If the rest of us "foreign devils", as Blofeld's friends refer to him, manage to inbibe even half the wisdom offered in this book, we'll be better off. His gentle, academically bumbling, tireless search for the origin and nature of Kuan Yin is something many of we rational Westerners can appreciate. I especially enjoyed the point that lesser path and greater path Buddhism are equal; one is not more "real" than the other. Kuan Yin is real as is the keyboard on which I type, as long as we remember that void & non-void are the same. The Chinese make no distinction...why should we?
This is perhaps my favorite book by John Blofeld. The stories of Kuan Yin are well told, diverse and moving. He strikes an excellent balance between philosophy, history, story telling, Kuan Yin meditation techniques, and personal devotion.
There are a few pages of b/w photos, of Kuan Yin, Tara and Avalokiteshvara, the pictures vary in quality. However, many of them I have never seen before and a few definitely inspire devotion.
The fact that John Blofeld lived and traveled in China, his joyous devotion to Kuan Yin, and his knowledge of the Chinese language and culture adds immensely to the book and puts it in a class by itself.