The Enlightenment Stories Represented in the Samgook Yusa and the Princess Bari

by Terri Kim



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 3/16/2022

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 276
ISBN : 9781698711409
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 276
ISBN : 9781698711423

About the Book

"How can we delay the apocalypse of the world? The existence of the apocalypse of the world in the future has been known."

Well researched and supremely comprehensive, Kim's work immerses readers within a compelling comparison of stories from Korean mythology and the universal themes that resonate among the mythology of other cultures and religions. Using the Samgook Yusa anthology and the shamanic song of Princess Bari, the text gives audiences an understanding of enlightenment in its ultimate form.

Kim offers a thorough scope of the literature already prevalent on Samgook Yusa, providing her own commentary on scholarly articles and viewpoints. She is fearless in her analysis and is unafraid to go against the grain of the literature that is already in existence. At its core, several concurrent themes permeate throughout. Whether it is the dynamic between perennialists—individuals who believe that enlightenment experiences across cultures and religions are adaptations of each other—or the constructivist belief that all are tangentially different, the work's essence is to understand the pathway to enlightenment in its purest form, nirvana.

The clarity with which Kim discusses complex concepts like the Sahasrara chakra or the prajna eye—a direct connection to the "all-knowing" third eye in Hinduism—allows for seamless flow. Her treatise will take readers from Hindu texts like the Katha Upanishad to the depths of Greek mythology. In both, the deity of the underworld—Yama in Hinduism and Hades in Greek mythology—is found shedding light on the pathway to enlightenment. Interestingly, the author parallels the stories of Princess Bari and Cinderella as she highlights how few women achieve the path to enlightenment without a union with their male counterparts. Ultimately, Kim describes the standard form of enlightenment in conjunction with an even higher state, one of absolute self-realization and achieving knowledge of Brahman. Incredibly in-depth, this treatise is a decidedly thought-provoking venture.


~ The US Review of Books



The treatise compares Korean enlightenment experience stories with different genre sources as well as other countries texts, thereby it presents the perspective of cross-genre and cross-culture comparison. The enlightenment stories are examined in terms of actual experiences; and after the experience, how one offers one’s efficacy in the society. The author distinguishes different meanings of the enlightenment and researches in two different approaches: the enlightenment as equivalent to wisdom attaining stage, and the nirvana enlightenment, as fully matured stage of the enlightenment; then compares Korean sources with Western mystics’ experiences. Moreover, the author explains different enlightenment methodologies mentioned in the medieval Korean text, Samgook Yusa (The collection of three kingdoms’ anthology) and presently being practiced shamanic song in rituals, “Princess Bari.” Thereafter, the author probes into the necessity of gaining the enlightenment in the perspective of one’s function effected in the society and preparing for the apocalypse.

About the Author

After she acquired a B.S. degree in Business Administration from CSU Fresno in 1988, Terri Kim worked in Fashion industry in NY and LA from 1989 to 1996. In 1993, she encountered a mystical experience that led her to change her career. She returned to the Graduate School of UCLA and obtained an MFA degree in Theater in 2000. However, she still yearned for world knowledge and wanted to continue higher education. Thus, she finished the MA program in Chinese Culture from the University of Kansas in 2004 and completed the Ph.D. program in Korean Classical Literature from the Graduate School of Seoul National University in South Korea in 2013. She worked full-time as a language instructor for several years in between graduate schools. The treatise is the result of her endeavor to reach higher spiritual progress by continuously pursuing higher education even when the reality of life tempted her to alter the goal. By pursuing higher education persistently, she was able to penetrate to the point where the gist of enlightenment stories exists.