The Marriage of Wisdom and Method

By Marco Pallis

Studies in Comparative Religion, Spring, 1972

Reprinted with Permission*

 

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An excellent summary of Tibetan Buddhism. In this essay, Marco Pallis provides a unique perspective on Tibetan Buddhism that is heightened by his own providential experiences, his natural style of writing, and his profound insights into the spiritual life and the Way. Pallis relates the commonalities and divergences of the beliefs and practices of the "Yellow-hat" and the "Red-hat" Buddhist orders, including variations in moral codes and methods of study, meditation, and contemplation. Perhaps most importantly, through the example of Buddhism in its pure form, Pallis shows that, "any doctrine, which is communicated minus an accompanying method calculated to attune the whole being, and not merely the thinking mind, to its reception, presents dangers and these will increase in proportion as the doctrine itself grows more profound." On a spiritual path, beyond the supports of logic and ego, the divorce of the wisdom and knowledge of a given revelation from its corresponding method of practice can lead to a dangerous abyss.

 

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