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The Supreme Doctrine

Psychological Studies in Zen Thought

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A new translation of The Supreme Doctrine forms part of an exciting new publication, The Light of Zen in the West
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Paperback ISBN: 978-1-898723-14-1
Paperback Price: £16.95 / $26.950
Release Date: March 1998, cover revised 2009
Page Extent / Format: 248 pp. / 216 x 138 mm
Illustrated: No


Foreword by Aldous Huxley
Foreword by Tim Barrett

1 On the General Sense of Zen Thought
2 “Good” and “Evil”
3 The Idolatry of “Salvation"
4 The Existentialism of Zen
5 The Mechanism of Anxiety
6 The Five Modes of Thought of the Natural Man – Psychological Conditions of Satori
7 Liberty as “Total Determinism”
8 The Egotistical States
9 The Zen Unconscious
10 Metaphysical Distress
11 Seeing into One’s Own Nature – the Spectator of the Spectacle
12 How to Conceive the Inner Task According to Zen
13 Obedience to the Nature of Things
14 Emotion and the Emotive State
15 Sensation and Sentiment
16 On Affectivity
17 The Horseman and the Horse
18 The Primordial Error or “Original Sin”
19 The Immediate Presence of Satori
20 Passivity of the Mind and Disintegration of our Energy
21 On the Idea of “Discipline"
22 The Compensations
23 The Inner Alchemy
24 On Humility


History and anthropology make it abundantly clear that societies composed of individuals who think, feel, believe and act according to the most preposterous conventions can survive for long periods of time. Statistical normality is perfectly compatible with a high degree of folly and wickedness … In so far as he is a psychotherapist, the Oriental philosopher tries to help statistically normal individuals to become normal in the other, more fundamental sense of the word … This process of intellectual and psycho-physical adjustment to the Nature of Things is the ‘supreme doctrine’ of Zen Buddhism, which Dr Benoit discusses in the light of Western psychological theory and Western psychiatric practise … This is a book that should be read by everyone who aspires to know who he is and what he can do to acquire such self-knowledge.
From the Foreword by Aldous Huxley

The Supreme Doctrine is a cogent statement of what Zen thought had to offer the practising Western psychiatrist … this is a book which assuredly still speaks for itself.
T. H. Barrett, SOAS, University of London

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