Writing about this book, Douglas Harding (himself the author of the notorious non-dual classic On Having No Head) said, "Really and truly Ask the Awakened is not about asking those wise men and women about their True Nature, and how on earth they managed to tap the infinite resources of that Nature. On the contrary, it's about asking yourself those same questions - and arriving at very precise answers. You are invited to reverse the arrow of your attention and look not only at what you are looking at but also at What you are looking out of. Wei Wu Wei and I promise you it's marvelous!"
When he originally published this book in 1963, Wei Wu Wei clearly didn't mean for you to "ask the Awakened some questions in a negative way." He was pointing you directly at your own questions and your own pathless path.
He wrote, "Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9 per cent of everything you think, and of everything you do, is for yourself — and there isn't one." The subtitle of this book is The Negative Way: Can the author get more negative than telling you you don’t exist? The answer is apparently YES. "Deliberate 'altruism' has no spiritual value, for it is at the same time, and inevitably, a reinforcement of the I-complex, and therefore also deliberate 'egoism.'" And then he wrote "There is no such thing as ‘love’ in reality. What we seek to describe by that word is emotion experienced in certain highly personal channels, charged with possessiveness, shadowed by jealousy, with its counterpart 'hate' ever ready to take its place."
While we’re encountering these challenges to our values, beliefs, and concepts, Wei Wu Wei is also revealing the dead-weight of those very same values, beliefs, and concepts. And also their surprising emptiness. If the excerpts from this book seem frustrating, open your mind and read it cover-to-cover! Maybe you’ll gain the freedom of real insight.
Republished by Sentient Publications LLC 2002
Softcover 195 pages
Excerpts from the book:
97. “The Way of the Water”
Of all that has been “laid down” - conditioning, knowledge, religion, science, “self,” perhaps the most important is the idea that one lives his own life. To lay down the rest and go on thinking that one lives instead of being lived, would be an idle gesture. We do not “choose” to be born, to grow old, to be well or ill, or to die: why on Earth should we imagine that we can choose anything in between, i.e. how we live, let alone everything? We are free to understand, which means free to know ourselves as “vertical” mind - that is our one and only freedom, as I have often pointed out.
111. This Which Is . . .
We are being lived? Nonsense: there is no such “we”: “we” are not objects.
It is we who do the living of the puppet mistaken for us. But this “we” is pure subjective mind.
It is the apparent Functioning of Absoluteness (Isness) which is causing things to be seen via the appearance that bears our name.
This Latency apparently Functioning via the sentiency of sentient beings is known as Prajna, but the apparent action is a temporal illusion, for there is no actor outside time, but a latent functioning only.
This functioning of latency is the only You, ultimately never a “you,” or ten thousand “yous,” but the only “I.”
“Ask a wooden puppet
When it will attain Buddhahood
113. A Clean Sweep
Turn the river Alpheus through the Augean stables of your mind, and let it sweep away all objectivity therein.
Or ransack that temporal mind, collect every object that you can find therein, build a bonfire of them, place your self on top of it - and light it. Then you may find that you are free - and awake.
But instead of being the subject of all that trash, you will be the Subjectivity of the entire universe. Not, of course, in the sense of a monarch knowing himself as such, but rather as the Latency of all Appearance, the Pontentiality of all Actuality, or Primordial Consciousness.