Mind as Mirror and the Mirroring of Mind

Buddhist Reflections on Western Phenomenology

By Steven W. Laycock

Subjects: Asian Religion And Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791419984, 354 pages, October 1994
Hardcover : 9780791419977, 354 pages, October 1994

Table of contents


An Incident at Wang-Mei Shan

Prelude in the Key of Emptiness


Mirroring and Representation
A Paradox of Phenomenological Optics
The Dialectic of Mirroring
The Thesis of Phenomenal Undecidability



The Mirrorless Mirror: Reflections on Buddhist Dialectic


Analytic and Dialectic Phenomeno-Logic
Absolute and Relative "Space"
Reflective Negativity
Buddhist Dialectics
Distinguished Distinctions
Archaic Distinctions
Deconstructing the Mirror
The Mirror of Mind
Visible Invisibility
Instantiation and Manifestation
Analytic Thought
The Thing-in-Itself
Bivalence and the Real


The Pathless Path: Reflections on Buddhist Meditative Practice


Tranquility and Insight
The Formal Absorptions
Toward a Critique of Pure Suffering
Discursive Thought
The Formless Absorptions
The Hierarchy of Concretion
Infinite Divisibility
Dependent Co-origination
The Lotus and the Chiasm
The Body and the Bodhi Tree



The Gateless Gate: Reflections on the Methodology of Reflection


Phenomenology and Its "Word"
Mirror as Metaphor
The "Madness" of Phenomenological Method
The Modes of Reflection
Reflections on Reflection
The Eidetic Reduction
The Great Doubt
The Transformative Phenomenology of Liberation


Mindless Minding: Reflections on Intentionality


The Mystery of Consciousness
The Rupture of Immanence
Reduction and the Immanence of Intentionality
The World-Horizon
The Ego as Reflection
The Ego as Gestalt
Diary of a Moon Gazer




Index of Subjects

Index of Names


Rooted in the insights of Madhyamika dialectic and an articulated Zazen phenomenology, this study uncovers and examines the methodological presuppositions undergirding the work of Husserl, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty and calls into serious question certain of the most fundamental assumptions of the Western phenomenological tradition regarding the nature of mind. Mind as Mirror and the Mirroring of Mind presents, for the first time, a searching and distinctively Buddhist challenge to the Western phenomenologies—a challenge, that is, to grow beyond the settled alternative assumptions that the mind either is or is not mirror-like in its experience of phenomenal reality.

Steven Laycock is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toledo. He is co-editor of Essays for a Phenomenological Theology. An active member of the Buddhist Society for Compassionate Wisdom, he has, for many years, been engaged in Buddhist meditative practice.


"What I like most about this book is its remarkable breadth, the author's astonishingly thorough mastery of the work of both Buddhist thinkers and Continental phenomenologists, the integrative approach which goes beyond mere comparison and works with basic problems in such a way as to bring in ideas where they are relevant, whatever their source, a fairness and balance in the critical discussion of writers with whom the author may not be in agreement, and the author's success in making even the most abstract problems relevant to everyday life. " — Hazel E. Barnes, University of Colorado