Christopher Wallace

Reviewed by John Cowan

This is a great book, and I think very few of you will want to read it, so I will make the review short. I think it useful that you know it exists. The Recognition Sutras themselves were written a thousand years ago which made them another thousand years away from being old enough to be scripture. However they are granted in the Hindu world the status of scripture because the original author, Ksemaraja, created here one of the world’s greatest masterpieces. 

Christopher Wallace, who looks like he should be playing major league baseball , translates and comments on the text with the brilliance of a man who has been drenched in schooling, prestigious degrees from sterling schools, and yet somehow managed to remain a sensitive teacher, alert to the needs of the reader. Brilliant!

It is all about Awareness, the awareness you are, and the awareness you and God are together, .  If you are as serious about this stuff as I am, this is the book. As I have admitted elsewhere, I am extremely doubtful about anyone’s theories of God, and nearly left the book in about the middle when Wallace was soaking me in his, but came back when he was again talking about the human experience, on which we actually have some data. While the book is in the Vedic tradition, since Wallace has created a similar book in the Tantric, sometimes he slips some related information about it here. 

For instance, in Tantric all ethical situations are to be solved in the situation itself. Not in reference to some overarching solution. Should I lie? Let us think about that. Maybe this time lying is best. In my seminary when we started our four post graduate years of theology we took a vow against this. It was called “Modernism” or “Situation Ethics.” That may have been a mistake.