Liberation Philosophy

From the Buddha to Omar Khayyam

by Mostafa Vaziri (University of Innsbruck, Austria)

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The strong point of Liberation Philosophy: From the Buddha to Omar Khayyam is its integrative approach, bringing into dialogue Western and Eastern thought and bearing witness to the exceptional insights of its author, a global mind and traveler between the worlds. It is an original work in the truest sense, thought provoking and spirited.
I expect the book to be appealing to scholars and students who are interested in philosophy as a practical and meaningful discipline with great potential of enlightening our minds and who are, however, dissatisfied with rather esoterical and sloppy publications on Indian philosophies etc. It will particularily be relevant to people looking for moral and spiritual exemplary thinkers beyond the trodden paths.

Prof. Marie-Luisa Frick
Department of Philosophy
University of Innsbruck

A fascinating study of the efforts of great men everywhere to alleviate human suffering in their own distinctive ways.

Raj Giteshwar
Former Indian Diplomat and Sanskritist

Vaziri engages his readers with his excellent, scientific description of the birth of religion and its effect on the evolution of human consciousness, followed by the emergence of philosophies that set the foundations of secular and scientific thought.

Ali Rostami, PhD
Stanford University

The critical narrative of this interdisciplinary book offers a first-time look at the interrelationship between biology, mythology and philosophy in human development. Its daring premise follows the trajectory of human thought, starting with the biological roots of fear and the original need for religion, truth-seeking, and myth-making. The narrative then innovatively links a number of maverick philosophical teachings over the centuries, from pre-Buddhist times to the Buddha, from Epicurus and Pyrrho to Lucretius, and eventually to the seminal poetry of Omar Khayyam. These emergent philosophies exemplified liberation from the grasp of mythical and religious thinking and instead espoused an empirical and joyful mind. The narrative concludes with a look at the emancipating philosophical movement that resulted in the European Enlightenment, and it suggests that the philosophical teachings explored in the book may offer the potential for a second, broader Enlightenment.

Author’s Remarks

Part I Biology: Panic

Prelude Human: Not a Fallen Angel
Chapter 1 Tumultuous Human Evolution: The Leap and Lapse of the Mind
Chapter 2 The Cognitive and Biological Foundations of Religion: Terror-Management
Chapter 3 Instinctual Modules of Religion: Fear, Obedience, and Imitation

Part II Mythology: Taking Refuge

Chapter 4 Truth-Seeking and Myth-Making: Humans in Search of Reality

Part III Philosophy: Clarity

Chapter 5 The Indo-Greco-Roman Philosophies of Self-Rule: Nastikā Schools (Çārvāka, Ajīvikism, Jainism, Buddhism), Epicureanism, and Pyrrhonism
Chapter 6 Buddha’s Self-Rule Philosophy: A Model for Ten “Mini-Nirvanas”
Chapter 7 Omar Khayyam’s Model of Liberation: Existence, Pleasure and Nothingness

Epilogue Enlightenment Revisited: The Second Enlightenment



Mostafa Vaziri, physician and anthropologist, is currently a lecturer at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and formerly fellow of Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Rumi and Shams’ Silent Rebellion: Parallels with Vedanta, Buddhism and Shaivism (NY & London: Palgrave Macmillan 2015), Buddhism in Iran: An Anthropological Approach to Traces and Influences (NY & London: Palgrave Macmillan 2012), including several other academic works.

Evolution, Myth-Making, Truth-Seeking, Liberation, Happiness, Philosophy, Mind, Buddhism, Çarvaka, Ajivikism, Epicureanism, Pyrrhonism, Khayyam, Enlightenment, Self-Rule - - Greek Philosophies, Asian Philosophies, Persian Poetry

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Liberation Philosophy

Book Subtitle

From the Buddha to Omar Khayyam





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm

Publication date

July 2019