This challenging book was the first of eight brilliant non-dual books by the Irish aristocrat using the pen name Wei Wu Wei. He wrote it, he says, because having such a book would have helped him as a “pilgrim on the Way.”
Yet in a section titled Preparation for Satori, he writes “There is no path to Satori. It cannot be attained.” The book is full of such paradoxical Fingers Pointing Towards The Moon, and it quotes liberally from classics of Zen, Ch’an, Buddhism and Taoism and from more modern writers such as Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and Kant, all designed to challenge the reader to a more personal exploration of what is actually present.
This new edition of a book originally published in 1958 is graced with a Foreword by Ramesh Balsekar, who credits Wei Wu Wei with being one of his earliest influences.
Republished by Sentient Publications LLC 2003
Softcover 160 pages
Excerpt from Chapter Five:
“The ignorant are delighted with discoursing,” the Lankavatara Sutra states, “discoursing is a source of suffering in the triple world.” We would not doubt it; yes, indeed, but when the Lanka says that discoursing is a source of suffering it means more particularly that it is a hindrance to the removal of ignorance, and so perpetuates our normal state of suffering.
But, nowadays, what was meant by discoursing is chiefly represented by books. In books, as conventionally and commercially produced today, no idea can be conveyed in less than about ten thousand words – with apologies for not making it a hundred thousand, in which form it would have been much “better.” No chance for anyone to think except the author!
Yet, when ideas are buried in a haystack of verbiage, who remembers them, and, conversely, when ideas are concisely expressed, who pays any attention to them? The most vital statements of the sages and prophets, even of the Buddha and Jesus, are not taken seriously – presumably because they are not served up in a sauce that conceals their flavour and substitutes its own….
The ideas of the Masters, expressed in half a dozen words, are still alive after centuries, but they are fingers pointing to intuitional understanding, not fossilized examples of intellection.