The Idea of the Soul: Man's Most Fundamental Concept, Part II: In the East
S.G.F. Brandon analyses the differences that divide the Eastern and Western views of man’s nature and destiny, concluding as to their urgent significance today, as mankind becomes more closely interrelated and interdependent.
A subject intrinsically fascinating, and of basic concern for international understanding, is the difference between the Eastern and Western views of human nature and destiny. During the first two millennia B.C., while the ideas of the soul and body that characterize the Western outlook were evolving in the Levant, a very different evaluation was being made in India.
An earlier article traced out the development of the Hebrew and Greek conceptions of human nature until their fusion into the Christian doctrine of Man. The purpose of this article is to describe the beginnings of the Indian estimate, and its diffusion throughout the East, with some account of the views concerning man’s nature and destiny in the religions of Iran and China and in Islam.