Darśana, is from the Sanskrit root: dṛś, literally, ‘To See’. The Sanskritic analogue of the Greek Phílosophía [‘Lover of Wisdom’] is the Seer: ‘One who See’s’.
One loves Wisdom of course, a lofty if slippery idea. I am still not clear what exactly it means. But it is settled only when one ‘Sees’.
Argument is docked on assumption, Faith on belief. One can question it; reroute the inference; toss-up diversionary flak. But it’s a lot harder to ‘Unsee’ what you ‘See’. All orthodox Hindu schools of Philosophy are officially Darśanas.
‘Seeing’ in its analytic meaning is is all about catching the beam in your own eye. I catch the beam in my eye: and catch myself catching myself; and catch myself catching myself catching myself. And so on.
I look in a mirror and see my eye. I see my eye seeing my eye. I see my eye seeing my eye seeing my eye..
I see my Mind seeing my Mind. I catch my Thought catching my Thought. I Know. I Know that I Know. I Know that I Know that I Know…
This can get a little more loopy when the high inferential abstractions of Logic and Language are at play. Try your hand at: ‘All Words are Meaningless’-itself an expression in words. Or: ‘I don’t Exist!’
Darśana is the ‘Backward Step’, an ‘Infinite Regress’ back to ‘True Nothing’
There are levels and levels of ‘Seeing’. For a pious Hindu, to see the adorned deity with a full and sincere heart is in turn to be seen by the deity in an act of divine grace [and often, such simple piety trumps all philosophy and metaphysics].
Watch out, though. Sanskrit Literature carries a long list of exclusive sightings made over the centuries by God-Men and Knaves. Each is raised up the flagpole and if anyone salutes a new school is born. All orthodox schools are officially Darśanas.