Jump to content

Wei Wu Wei


tariki
 Share

Recommended Posts

I just thought I would begin a thread on Wei Wu Wei. He was a Buddhist/Taoist writer, in actual fact an Irish racehorse owner, but thats another story! (Just as Sangharakshita is Dennis Lingwood and Nyanaponika Thera is Sigmund Feniger......a bit confusing at times, just wish people would stick to their own names)

 

Anyway, tariki here.......now where was I?

 

Yes, Wei Wu Wei. What prompted this was reflecting upon "logic" and its ways. I said somewhere that "eastern" and "western" logic were disimiliar and this idea came from a book by the Catholic writer R.C Zaehner entitled "Our Savage God". Well he spoke about "western" logic as beginning with Aristotle, based upon A cannot be A and not A at the same time. Apparently the "eastern" mode is A is a because its not A. Well, my own mind is already reeling away in confusion.....to try to recover a little bit of respect I'd say I was more the intuitive type than the logical, though I think perhaps many of my "intuitions" have led me up some funny old garden paths..........

 

But trying to make sense of it - if possible - I was thinking and looking back at the various writings of D T Suzuki (who was one of the first to bring the knowledge of Zen to the West) and also various commentaries on such Buddhist texts as the Heart Sutra and Diamond Sutra. You really can't go far in them without hitting the form of "eastern logic" referred to by Zaehner. I mean words such as "emptiness is emptiness because it is full" and suchlike insights - if "insights" they be!

 

Zaehner didnt really go much on this "eastern" type of logic, but personally, intuitively (!) I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. To me it does point to te fact that "eastern" philosophy is not divorced from "religion/faith" and is always soteriological in intent. It is seeking to bring out minds to the "truth" of Reality, rather than just having thoughts about it. Trying to break through our conceptual frameworks. As Merton said.......It was the Buddha's aim not to give a "final" speculative answer but to be free from all theories and to know, by experience, "the nature of form and how form arises and how form perishes" He wanted "not a third position lying between two extremes but a no-position that supercedes them both." This is the Middle Way (excerpt from the Asian Journal)

 

This is all spoken of in Murti's book "The Central Philosophy of Buddhism", which I must admit goes way above my own intellect at times. But we can but try.

 

One form of logic is one dimensional, and to get out of the conceptual frameworks created we always need to make a leap. The other seeks right from the start to chuck us out.

 

For me, it is Christ and the Grace of Christ that represents the "eastern" form of logic within the Christian Faith. And the word of god as infallible book to be taken literally, the western.

 

Well, getting back to Wei Wu Wei, his little book "Ask the Awakened" is an excellent primer to for these ideas. My next post will be an excerpt, called the Haliquinade.

 

All the best

Derek

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Harlequinade

 

Perhaps our most serious handicap is that we start on the wrong foot. In the end this is

likely to be fatal, and, I fear, generally is. We have a basic conditioning, probably in

some form of Christian religion, of which little remains today but its ethical content,

or in one of the modern psychologies, that of Freud, Adler, or Jung, or in some

scientific discipline, all of which are fundamentally and implacably dualist. Then the

urge manifests, and we start reading.

 

Every time we happen on a statement or sentiment that fits in with our conditioned

notions we adopt it, perhaps with enthusiasm, at the same time ignoring, as though they

did not exist, the statements or sentiments which either we did not like or did not

understand. And every time we re-read the Masters or the sutras we seize upon further

chosen morsels, as our own jig-saw puzzle builds up within us, until we have a personal

patchwork that corresponds with nothing on Earth that could matter in the least. Not in a

thousand million kalpas could such a process produce the essential understanding that the

urge is obliging us to seek.

 

We are required to do exactly the opposite of all that. We are required to 'lay down'

absolutely everything that is 'ours', and which is known as 'ignorance' - even though we

regard it as knowledge. It is like stripping off clothes that have become personal. Then

naked, but in a nakedness that does not recognise itself as such, we should go to the

Masters, who will clothe us in the garments of the knowledge or understanding that we

really need. It is their jig-saw we must complete, not 'ours', for their 'doctrine', what

they have to reveal to us, is one whole and indivisible, and the statements and

sentiments that we do not at once understand, rather than those that we think we do, are

the ones that matter. One by one as we re-read, and finally all at once, their meaning

will become manifest, and we shall at last understand what the Masters have to tell us.

Then, and only then, can we acquire their understanding, which is the fulfilment of the

urge.

 

As busy little bees, gathering honey here and there, and adding it to their stock in

their hive, we are wasting our time, and worse, for we are building up that very persona

whose illusory existence stands between our phenomenal selves and the truth of what we

are, and which is what the urge in us is seeking. That 'laying down' of everything that

is 'ours' has always been insisted upon by the Masters, but we affect to ignore it,

precisely because that very notion of 'self' which is the centre of what we have to 'lay

down' seeks to take charge of the operation, and generally succeeds in doing so, thereby

frustrating from the start any hope of fulfilling the urge. Is there any wonder that we

so rarely get anywhere at all?

 

It is interesting to note that in the recently discovered collection of sayings of Jesus

there is one in which he formally adjured His disciples to divest themselves of all their

'garments'. It is understandable that such a statement should have been omitted by those

later compilers who had no idea what such a requirement could mean. But to us it should

be a commonplace. As far back as Chuang-tse we find the story of the old monk who, in

despair of knowing enlightenment before he died, went to see Lao-tse. On arrival Lao-tse

came out to meet him, welcomed him, but told him to leave his followers and his baggage

outside the gate, for otherwise he would not be admitted. The old man had no followers,

and no baggage, but he understood, went in and found his fulfilment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

tariki, I like your logic it seems very Eastern. We gain everything by giving up everything. I lived in the East along time and so am very attracted to Eastern thought and logic. My take is that western logic is linear A therefore B. Eastern logic seems to be C, D, E, therefore B. I noticed this same pattern in literature. Our stories seem to proceed in a linear way to resolution. In the East the story goes to what seems like many disjointed ideas and then is resolved at the end where all ends come together. I feel we need both systems. The linear is great for Math and Science. It is very practical with concrete forms and the circular is great for intuition and making clear the abstract. My wife is from Korea where she was attracted to the West and I attracted to the East met her there where we married and my two sons were born. She raised them the Western way, which is when you don't want them to touch an object you lay down the boundaries and consequences and if they touch they receive the consequence. I raised them the Eastern way, which seems to be just move the object. They are grown now and seem to have benefited from both approaches to life. I hope my wife and I have done the same.

 

By giving up the West I gained the Eastern thought and my wife giving up the East has gained the Western thought. The funny thing is that you don't lose anything by giving it up. It is still there in freedom to leave or stay. When we accept an idea we gain an idea, we don't lose an idea to make room for it. We build on what we have A therefore B because of C, D, E.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi tariki,

 

Soma's post got me to inquire back into your original posts . You wrote..

 

As busy little bees, gathering honey here and there, and adding it to their stock in

their hive, we are wasting our time, and worse, for we are building up that very persona

whose illusory existence stands between our phenomenal selves and the truth of what we

are, and which is what the urge in us is seeking. That 'laying down' of everything that

is 'ours' has always been insisted upon by the Masters, but we affect to ignore it,

precisely because that very notion of 'self' which is the centre of what we have to 'lay

down' seeks to take charge of the operation, and generally succeeds in doing so, thereby

frustrating from the start any hope of fulfilling the urge. Is there any wonder that we

so rarely get anywhere at all?

 

Yes. And this has brought me to the conclusion that 'laying down' of everything that is 'ours' is not a doing at all. It is merely a shift in identification. There is no battle or fighting to be done. Awareness driven by the urge alone seems to suffice. The moment one is aware of feelings, thoughts, sights, hearing and the like and experiences them consciously in the moment, it all becomes as a story and identification shifts to the One aware of the story effectively laying aside this 'self' that seeks to take charge. Of course for me, those times seem to be temporary at best but trust in the urge seems to be enough to continue so that the urge will not become just another attempted operation to reinforce that notion of 'self' as you say.

 

Make any sense to you? biggrin.gif

Joseph

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Joseph and Soma,

 

Joseph, you began with......."you wrote".........alas, I am not so eloquent. As I indicated in the post prior to the Harlequinade, I was quoting Wei Wu Wei.

 

It seems a while ago now when I posted this, but since doing so the sentence I have most considered - and quoted elsewhere - is......

 

Every time we happen on a statement or sentiment that fits in with our conditioned

notions we adopt it, perhaps with enthusiasm, at the same time ignoring, as though they

did not exist, the statements or sentiments which either we did not like or did not

understand

 

Perhaps this is how the net closes and the self turns in upon itself?

 

The need to remain open to experience and new possibilities, while holding to what is true and good. A balancing act that the "self" takes charge of........."Who shall untangle this tangle?" ( Tangle being a term for the network of craving ) Almost the first words of the great Theravada Buddhist work the Visuddhi Magga.

 

Anyway,I am only rambling and waffling. I often dip into the little book by Wei Wu Wei that I have quoted from (Ask the Awkakened) Its full of tantalising glimpses, flashes of intuition, that seek to point to the intangible. It always leaves me feeling like a child peering in at a shop window, with no pennies to buy anything on offer.

 

Its why I continue to explore the surrender to Grace that seems to me to be at the heart of all faiths.

 

All the best

tariki

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Joseph, you began with......."you wrote".........alas, I am not so eloquent. As I indicated in the post prior to the Harlequinade, I was quoting Wei Wu Wei.

(snip)

It seems a while ago now when I posted this, but since doing so the sentence I have most considered - and quoted elsewhere - is......

 

Every time we happen on a statement or sentiment that fits in with our conditioned

notions we adopt it, perhaps with enthusiasm, at the same time ignoring, as though they

did not exist, the statements or sentiments which either we did not like or did not

understand

 

Perhaps this is how the net closes and the self turns in upon itself?

 

(snip)

Its why I continue to explore the surrender to Grace that seems to me to be at the heart of all faiths.

 

All the best

tariki

 

 

I was not aware that Wei Wu Wei was writing on this forum. biggrin.gif

 

Anyway, we all seem to use different words but i certainly would agree with him/her and your statement that "the surrender to Grace" seems to be at the heart of most all faiths. ( i added the words 'of most all' assuming that is what you meant)

 

Only the names and words have been changed to protect the innocent. biggrin.gif

 

Joseph

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was not aware that Wei Wu Wei was writing on this forum. biggrin.gif

 

Anyway, we all seem to use different words but i certainly would agree with him/her and your statement that "the surrender to Grace" seems to be at the heart of most all faiths. ( i added the words 'of most all' assuming that is what you meant)

 

Only the names and words have been changed to protect the innocent. biggrin.gif

 

Joseph

 

Joseph,

 

Just how you were not able to surmise that I was merely quoting is beyond me....... :D

 

 

Perhaps the word "major" after "heart of all"? Though "works" are often attributed to faiths other than Christian as being at their heart, I have found that none claim enlightenment/salvation is the pure result of works as such, Period.

 

But then, I make no claim to innocence.......

 

All the best

Derek

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Christian Mysticism we talk about union with God. In Buddhism they talk about mindlessness. I think both systems are saying to do away with I, Me and Mine until mind becomes one with one mind, the divine mind. We give up our mind, which is limited and gain the bigger mind, which encompasses everything. We become mindless to become aware. We give up the small everything to gain the big everything. Just talking in circles, rambling on the circumference aiming for the center.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fidelity to grace in my life is fidelity to simplicity, rejecting ambition and analysis and elaborate thought, or even elaborate concern.

 

(Journals, Jan 20-21, 1963)

 

The speech of God is silence.......everything else is fiction, half-hiding the truth it tries to reveal.......we are travellers from the half-world of language into solitude and infinity.....

 

(Journals, Jan 11, 1950)

 

At 2:30 - no sounds except sometimes a bullfrog. Some mornings, he says Om - some days he is silent.....................The first sounds of the waking birds - "the virgin point" of the dawn, a moment of awe and inexpressible innocence, when the Father in silence opens their eyes and they speak to Him, wondering if it is time to "be"? And He tells them "Yes". Then they one by one wake and begin to sing. First the catbirds and cardinals and some others I do not recognise. Later, song sparrows, wrens.........last of all doves, crows...........With my hair almost on end and the eyes of the soul wide open I am present, without knowing it at all, in this unspeakable Paradise, and I behold this secret, this wide open secret which is there for everyone, free, and no one pays any attention............Oh paradise of simplicity, self-awareness - and self-forgetfulness - liberty, peace........

 

(Journals, June 5th 1960)

 

Just a little cut and paste from a previous thread, just to share a little more Merton and his take on Grace or whatever........

Edited by tariki
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The speech of God is silence.......everything else is fiction, half-hiding the truth it tries to reveal.......we are travellers from the half-world of language into solitude and infinity..

 

I am thinking now that I am a collection of thoughts. Those thoughts are from the past, but the only thing I can do from the past is to learn from it. It seems the past and future only use up my time in the present. The Buddhist concept of mindlessness seems to mean to let go of those thoughts and experience solitude in infinity. Silent Night, Holy Night, the departure point of my arriving at the Truth. The sacred scriptures, no longer facts, but meanings of awareness, another dimension and a panoramic view of what is real. God seems to speak in silence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service