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CoverSchlingloff, Dieter
The  Superhuman Faculties
Visual Meditation and Miracles in Buddhist Literature and Art. A Study in Religious History
(Buddhismus-Studien / Buddhist Studies 9)
Eine Veröffentlichung des EKO-Hauses der Japanischen Kultur e. V., Düsseldorf

2018 · ISBN 978-3-86205-333-9 · xxiv / 145 S., kt · EUR 28,—



This publication deals with a phenomenon that has been expressed in various aspects in both literature and art: people exist who have, or are able to gain, the ability to see in trance irreal figures appear and act. Depending on the visionary’s spiritual or religious environment, these appearances take on meanings in accordance with the visionary’s expectation and then, dogmatically interpreted, are entered by the visionary himself or by others into religious literature as stories of actual events – sometimes being so transformed in the process that their visionary origin is no longer apparent.
Our study examines this phenomenon in the so-called Hīnayāna Buddhism in India and its transmission to Central Asia, where this process can often be observed. The faculty of visions is naturally not limited to Buddhism; it can be equally observed in the three major monotheistic religions as well. One prominent example from the Bible is the transfiguration of Jesus, – perhaps the vision with the greatest consequences in the New Testament.

Notes on the Prologue
1.The Vision of the Heavens in a State of Trance
2.Symbols and Objects of Meditation
3.The Buddha’s First Trance
4.The Faculty of Levitation
5.The Multiplication of the Body
6.The Creation of Buddha-Figures
7.The Emanation of Figures
Literature quoted


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