The Philosophical Foundations of Classical rDzogs Chen in Tibet

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LibraryBooksThe Philosophical Foundations of Classical rDzogs Chen in Tibet

The Philosophical Foundations of Classical rDzogs Chen in Tibet
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This book is an introduction to the philosophy of mind that developed within the syncretistic rDzogs chen (Great Perfection) tradition of the rNying ma (Ancient Ones) school of Tibetan Buddhism between the 8th and 14th centuries CE. Despite the growing interest in this tradition in recent decades, there has hitherto been no systematic appraisal of its views on mind that traces their evolution and complex relationships with antecedent Buddhist philosophies of mind. These views merit attention not only because of their intrinsic interest and relevance to contemporary consciousness studies but also because they provide an essential key to understanding the tradition’s leading ideas and practices in light of their historical development. To this end, the book investigates the doctrinal foundations of rDzogs chen through the lens of two principal distinctions that the tradition has considered indispensable for understanding its distinctive views and practices: dualistic mind (sems) versus primordial knowing (ye shes) and dharmakāya versus the ‘ground of all’ (kun gzhi) conditioned experience. Arguing that these distinctions provided classical rDzogs chen scholars with a crucial framework not only for (a) articulating the conditions of delusion and liberating knowledge, but also for (b) schematizing the relationship between the exoteric and esoteric vehicles of Indian Buddhism within a unifying conception of the Buddhist path as the progressive disclosure of primordial knowing, the author shows how the rDzogs chen philosophy of mind has been, in all stages of its development, inseparable from its distinctive soteriology. (Source: WSTB)

Citation Higgins, David. The Philosophical Foundations of Classical rDzogs chen in Tibet: Investigating the Distinction between Dualistic Mind (sems) and Primordial Knowing (ye shes). Vienna: Arbeitskreis für Tibetische und Buddhistische Studien, Universität Wien, 2013.