Note: Two editions of the same book, under different tittles - the original and a newly revised edition.
[ Originally published in the Netherlands, c1969, under the title, Tibetan Buddhism Without Mystification , by E. J. Brill, Leiden. ]
While various religious and philosophical systems attempt to satisfy the intellectual and emotional craving for explanations of life's mysteries, Tibetan Buddhism seeks rather to bring about a re-evaluation of this craving itself. Thus traditional Western studies of Buddhism, in seeking to fit the teachings into pre-conceived rationalist systems or to dismiss them as mystical meaninglessness, have missed or misconstrued the essential message.
In this ground-breaking work, originally titled Tibetan Buddbism Without Mystification , the world's foremost Tibetologist, Herbert V. Guenther, presents the Buddhist teaching as a dynamic process that leads us to reconsider our underlying assumptions concerning the nature of goals and their realization, and especially progress along a spiritual path.
The lengthy introductory section provides an insightful overview of the basic Buddhist doctrines as they developed among the different schools. There follow translations of four instructional texts composed by the tutor of the 8th Dalai Lama. These terse texts outline the stages of the Buddhist path as taught by the sect of the Dalai Lamas - the Gelugpa - and provide penetrating insights into the profound significance of the Buddhist view.
Dr. Guenther's unique approach, combining important concepts of contemporary psychology and philosophy in an in-depth study of the indigenous culture, makes this one of the best introductions yet written to the complex and often mis-represented Tantric Buddhist tradition in Tibet.
Concise yet uncompromising in its approach, the work is a provocative piece of de-mystification and an ideal example of how a scholarly work can yield meaningful results for anyone interested in religious, spiritual, or philosophic pursuits.