This may be the most concise of Wei Wu Wei’s mind tickling books. Does that make it the easiest to understand? Here he again takes up the cause of human suffering, which he calls bondage. “Volition is the psychic chain which holds the phenomenal individual in apparent bondage, for volition is the pseudo-subject attempting to act independently of the force of circumstances.” These are heady words, especially when you realize what's being challenged is your own volition (free-will) and your sense of independence.
20. All Else Is Bondage
. . . Subject is the sense of all the big words that seek to suggest the Ultimate - the Absolute, Tao, Reality, One Mind, the Essence of Mind, Pure Consciousness, the Dharmakaya, Atma, Brahman, the One, etc. etc; and the other big words indicate aspects and function of Subject - Sat, Chit, Ananda, Prajna, Karuna, Bodhi, etc. They all point only at Subject - subject which can never be an object.
But since no object exists as a thing-in-itself it only appears to exist as an object of Subject.
As such it cannot be any thing: it is nothing but Subject, and phenomenally, Subject is nothing but its objects.
Therefore they are one - and there is no ‘one.’
Perhaps that is all there is to be understood?
Subject must always be the absence of phenomenal presence: object (presence) must always be the presence of noumenal absence.
Intemporality must always be the absence of phenomenal time: temporality must always be the presence of the phenomenal absence of no-time.
But let us not forget, let us deeply comprehend that no word of this is the truth unless we have been profoundly penetrated by the understanding that there is no subject and no object, no time and no no-time, no presence and no absence of anything.
The truth, as Shen Hui told us, is the noumenal absence of these phenomenal absences, as of these presences, their total conceptual absence, and, above all, the utter absence of such a thing as Truth itself, as of its absence.
For integral phenomenal and noumenal absence is the blinding radiance of the great white light which has been called Sat-Chit-Ananda, and which also is not at all - except as This which we are.
The Doctrine is the doctrine of non-doctrine.
The Practice is the practice of non-practice.
The Method is the meditation of non-meditation.
And Cultivation which is cultivation by non-cultivation.
This is the Mind of non-mind, which is wu-hsin,
The Thought of non-thought, which is wu-nien,
The Action of non-action, which is wu wei,
The Presence of the absence of Volition,
Which is Tao.
33. Elimination of Bondage
Cause-and effect are temporal manifestations: intemporally they are one. Temporally, volition is a causal factor (an immediate cause), itself an effect.
When the informing Mind (the unnameable - because non-objective - factor which informs all appearance) shines through the mist which results from identification with a phenomenal object, volition becomes illusory, since it is of the texture of that mist.
Cause-and-effect continue to operate, but volition as a causal factor is eliminated. A body is still lived by causation, but the phenomenal aspect of mind, the split (dualistic) aspect of subject-and-object, is freed from all that depended on volition, affective or intellectual, and is thereby liberated.