Review Article: Reflexive Awareness

ISSN 1076–9005
Volume 7, 2000

We Are All Gzhan stong pas

Reflections on The Reflexive Nature of Awareness: A Tibetan Madhyamaka Defence. By Paul Williams. Surrey, England: Curzon Press, 1998, xix + 268 pp, ISBN: 0–7007–1030–2, $55.00.

Reviewed by Matthew T. Kapstein
The University of Chicago

The present review article discusses aspects of Paul Williams’s excellent and highly recommended book, which focuses on the question of “reflexive awareness” (Tib. rang rig, Skt. svasaṃvittiḥ, svasaṃvedana) in Tibetan Mādhyamika thought. In particular, I am concerned with his characterization of so so rang rig ye shes and its relation to Rdzogs-chen teaching, and his notions of the gzhan stong doctrine and its place in the intellectual life of Far-eastern Tibet. My critical remarks on these topics are in many respects tentative, and I would welcome correspondence about them.

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