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  You are in: Home > Theology & Religion > The Light of Zen in the West  
 

The Light of Zen in the West
incorporating The Supreme Doctrine and The Realization of the Self
Hubert Benoit 1904–1992

Translated by Graham Rooth

Graham Rooth MD, MRC Psych, is a retired consultant psychiatrist with a longstanding interest in languages, and the relationship between spirituality and humanistic therapies.

 

This Centenary Commemorative Edition also includes two lesser known works – ‘Buddha and the Intuition of the Universal’ and ‘Techniques of Timeless Realization’. The volume is complemented by a detailed Glossary, an Index, an Original Foreword by Aldous Huxley (1955), an Original Preface by Swami Siddheswarananda (1955), and a Contemporary Foreword by Professor Asanga Tilakaratne.

Benoit’s writings on the human predicament and the path to inner freedom were influenced by his studies in Zen Buddhism and psychoanalysis. There is, as well, an evident dialogue in Benoit’s writings between the Gurdjieff teaching and Zen, with insightful ideas about universal laws, ‘inner work’, the ‘human machine’, and ‘work in life’.

The Supreme Doctrine and The Realization of the Self foreshadow contemporary transpersonal and integral psychology: through the re-integration of psychology and metaphysics, Benoit invites us to make our own journey toward spiritual transformation and the intuitive understanding of universal truths. This Centenary Commemorative Edition also includes two lesser known works – ‘Buddha and the Intuition of the Universal’ and ‘Techniques of Timeless Realization’. The volume is complemented by a detailed Glossary, an Index, an Original Foreword by Aldous Huxley (1955), an Original Preface by Swami Siddheswarananda (1955), and a Contemporary Foreword by Professor Asanga Tilakaratne.


Translator’s Preface
Original Preface by Swami Siddheswarananda (1955)
Original Foreword by Aldous Huxley (1955)
Foreword by Professor Asanga Tilakaratne

THE SUPREME DOCTRINE
Part One Reflections on Zen Buddhism

Foreword to Part One
1 Zen Thought: An Overview
2 Good and Evil
3 Salvation as Idolatry
4 Zen Existentialism
5 The Mechanisms of Distress
6 The Five Modes of Thought and the Psychological Conditions for Satori
7 Freedom – ‘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 Practical Implications of the Zen Approach to Inner Work
13 Obedience to the Nature of Things

Part Two Essays on Zen and Psychology
Foreword to Part Two
14 Emotions and Emotional States
15 Sensation and Feeling
16 Pleasure, Pain and the Affective Response
17 The Rider and the Horse
18 The Primordial Error or ‘Original Sin’
19 The Immediate Presence of Satori
20 The Mind’s Passivity and the Disintegration of Our Energy
21 Concerning ‘Discipline’
22 Compensations
23 Inner Alchemy
24 Humility

THE REALIZATION OF THE SELF
Introduction
Part One Traditional Metaphysics

1 Metaphysical Insights
2 The Validity of Intellect in the Domain of Metaphysics
3 The Noumenal Domain
4 The Creative Principle
5 The Nature of God
Part Two Cosmic and Human Phenomenology
6 Are Phenomena Real?
7 Why Does God Manifest Himself?
8 Two Ways of Thinking About the Cosmos
9 The Genesis of Creation
10 The Purusha–Prakriti Duality
11 Divine Indifference
12 The Law of Interconditioning
13 Our Total Conditioning as Human Beings
14 The Role of the Demiurge
15 God and Man
Part Three The Agony and Death of Human Egotism
16 A Critique of Systematic Methods
17 Theoretical Understanding at the Intellectual Level and ‘Lived Knowledge’
18 Dying in order to be Re-born
Part Four Humility and Deliverance
19 The Search for Happiness
20 Duality and Dualism. The Possibility of Perfect Humility
21 Good and Evil
22 The Conditions which Precede Realization
23 How To Bring About a Progressive Reduction in One’s Pride
Benoit’s Technique of Timeless Realization
Translated by Aldous Huxley
Buddha and the Intuition of the Universal

Glossary of Terms
Index



Following the success of the publication of The Supreme Doctrine in 1998, Sussex Academic is proud to announce a new and updated translation by Graham Rooth, MD, MRCPsych, of this seminal work.

“ ‘There were giants in the earth in those days.’ This line from Genesis comes to mind as I look again, after a gap of some years, at the writings of Hubert Benoit. Like Karlfried Graf von Durckheim (author of Daily Life as Spiritual Exercise), who was of virtually the same generation, Benoît brought a formidable mind and a seeker’s firm dedication to the exploration of Zen. They were deciphering then what remains for us to continue deciphering: teachings Asian in origin but native to our minds and hearts.” Roger Lipsey, author of The Spiritual in Twentieth-Century Art

“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 to the first English edition by Aldous Huxley

“The idea of publishing a fresh translation of Hubert Benoit’s two works on Zen from a psychoanalytic point of view is good news for those who take human freedom seriously. While all religions are interested in this matter, the seriousness with which Buddhism has addressed this issue has been widely acknowledged. The Buddhist concept of suffering as the human predicament and its cessation in nirvanic freedom, and the Freudian concepts of illness and health, have been found to have something in common before and after Benoit. The unique characteristic of Benoit’s presentation of Zen is that he articulates it in a language and metaphor intelligible to the contemporary mind informed of psychology, philosophy and science.” From the Foreword by Professor Asanga Tilakaratne, Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, Kelaniya University

“Paralysis of the hand may seem a strange route to becoming a famous writer, but the French thinker Dr Hubert Benoit (1904–1992) specialized in surgery until injuries sustained in the defence of Saint Lô in the Second World War partially paralysed his right hand and brought an end to his surgical career. Benoit turned his attention to psychoanalysis and to Zen, producing in 1955 the seminal work The Supreme Doctrine. In this edition to mark the centenary of Benoit’s birth, Graham Rooth, MD, MRCPsych, offers a new translation of the French text with the original preface by Swami Siddheswarananda, founder of the Ramakrishna Vedantic Centre near Paris, and the original foreword by novelist Aldous Huxley, together with a new foreword by Professor Asanga Tilakaratne, Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies at the University of Kelaniya, Colombo. Also included are The Realization of Self (1981) and two short essays by Benoit — ‘Buddha and the Intuition of the Universal’ and ‘Technique of Timeless Realization’. The volume forms an excellent insight into Benoit’s work on the human being and the nature of our suffering.” The Middle Way

 

Publication Details

 
Paperback ISBN:
978-1-84519-015-6
 
 
Page Extent / Format:
352 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
 
Release Date:
July 2004
  Illustrated:   No
 
Paperback Price:
£22.95 / $34.50
 
 

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