Objets Perdus - By Wei Wu Wei


Do you exist?
Noumenally I feel that I am, but I cannot find myself. 
And the same goes for you and for every living being.

Why is that?
For the same reason that prevents us from seeing our own face. 

But you can see my face, and I can see yours.
Nonsense, perfect nonsense! We see nothing of the kind. What we see when we look at one another and at anything we can see at all, including our own feet, is just our object. And our object is part of ourselves as its subject.
Nobody else can see us, because we have no objective existence whatever, and we cannot see anybody else because they have none. All of us can only see our own - objectivisations whatever they may be.

We do not exist as objects?
Of course not! No thing exists as an object. That is why there is no such thing as an entity. How could there be? Space and time are purely mental, concepts in mind. Where else could an entity extend itself?

Then no object is independent?
None is dependent either. 'Others' are yourself as whatever you 'both' are, and their apparent otherness as your objects is entirely a part of your phenomenal mind.
Phenomenal existence or being, noumenally is not-being. Absolutely, it may be called as-it-isness.

I begin to understand!
Of course you do! 'Is that all it is?,' as the T'ang dynasty monk said, laughing, to his Master when he suddenly understood, or 'found himself awake', as they put it.

No thing is—in its own right? Not even us?
No thing. Therefore there is no 'us'—for 'we' are only one another's objects as 'us'.

Then in what way are we?
Just total objective absence, which is the presence of that-I-amness, which is what-I-amness, which is this-I-amness.

All of us are that?
All of us are not 'that', not 'this', not any concept at all. Nothing mysterious about it. Nothing holy. Just phenomenal notness, and the absence of the concept of that (notness).

Then we have no positive being whatever?
Positivity and negativity are phenomenal concepts. We are not conceivable at all.

Then who lives?
You cannot find the doer of any deed, the thinker of any thought, the perceiver of any perception. The unfindable is all that we are, and the unfindable is the found.

If you still cling to the notion that something, even if it be as small as the hundredth part of a grain, might exist objectively, then even a perfect mastery of the entire Mahayana canon will fail to give you victory over the Three Worlds. Only when every one of those tiny fragments is seen to be nothing can the Mahayana achieve this victory for you.
- HUANG Po, Wan Ling Record 24, p. 86.

There is no 'self and no 'other'. There is no 'wrong desire, no 'anger', no 'hatred', no 'love', no 'victory', no 'failure'. Only renounce the error of conceptual thought-processes and your nature will exhibit its pristine purity—-for this alone is the way to attain enlightenment.
- HUANG Po, Ibid. p. 88.

Excerpts from the excellent and most absorbing books on Tao, By Wei Wu Wei entitled " The Pathless Way". - "All Else is Bondage" - "Open Secret"
Hong Kong University Press


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