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Universe and Inner Self in Early Indian and Early Greek Thought$
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Richard Seaford

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474410991

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474410991.001.0001

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The interiorisation of ritual in India and Greece

The interiorisation of ritual in India and Greece

(p.204) 13 The interiorisation of ritual in India and Greece
Universe and Inner Self in Early Indian and Early Greek Thought

Richard Seaford

Edinburgh University Press

The interiorisation of ritual is a concept used by Indologists, referring to the replacement of the actual performance of ritual by its internal or mental performance, or to the adoption of the terminology and structure of ritual to describe an internal or mental transition. This chapter extends its use to ancient Greece. In India interiorisation arises from the discernible individualisation of sacrifice. In Greece the language and structure of mystic initiation is used by Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Plato to describe the intellectual progress of the individual. In both cultures interiorisation is associated with the advent of monism and the concomitant all-importance of the inner self. It is suggested that an important factor making for this development in both cultures was monetisation.

Keywords:   Interiorisation, Individualisation, Inner Self, Monism, Ritual, Sacrifice, Mystic initiation, Monetisation

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