The search and love for knowledge are as intrinsic to human nature as the drives for self-preservation and social interaction. From the time we wonder at the colors and sounds about us to the moment we finally confront eternity with our last breaths, we are occupied with the pursuit of understanding our environment, ourselves, and the nature of whatever reality may exist beyond. People essentially want to know, and the basic questions of lifewhy, who, whence, whither, and how tease even the staunchest materialist in the quiet moments of awe or the times of pressing injustice. To answer these questions, there have evolved two great philosophies, which are usually designated by the geographical divisions of East and West. The modern Western approach addresses the problem from an objective, theoretical, and pluralistic standpoint, whereas the ancient Eastern approach is more subjective, experiential, and holistic. The West looks outward to external data, and the east turn inward to internal experience; one
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Western approach, modern Western approach, increasingly subtle aspects, ancient Eastern approach