by Heidi I. Koppl (Author) Hardcover: 160 pages Publisher: Snow Lion (April 28, 2008) Language: English ISBN-10: 1559392886 ISBN-13: 978-1559392884 Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo's concise treatise, Establishing Appearances as Divine, sets out to prove the provocative point that everything that appears is actually the deity manifest. Transformation of both one's identity and the environment is an important principle of Tantric Buddhist philosophy. In Tantric scriptures, one is instructed to visualize oneself as a deity, a divine identity who resides in a perfect sphere. By repeatedly training in this visualization, one perfects the transformation and ultimately becomes the deity itself. Do the Tantric teachings hold sentient beings to be intrinsically pure and divine, or do they consider them initially flawed to be later purified through the visualization of divinity? Is the practice of deity yoga merely a means, or is it more fundamentally connected to the nature of things? These questions were among the main concerns of Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo, the illustrious philosopher of the Nyingma School of the Early Translations.Establishing Appearances as Divine sets out to prove the provocative point that the tradition still highly regards the point of view that everything which appears is actually the deity manifest. Many books on Tibetan Buddhism address the important themes of mind training, compassion, and proper conduct. This book goes beyond that in its aim to bring the reader face to face with his or her divine and pure nature. Its method is unusual: the author uses reasoned philosophical arguments to argue for esoteric Tantric Buddhist ideas and practices. The result itself is an unusual book held in high esteem for nearly a thousand years. The comprehensive introduction explores Rongzom's philosophy of purity by juxtaposing it with his view of Madhyamaka, while also relating the discussion to his assessment and application of reasoning. For readers of Tibetan, the book contains a comparative edition of the Tibetan text as well. Establishing Appearances as Divine, translated here for the first time, embarks on the project of unraveling the magical interplay between rationality, truth, and divinity, bringing to light the view that underlies Tantric Buddhist practices.