Rudolf Otto and the Numinous

Otto speaks:

I recall vividly a conversation I had with a Buddhist monk. He had been putting before me methodi cally and pertinaciously the arguments for the Buddhist 1 theology of negation’, the doctrine of Anatman and ‘ entire emptiness’. When he had made an end, I asked him, what then Nirvana itself is; and after a long pause came at last the single answer, low and restrained : ‘ Bliss—unspeakable’. And the hushed restraint of that answer, the solemnity of his voice, demeanour, and gesture, made more clear what was meant than the words themselves.


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