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and mystic, greatly influenced by Sri Ramana Maharshi, Ch\u2019an Buddhism and Taoist philosophy. He was a brilliant intellectual\u2014and one who could see clearly the trappings of one\u2019s intellect. His major works include the Open Secret, Ask the Awakened, All else is Bondage, The Tenth Man\u2026 His iconoclastic prose is terse and precise, resembling the koans and word games of Zen masters, skilfully designed to shake and destroy all dogmatic beliefs and ideas\u2014and to bring about an instant awakening in the reader\u2019s mind.
practice of \u201cnon-practice\u201d, or as Krishnamurti called it \u201caction without idea\u201d or \u201can action without actor\u201d, in other words: a spontaneous action, without the interference of an individual ego (theidea we have about who we are). It is not surprising at all that Wei Wu Wei used this Chinese expression as his pseudonym. His writing seems to be a perfect example of effortless writing about effortless living.
Wei Wu Wei likes to call living in this mode non-volitional, living . Readers from a Christian background may understand this seemingly strange notion better if they compare it with such admonitions of Christian mystics as: \u201cLet Thy Will Be Done, Not Mine\u201d and \u201cBe Still and Know I am God\u201d.
The question of volition in our daily life is very closely related to the one all-important question Who am I? that Sri Ramana Maharshi, Krishnamurti, Alan Watts and many other enlightened teachers, including Wei Wu Wei, were so fond of asking in hundreds of different ways their followers.
Perhaps the question of volition may be most readily understood just by asking
who is there to exercise volition and who is there to experience the results of it.
Noumenally there is no volition\u2014because there is no I. Phenomenally spontaneity alone is non-volitional.
Is this not what Buddha meant by his teaching about Anatta, no-self? Does not Krishna talk in the Bhagavad Gita about performing any action without expecting any fruits thereof? Does not the Bible also admonish us to selfless action, urges us to forget the self in the service to God?
Why are you so unhappy?
Because 99.9 percent of everything you think,
And of everything you do,
Is for yourself\u2014
And there isn\u2019t one.
In this beautiful statement he expressed the essence of all Advaita (non-duality) teachings, the teaching of Upanishads, Buddha, Sri Ramana Maharshi, Alan Watts, Krishnamurti, Ramesh S. Balsekar, Meister Eckhart, and many mystics in all religious traditions.
It is necessary to understand I Am,
In order that I may know that I Am Not,
So that, at least I may realise that
I Am Not, therefore I Am.
No wonder that the enlightened present-day Indian advaitin mystic and philosopher, Ramesh S. Balsekar, jokingly admitted to his audience that at one stage of his own development he found Wei Wu Wei\u2019s books very fascinating and helpful, but also very frustrating and difficult to understand\u2014and that he almost drove himself insane before he could fully understand them. Judging by Balsekar\u2019s obviously sharp intellect and his very clear and helpful descriptions of his own enlightened state, often using terminology similar to Wei Wu Wei\u2019s, he is undoubtedly better off for Wei Wu Wei\u2019s influence and for being exposed to his radical, nonsense-destroying ideas, such as these from the Open Secret:
There is no such \u2018thing\u2019 to aim at, seek or look for,
as what one is. On ceasing to look\u2014one is present.
Everything is I, and I am no thing.
\u201cI\u201d am not conscious of anything: never.
\u201cConsciousness\u201d as such is all that I am.
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