Jana Trajtelová

Does God exist? Is it meaningful to speak of the Infinite or the Absolute? What is to be understood by concepts such as soul, spirit, or love? Are religious truths philosophically relevant and philosophically tenable? The reflective critical thinking of philosophy tries to embrace each side of human reality, even the matters and themes which arise out of the religious experience. This auxiliary textbook intends to present several selected topics of the philosophy of religion and it is primarily intended for bachelor students of philosophy.
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Instead of brief summarizing the conclusions, I would like to present a charming Persian story to the reader. This story offers a beautiful description of the situation of a person trying to come closer to transcendence through the capacities of his knowledge.

Sufi mystic and poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī depicts for us a well-known picture in one of his allegoric stories, which he called “The Elephant in the Dark”: Some Hindus used to make their living by exhibiting an elephant in distant places where it was unknown. One night, when it was really dark they arrived into a small village. The village people gathered together, full of curiosity regarding this strange creature brought by the strangers. The elephant was resting in a dark barn, but the people did not want to wait until the morning. So the strangers proposed a game for them. They were let ← 93 | 94 → inside the dark room one by one. There they were supposed to feel with their hands, trying to find out what was the strange creature hiding inside. Their statements were suspiciously different. One of them touched the trunk and screamed: “This creature is some huge trumpet.” The person touching the ear objected: “Not at all! It resembles a huge fan.” The third person touched the leg and said: “You are both wrong, the animal looks like a column.” Another one touching the elephant’s back firmly stated: “You are also wrong because the animal has...

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