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The purpose of this paper is to reexamine the Buddhist concept of suchness (tathātā), as developed in the Awakening of Faith in the Mahāyāna (大乘起信論), in conversation with Meister Eckhart’s neologisms istic/isticheit. Previous comparative Buddhist-Eckhart studies have typically rendered these neologisms in a strict ontological sense, with English interpretations of “is-ness” or the “being-ness” of God. Recent scholarship, notably Alessandra Beccarisi, has altered this approach by evincing that Eckhart’s terms do suggest God’s essence but within a Neoplatonistic perspective, especially in terms of the primacy of the intellect and human-divine unity. This development in Eckhart studies invites fresh comparative insights between istic/isticheit and suchness, especially in relation to the intellect.


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