Ecstatic Language of Early Daoism: A Sufi Point of View

Transcendent Philosophy Journal 16:213-230 (2015)
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Various esoteric traditions apply different modes of expression for the same metaphysical truths. We may name the two most known esoteric languages as ecstatic and scholastic. Early Daoist use of reverse symbolism as for metaphysical truths and its critical way of viewing formalist understanding of traditional teachings, common virtues and popular beliefs show that it applies an ecstatic language, which, being called shaṭḥ in Sufi terminology, has a detailed literature and technical description in Sufism. This article tries, after a short survey of the concept of shaṭḥ in Sufism, to consider some early Daoist teachings such as wuwei, disparagement of moralism, and disparagement of rationality from an Eastern Sufi point of view regarding shaṭḥ to achieve a clearer insight into the gnostic aspects of the tradition, and to avoid certain possible misunderstanding of the teachings.

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Esmaeil Radpour
Iranian Institute Of Philosophy (IRIP)


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