Take Home Exam (Oriental Philo)


1.  If Brahman is both being and non-being, how is it that Brahman is said to be the principle of perfection itself? Must perfection be “in being” or “beyond being’?

2.  Atman plays a crucial role in the founding of the world and beings. Tat tvam asi, the principle that gives credence to Brahman in the final analysis, necessarily begins in the self; the self, therefore, as the originator of the world and beings.  How does Brahman become superior to Atman, after all? Discuss the principles involved.

3.  How does art appreciation or aesthetic experience help in one’s search for the Brahman? How does art allow the self to empty itself out into a necessary process of joining the Brahman?

4.  When one empties one’s individual self, how does one regain his/her true self in the process? Where lies the difference between the individual self and the true self? Relate the last question to the principle of Rasa.

5.  Discuss the overarching principles that govern the practice of finding one’s true self in terms of the impossibility of achieving love and justice. Is achieving bliss in terms of discovering one’s Brahman through the internal process of achieving a complete self-awareness of one’s Atman an accomplishment of the impossible itself, of love and justice?

6.  In a relativistic society, how does one negotiate his/her personal achievement of attaining to the status of tat tvam asi with others who must have attained their own sense of self-origination?

7.  Discuss the progressive or emancipatory character of Buddhist philosophy in terms of combating the cycle of evil and privation. Focus the discussion on the eight-fold path toward enlightenment.

8.  After all, what Indian philosophy tries to discover is the ultimate structure of reality.  This reality, it would turn out, is very much shaped by human prejudices, indeed, to a certain degree, controlled by human will. But humans are nonreciprocal, in good and worse; their wills clash with one another, thereby determining the quality of the structure of reality that is shaped in the process. (I need brilliant thoughts here!).

9.  Discuss the salient differences between orthodox and unorthodox schools of Indian philosophy. (I expect comprehensive answers here)

10. How does the principle of karma or karman resolve the problem of non-apprehension? How do you reconcile the fact that there is something in reality that cannot be apprehended or cognized vis-à-vis the fact that everything in reality is tat tvam asi?

11. The following lines are from Gary Granada’s song Saranggola sa Ulan that reads as follows:

     “Heto na naman ako sa aking kabaliwan

      Na sinasabi nilang suntok sa buwan,

      Ngunit hindi hihidian ng tulad kong natutunang

      Magpalipad ng saranggola sa ulan…


     “Heto ako tumatandang nakahandang panindigan

     Na ang batoy’s sa tubig lulutang,

     At magpalipad ng saranggola sa ulan…”



Relate the song through these fragments to the search for one’s Brahman, specifically, in achieving the impossible.


12. Make a short reaction, discussing the principle of reflexivity, on the article posted in my blog titled What is Reflexivity? One full page, that is.


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