Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Literary Sources for 'The Transmigration'?

As a footnote to my earlier weblogs, I've been wanting to take up the matter of what T. Lobsang Rampa calls 'the transmigration.' It fairly corresponds with something the Tibetan Kagyüpas starting in the 11th century (then, from 15th century on, Gelugpas), mainly, but sometimes also Nyingmapas call drongjug (grong 'jug). Drongjug is the correct word for it rather than phowa/po-wa ('pho ba), although one does often finds them mixed up in popular literature.* There are more instances of it happening than those Lopez mentions in his Prisoners of Shangri-La book. The two practices are not entirely unrelated. Still they ought to be distinguished. Phowa means a 'transference' into a higher plane, generally a Pure Land of the Buddha of Infinite Light (Amitabha) or some other Buddha. Drongjug means literally 'to enter a/the house (village? hut?)' although there is a little problem with interpreting why & how it ends up meaning what it means. And what it means is to deliberately inject ones consciousness into a body that has already been vacated by its previous inhabitant. Which is just what Rampa means by his 'transmigration' (again, leaving aside the molecular replacement Rampa claims went along with it). Something very like drongjug occurs in Indian, mainly Hindu, sources as well, although I won't go into this now. I've also tried finding out if there is anything in western traditions similar to drongjug, but so far the search has fairly failed (but do notice the intriguing statement by H. Blavatsky below). Perhaps there is something like it to be found in the works of Proclus? Or in some old apocryphal tales about Nebuchadnezzar and the fiery furnace?

Rampa's account of his taking over the body of the Englishman Cyril Hoskins has been told and retold a number of times (see especially the book by Karen Mutton, pp. 54-59). He first made public testimony to its occurrence in 1958 (for an online version,
see this), and told the story in detail in his third book, The Rampa Story, published in 1960. In these earliest sources Rampa doesn't seem to use any name at all for what happened (perhaps 'the takeover'?), he just describes it. The tree limb snapped as he was attempting to photograph an owl. His wife found him lying on the ground. Now possessed of a telepathically gifted Tibetan mind in an unhealthy English body, he was soon forced to deal with the public unemployment office, the Employment Exchange. I'm reminded of the title of a book I haven't read, After Enlightenment the Laundry. Man, what a come-down.

Is it possible TLR read about drongjug somewhere? the skeptics are bound to ask. Well sure. W.Y. Evans-Wentz (actually not him but Lama Kazi Dawa Samdup, who knew excellent English) translated the Milarepa biography into English in 1928. Jacques Bacot translated into French the biography of Marpa, published in 1937 with the title
La vie de Marpa le Traducteur, which has an even longer section in it about how Marpa's son Darma Dodé fell off his horse and entered the body of a dead pigeon, etc. (the same story you can read in the books of Mutton and Lopez). I think Giuseppe Tucci wrote about it in Italian in an article called Dell'arte di risuscitare i morti, in the journal L'Economia Umana (March-April 1951), pp. 23-27, and even before that in another article, L'Arte di far rivivere i cadaveri secondo la tradizione tibetana, in the journal Sapere, vol. 12 (1940), pp. 105-7 (if you can find these two Tucci pieces send me photocopies right away! I've never seen them so I'm not even sure they are precisely about drongjug, although I believe they are). If you're ready to dig deep into the dusty stacks of some huge library you might be able to come up with Sarat Chandra Das, "The Story of Darmadote" in Journal of the Buddhist Text Society, vol. 5, pt. 3 (1897), definitely the oldest thing I can come up with in English. Then there is an article by Mary Shih-Yü Yü, "A Tibetan Story of the Transferring of One's Soul into Another Body," Journal of American Folklore, vol. 62, no. 243 (January-March 1949), pp. 34-41, which might seem significant, but it is little more than a nicely retold version of the story as found in Evans-Wentz. Did TLR read one of these? Did the story, as told in one of these publications, of Darma Dodé falling off his horse inspire him to go out on that limb? I have no idea, really. 'Could have' isn't good enough. That's too much like speculation. You simply have to have better reasons for coming to your conclusions than just your belief tendencies if you want me to feel inclined to go along with them. That's the challenge. Any takers?

*Note: There is an article by Madame Alexandra David-Neel entitled "Phowa," published in the journal France Asie (June 1952), pp. 239-244. It was republished in a book entitled Textes Tibétains Inédits, Editions Pygmalion (Paris 1977), pp. 145-150. I don't have it at hand, and I doubt if it is really relevant.

Some intriguing reading on drongjug:

H.P. Blavatsky, A Modern Panarion: A Collection of Fugitive Fragments from the Pen of H.P. Blavatsky, The Theosophical Society (Los Angeles 1981), reprint of original edition of 1895, at p. 346: "Life once extinct can never be recalled, but another life and another soul can sometimes reanimate the abandoned frame, if we may believe learned men who were never known to utter an untruth."
Available here.

Tsang Nyön Heruka, The Life of Marpa the Translator: Seeing Accomplishes All, tr. by Nâlandâ Translation Committee, Prajñâ Press (Boulder 1982). Chapter Four, on pp. 156-198 tells the story of Darma Dodé ("Tarma Dode") in the most detail.

Gtsang-smyon He-ru-ka (1452-1507), The Life of Milarepa: A New Translation from the Tibetan, tr. by Lobsang P. Lhalungpa in collaboration with Far West Translations, E.P. Dutton (New York 1977), at pp. 81-83, but see also footnote 11 on p. 215.

Joseph K. Langerfeld, The Dead Arise: Cases of Death and Return in Tibet, School for International Training, Study Abroad Program (Spring 2000), pp. 51-52. Available on the internet here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lobsang Rampa Good to Think?

"In the fort of King Tsedé I saw a prisoner holding in his hand a sharpened file. Still, he didn't cut his chains. The necessity of the file was wasted."
— Padampa Sanggyé, Andhran Buddhist teacher in 11th-Century Tibet.

In general I think it's an excellent idea to think outside the box, or at least test the boundaries from the inside from time to time. I get fed up with some archaeologists I know of who narrow in on pottery shards and how they fit into their own typologies (and perhaps *only* their own). I want to tell them to take up scrying for crying outloud, but I keep my mouth shut. Once I had a temp job in a building that held a think-tank full of worldclass physicists (no, I was most definitely *not* part of the group… I have trouble with basic taxform-preparation-level math, let alone those 20-yard-long formulae they left for the janitor to clean off the blackboard). One day they were talking in the hallway, and one of them commented how impossible it would be for any scientist to believe in that astrology crap, and everyone seemed to be nodding in agreement. After the group split up, one of them took me aside and told me what he was ashamed to say in front of his overly cerebral buddies, that he once went to an astrologer, and what she told him was "right on the mark." Him saying that really confused my categorical thinking even as it was heightening my appreciation for the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

But then I was telling another of the physicists one time about a letter of complaint a physicist wrote to a NYC Buddhist magazine,
Tricycle, in which he said that physicists and Buddhists each have their own very distinctive and complex methods for arriving at truth, and so it is a mistake to try to compare or mix them up with each other. This other physicist again surprised me by saying that that letter-writing physicist lacked imagination.

In Karen Mutton's remarkable new book about Lobsang Rampa there is a section about what could largely be called "extreme prehistory ideas." Here Rampa figures among such giants of widely rejected yet often accepted strains of science as Immanuel Velikovsky (1895-1979) and Erich Anton Paul von Däniken (b. 1935). I won't go into these ideas about catastrophe theories, extraterrestrial visitations, subterranean civilizations and ancient technologies. There are others much better equipped to make the arguments. I just want to suggest that it is not a sin to consider ideas that turn conventional paradigms on their heads. As a student of humanities, at the very least I see great merit in trying to understand how and why humans come up with the ideas that they actually come up with, not just why they come up with the usual ideas that add very little to the body of consensual knowledge. Saying this does *not* mean I personally believe in the authenticity of
Dropa stones. (For those not in the know, these are ancient stone CDs brought in by ETs.)

Even some of your more positivist (or minimalist) scientists have to admit that, even if — to their own minds — it's a longshot that life will be found on other planets in our galaxy, the idea of possibly finding signs of extraterrestrial intelligence can be a great motivator for space exploration that will anyway result in valuable findings of one sort or another. Most of us are not satisfied to sort out the shards (even if we might be forced to admit the off chance that a new shard could result in a big paradigm shift). We'd rather find out something significant about the larger patterns of the universe and how we ourselves fit into it. We may or may not be comfortable with how the society surrounding us 'places' us, more or less against our will, into its ruling cosmological programs. We may (and some of us at least often do) feel driven to look for alternative ways of seeing things. Look at the early
Gnostics for a prime example.

I think one of the main reasons that Tibetologists did and do dismiss Rampa is because most of what he says, his teachings, are told in ways that do not correspond to the ways Tibetans explain Buddhism. One could argue that he didn't receive a typical monastic education while in Tibet, that his teachers were renegade thinkers or the like. But I imagine another way around this (assuming you might be looking for the bypass). Let's say for the sake of argument that he did in fact have a Buddhist Tibetan intelligence dwelling in his English body (leaving the molecular replacement aside), and that one of his main concerns was to present the ideas to his audience in a way that they could understand. And the language he chose was the language of the western occultists popular in his day (I think Karen Mutton shows this quite clearly in her 'Literary Studies' chapter). That could be thought of as an extreme hypothesis, and anyway the differences are not always merely in the expression, but in matters of greater substance as well. Actually the Buddha himself is often credited with the talent of speaking to people in their own language. He could even adjust his presentation of things for people with different preconceptions or perceptions, with different world views (they call this skilful means or
upaya). The compassionate motivation that wishes others could be free of delusions justifies what might itself look (at the moment or in retrospect) like an illusion.
(I'm not sure I'm expressing this well, certainly not well enough. Buddhists do work with this paradox that only complete Enlightenment is delusion-free, while getting there involves going through any number of delusions, one inside or after the other. Which means the path to Enlightenment is indeed made up of delusions. Of course Buddhists do then go on to distinguish delusions that can under the right circumstances be conducive to Enlightenment from those that we'll likely just get stuck in, or that are only going to lead to more and more entangling delusions…)

I personally disagree with those postmodern 'Mythos Tibet' Tibetologists. I think they are reactionaries. By that I mean that they swing the pendulum too far in the direction of describing Tibet as everyday land (the Ronald Macdonald dark-matter counterpart to Shangri La): Nothing but a bunch of more as well as less petty political struggles and squabbles, and hey, let's just forget those stories about levitation, hanging up wet clothes to dry on sunbeams, & the like, all those medieval miracle stories. I like to remind them that even with those particularly nasty instances we might point to (like the squeezing out of Lungshar's eyes, machinations of the Lhasa elite, some evil landlord in Kham, or that one monk that took ordination only as a path to wealth and power, whatever), you search in vain in early Tibetan history for anything the least bit approaching the St. Bartholomew Days Massacre, the Spanish Inquisition or the Holocaust. These latter events, in case I must remind you, happened at various times in several neighboring countries that form parts of 'civilized' western Europe.

(I am also thinking of those international Christian terrorists who breached the northern walls of Jerusalem and promptly massacred every last non-Christian man, woman and child. The First Crusade it's called. We're still waiting for the final results of that one. We can only hope that the seesaw of history will someday soon tilt in favor of resolution at the expense of repercussions.)

I think the shining examples of spiritual enlightenment like Milarepa could never have grown and developed as they did if they had lived in some sort of milky-pure land free of dissatisfaction, disharmony and strife. On the other hand, without their living presence, the society as a whole could have been thrown off orbit resulting in a history full of awesome acts of collective (even sanctioned) violence like you find in Europe in those same time frames. Where do you find the balance, the objectivity, if I may use that truly iffy word, to locate the bigger and fuller picture of what Tibet was? It's all so political, political at every step. Tibet was not everyday land. It was not the serf-owning society Chinese Marxism makes it out to have been. It was not the perfect realm of total peace (or Robert Thurman's ironically named "monastic army of peace"). It was and is a very special place with some hugely exceptional human beings. It has huge problems today, and the situation often seems hopeless, or hopelessly complicated, to those who care to follow what's been happening there in the last 50 years. And finally, Yes, old Tibet has much to tell us and give us today and, we may hope, tomorrow.

In anthropology they have the idea of 'adequate representation' which means you at least have to make the valiant attempt to portray the group of people you're studying in such a way that your audience will see something that does those other people justice overall. Not a clipped off corner of the photograph that people will suppose is a whole photograph. You don't dig up a 19th-century American town, discover the court records and conclude from them that the town was exclusively inhabited by petty thieves and burglers (and Oh yeah, judges and cops). You try your best to fill out the picture from other evidence that has popped up, or might pop up yet. It's likely that the other evidence is out there. Of course if you've already come up with what you think are adequate reasons for hating the U.S., you'll jump on that courtroom evidence & wave it in the air so everyone will have to agree that your spite for those Americans, those thieves and burglers, is justifiable.

(Sorry, that is just too real an example to be a good one, or too good to be real, if you've been following what's happened to the U.S. image in the rest of the world of late.)

I think if you were to think, even for just a moment, of Rampa as an anthropologist, he actually doesn't do a bad job of delivering a wholistic vision of Tibetan society in Lhasa in the early 20th century. Maybe not a perfect job (and of course those middle-aged Tibetologists in the mid-50's were bound to pick out or pick up on different imperfections because of their own different perspectives; well, yes, if temple-guarding cats didn't exist one would simply have to make them up), but I would have trouble coming up with any writer from his time who is as free of colonialist bias — something that after all concerns those postmodernist postcolonialists much more than any factual details — as Rampa is.
You could almost think of him as a kind of Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), the Irish-Greek journalist who became a naturalized Japanese citizen. True, Rampa and Hearn included bizarre and sensational elements in their accounts of Tibetan and Japanese culture, but at the same time and more significantly, I think, they brought Tibet and Japan into the orbit of humanity to a degree scarcely known before them. Both engaged imaginations in the world outside their borders, in the process evoking overall positive and sympathetic images of the cultures within them.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Third Eye: Plato, Buddhism and Rampa

I would like to dedicate this blog to several friends and relatives of mine who have recently experienced problems with the use of their physical eyes. May all sentient beings see well.

Entries in Wikipedia, despite the noble efforts of the workaholic Wikikids, are often riddled with incompatible, unsubstantiated and unique statements. Sometimes, it would seem, things are made up on the spot by the writers who add bits and pieces to them as they are constantly evolving. User-edited content, it's called. Sometimes over-edited seems more to the point when the product comes up on your computer screen. The following link provides what I see as a good example of this, much of it unintelligible, or marked by obscure (unnamed) sectarian concerns, and with little or no sense of how things may have developed within historical and cultural contexts.
(accessed on Valentines Day, 2007)

Rather than relying on the scattered ruminations of this nebulously authored Wikipedia entry, I will limit myself to three things: [1] the particular concept of three eyes in Graeco-Egyptian sources that wind up in Italy; [2] the multiple (3 or 5) eyes in Buddhist sources; [3] The Third Eye of T. Lobsang Rampa. For the first I rely entirely on an article by Michael J.B. Allen entitled "Marsilio Ficino on Plato's Pythagorean Eye." For the Buddhist sources I will rely almost entirely on an article by the late Alex Wayman published under the title "The Buddhist Theory of Vision."

One of a number of things glaringly absent from the Wikipedia treatment of the three eyes is this: There is not the least mention of Plato (428-347 BCE). Now Marsilio Ficino of Florence (1433-1499) was a great intellect among the humanists as well as a practitioner of theurgy (intentional ritual identification with divine beings for purposes magical or spiritual). He had a great impact on the subsequent history of western Hermeticism and occultism more generally. He was a neo-pagan in his own times.

Ficino composed a lengthy commentary on the Philebus of Plato in which the commentator says, "Among the wisest men of Greece arose the saying that Plato had three eyes: one with which he looked at human things, another at natural things, and another at divine things. The last was in his forehead, while the others were under his forehead." (Translation by Michael Allen.)

The Philebus dialog itself, we should carefully note, has nothing to say about extra eyes of any kind. We're talking about Ficino's commentary here.

As M. Allen points out, there were probably only two ancient sources from which Ficino could have derived his idea of Plato's three eyes. One comes from the school of Olympiodorus of Alexandria in about the 6th century, available to us today in a manuscript that was made in the 10th century. This source says, "It is said, in fact, that having found the theory of ideas he [Plato] dreamt that he had a third eye."

The other more ancient source is the one that was more surely known to Ficino. This work, titled Contra Celsum, written against a second-century opponent of Christianity, a pagan-pagan by the name of Celsus, was composed in 248 CE by the Alexandrian church father Origen. In the context Origen is asserting that Christianity doesn't after all make any claims that are all that outrageous, and as part of this argument he mentions some claims of pagans that he considers so utterly outrageous that they are scarcely worth considering (any outrageous claims of the Christians paling under the comparison). Along with the ivory thigh of Pythagoras (which is usually said to be made of gold), he mentions in passing "the third eye that Plato prided himself on possessing." For Origen, this third eye of Plato is just a "vulgar fantasy" (Allen, p. 173).

Both of our ancient sources attribute to Plato himself this idea that he had a third eye, while Ficino attributes it to other Greek sages. Returning to Ficino's statement, we may easily see that one of the two eyes that people usually are seen to have is for seeing the realm of nature (the created universe, divinely [or in any case not humanly] created), while the second eye is for seeing humans and humanly created things. The third eye, which floats above the other two, located in the forehead, is for seeing the divine. Boiling down Allen's learned discussion, the three eyes correspond to the natural world, the realm of human conduct (the moral sphere), and the metaphysical (the divine sphere). Ficino believed that Plato was able to see the natural world according to Heraclitus (objects of ordinary sense perception made up of the elements), the moral sphere of Socrates (subject for discursive reasoning), and the realm of pure Ideas of the Pythagoreans (intuitive intellect or imagination). In short, the third eye is the Pythagorean eye.


In Buddhist works, including the Pâli Nikâya literature which is often regarded as earlier, one finds a list of three types of eyes. These are: the Flesh Eye, the Divine Eye, and the Insight (Prajñâ) Eye. In Mahâyâna writings in Sanskrit these three are often expanded to a list of five, by adding two further eyes to the list. The added eyes are Dharma Eye and Buddha Eye, although some lists substitute Gnosis Eye for Dharma Eye. But already in the time of Vasubandhu we find some Mahâyâna writers speaking of three eyes, by which they mean: Insight Eye, Dharma Eye and Buddha Eye.

To review what it is that the five eyes see, in descending order: The Buddha Eye sees all knowable objects without any obstruction (and of course have no obstructions due to those knowable objects), which is what Buddhists generally mean by the omniscience of the completely Enlightened Buddha. The Dharma Eye is able to understand all scriptures (Dharma) as well as to identify the levels of spiritual development of other persons. The Insight Eye can discern the particular and general characteristics of all the knowable objects, while seeing their higher meanings. The Divine Eye sees the world of forms in its past states (the karmic prelude to the present condition) and in its approaching states (as compelled by karma enacted in the present time). The Flesh Eye sees only forms in their present state.

A significant point covered by Wayman is whether or not these eyes can function simultaneously. The simple answer is yes.

Asanga (4th or 5th century CE) explains the distinction between the Divine Eye and the Insight Eye by saying that the Divine Eye is able to range over all visible forms, while the Insight Eye is able to range over all forms both visible and invisible without obstruction. But the "visible forms" that may be seen by the Divine Eye include the subtle bodies of beings in the intermediate state (in the transition between death and rebirth). For while the intermediate body is impossible for ordinary living beings to see, it *is* visible to other intermediate bodies, so it is indeed possible (for certain beings) to see them, which makes them in truth vis-able. The Divine Eye can range throughout the Desire Realm (Kâma Dhâtu), and all the beings in it, which means in effect that those who have it may know what is going on anywhere from the six realms of Desire Realm gods all the way down to the sixteen hell realms.

Now the Buddha Eye doesn't correspond well with any of Plato's three eyes, because it is a post-Enlightenment eye that looks back with compassion on the entirely transcended world. Plato's Third Eye is for intuitive seeing, its gaze oriented upwards toward divine things. If we try to chart out a correspondence, which more or less works out, it could be:

Plato's Three Eyes (Ficino)>>>> Mahâyâna's Five Eyes

[1] Heraclitean Eye>>>> [1] Flesh Eye

[2] Socratic Eye >>>> [2-4] Divine Eye, Insight Eye, Dharma Eye

[3] Pythagorean Eye>>>> [2-4] Divine Eye, Insight Eye, Dharma Eye

— >>>> [5] Buddha Eye

Since the Socratic eye concerns mainly the world of human moral action, it only covers part of the territory of Mahâyâna eyes 2-4. Eyes 2-4 do include matters that, for the Platonic thinker, would have to be considered 'intuitive' or metaphysical, in so far as they are aimed at transcendence.

Published in 1956, T. Lobsang Rampa's book The Third Eye created a huge sensation. And for obvious reasons. I believe that still today it is the all-time bestselling book about Tibet in any language. In chapter seven of the book, the young Tibetan acolyte (who would only in later Rampa books take over the body of the Englishman Cyril Hoskins), in the presence of his teacher, has a hole drilled into his forehead, through the skin, flesh and skull. A splinter of wood is placed there and left for some time before being removed.

I won't go into the full bloody story. If you happen to be one of the few people in the universe who haven't read it yet, I strongly recommend it. There are good reasons for its remarkable success. Excellent writing is one. My purpose at the moment is to know what it meant for Rampa to have that third eye opened. What did it enable him to see?

TLR's teacher Mingyar Dondup (which must be, in real Tibetan spelling Mi-'gyur-don-grub, a person who seems otherwise unknown in the annals of Tibetan history) often told him that, “with the Third Eye open, I should be able to see people as they were.” In practice, as one may read in chapter fourteen, what having an open Third Eye meant for Lobsang Rampa was to be able to read the thoughts of other people more or less directly, but also to see their true feelings and intentions (and illnesses) by viewing the colors of their astral bodies. The Third Eye has a function which might at first seem to correspond to the 'intuitional' function of Plato’s third eye, but in fact it is entirely oriented toward the realm of human action. It has no transcending function, no ability to intuit higher transworldly metaphysical truths of any kind.

So, in conclusion, I would say that western traditions of a third eye, perhaps descending from Ficino's idea of Plato's Pythagorean eye, would, even if then only in part, better explain Rampa's Third Eye than any of the Buddhist eyes. A likely conduit between Ficino and Rampa would be Madame Blavatsky, who stated in her famous book The Secret Doctrine that there were once upon a time races of men who possessed physical third eyes, which were lost somewhere in the course of [devolution/]evolution. Rampa repeats a similar version of this third-eye-loss story in The Third Eye (see the Mutton book, p. 136). Whether or not Blavatsky was (and I really cannot say for sure one way or another) the absolute first to say that the pineal gland is the now dormant or dead third eye, the idea thrives today in popular occultism and new age circles.

One might object that Rampa's reputed ability to see astral bodies (ordinarily invisible) might correspond to the Buddhist idea of the Divine Eye's ability to see (ordinarily invisible) intermediate state beings. I am willing to grant that much. This notwithstanding, Rampa's eye places the intuition proper to the contemplation of divine things, the Pythagorean Eye, entirely in the service of the Socratic Eye, the realm of human moral action. The Third Eye tells how the Thirteenth Dalai Lama made use of Rampa's aura-reading abilities to judge the true intentions of Chinese and English visitors to his court.

The real original contribution by Rampa is, for the first time in human history, his associating the heightening of intuitive/clairvoyant powers with a physical operation. A hole in the head with a splinter stuck inside? Before the 1950's such an idea surely never occurred to anyone, not anyone in their right mind (well...). First Blavatsky had to physicalize it as a dormant organ before anyone could contemplate performing a physical action on it in order to wake it up.

Aside from Rampa, I've failed to mention anything that is actually found in that Wikipedia entry mentioned before. But my plan was to say something else entirely. None of the territory we have covered would seem to have much of anything to do with Shiva's third eye. If Shiva were to open his third eye completely it would send off a fiery blast obliterating the entire universe. A powerful weapon, it could also be aimed at evil. Not so for Plato's (Ficino's), Buddhism's or Rampa's eyes. Therefore: We simply must take care in distinguishing all these different eyes before we can see how to compare them in a way that makes any sense.

Those who want to awaken their intuition, atune their sight to metaphysical realms and the like are well advised not to take up the matter with their local optometrist. For this sort of thing the old ways are still the best. That's my considered opinion.

Some sources and several more highly recommended readings:

Michael J.B. Allen, "Marsilio Ficino on Plato's Pythagorean Eye," contained in MLN [Modern Language Notes], vol. 97, no. 1 (January 1982), pp. 171-182.

Gert-Jan Lokhorst, "Descartes and the Pineal Gland," The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2006 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = accessed Valentines Day, 2007.

Donald S. Lopez, Jr., Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West, University of Chicago Press (Chicago 1998), Chapter Three, "The Eye," on pp. 86-113.

Karen Mutton, Lobsang Rampa: New Age Trailblazer, Hidden Mysteries, TGS Publishers (Frankston 2006).

Alex Wayman, "The Buddhist Theory of Vision," contained in a volume of his selected essays entitled Buddhist Insight, ed. by George R. Elder, Motilal Banarsidass (Delhi 2002), pp. 153-161.

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