SUFISM AND TAOISM
A Comparative Study of Key Philosophical Concepts of Ibn ‘Arabi, Lao-Tzu & Chuang-Tzu
A Comparative Study of Key Philosophical Concepts of Ibn ‘Arabi, Lao-Tzu & Chuang-Tzu Toshihiko Izutsu In Sufism and Taoism, Toshihiko Izutsu provides a masterful and lucid structural comparison between the world-view of Sufism as represented by Ibn ‘Arabi and the world-view of Taoism as represented by Lao-tzu and Chuan Tzu. Attempt has been made to lay bare the fundamental structure of each of the two world-views independently and as rigorously as possible. First part is entirely devoted to an attempt at isolating and analyzing the major ontological concepts which underlie the philosophical world-view of Ibn ‘Arabi, while in the second part exactly the same kind of analytic study is made concerning the world-view of Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu, in such a way that both parts may constitute two entirely independent studies, one of Ibn ‘Arabi and the other of ancient Taoism. The third part compares and coordinates the key concepts of these two world-views without any regard to similarities and differences between them. The dominant motive running through the entire work is the desire to open a new vista in the domain of comparative philosophy and mysticism. Lao-tzu’s metaphysics of Tao presents a number of striking similarities to Ibn `Arabi’s conception of Being and it becomes more interesting because Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu represent a culmination point of a spiritual tradition which is historically quite different from Sufism.