Countries like India and China both have social philosophies in some ways compare to the western notions of social behavior and structure, although in many ways they do not compare.
Overtime, as in the west, some core notions of eastern alchemy and ways of being are altered, destroyed, or just lost in the minds of men. Some traditions, rituals, and perception have changed by design. While others have seen changes because of social, economic and physical forces have imposed change.
We see in many eastern traditions enlightenment that self harmony with nature as one primary goal of alchemy. For others enlightenment is to transcend beyond material things and thoughts.
The problem with enlightenment is that it can blind perception and deafen one from knowing some key frequencies of harmony as one transcends to various states of being.
Enlightenment is not just another drug like power, position, or even knowledge to the social alchemist. Enlightenment, in various forms, is a primary element in the formula eastern social alchemy. Enlightenment should not become a prison, at least for the alchemist. For them it is critical stage or dimensions of being.
One overriding concept in many so called Ancient Eastern cultures was that knowledge of self was a part of greater awareness of the organic world in which they depended. Once that reality is grasped with humility other aspect of so called reality may be realized.
Some of the core ancient ideas to analyze in terms of social alchemy includes the following.
Types of Hinduism:
These can be seen as the various Hindu denomination or sects, but also paths of being. Vaishnava, Shakti, Saiva, Smarta (Jnana) path
Notes on Smarta (Jnana) path: Adhikara: aptitude
1. Shravana: scriptural study
2. Manana: reflection
3. Nidid-hyasana or Dhyana: sustained meditation, merging with Siva
THREE GENERAL SCHOOLS OF VEDANTA:
They are divided by ways of perception.
1. Advaita: non-dualistic
2. Visishtadvaita: qualified non-dualistic
3. Dvaita: dualistic
Organs of Action
speech, hands, feet, organ of regeneration, anus
Vasana: ones individualistic nature
Swadharma: activity that helps you grow/evolve in life.
Paradharma: activity that doesn’t help you grow/evolve in life.
Students of Upanishads should develop:
Elements of Being
Vasyam: to be covered.
Superimposed upon ATMA
Concepts of Self Knowledge
1. Viveka: discrimination of that which is real and unreal.
2. Vairagya: renunciation
3. Shatsampatti (Six treasures): the six ethical practices needed to attain and maintain the self knowledge which is part of a spiritual life.
Organs of Knowledge
Jnana-Indriyas: eyes, ears, skin, tongue, nose
Ignorance has three elements:
lack of knowledge, experience, and understanding.
It is the barrier between mental slavery and self-determination.
Shama: serenity of mind
Dama: rational control of the senses
Uparati: turning away from sensual enjoyment.
Philosophy emphasizes Reason
Religion insists on Faith
Attachment is a pervertion of love.
Elements/Stages of Desire
Desire can be like bacteria if not tamed.
footnotes: vedanta treatise by A. Parthasarathy vakil & Sons vmkils house 18 Ballard-estate, bombay 400. 038, India