Inscription and Preface

'A Single word is sufficient to reveal the truth' - Shên Hui
In case such a word is lurking somewhere herein ...

To Each Reader

This work is essentially a discussion; if occasionally passages should appear to be didactically expressed, please be so good as to interpret them as emphasis, due to a rift in the cloud of misunderstanding which we are mutually seeking to disperse. The writer of these lines has nothing whatever to teach anyone; his words are just his contribution to our common discussion of what must inevitably be for us the most important subject which could be discussed by sentient beings.



As long as subject is centred in a phenomenal object, and thinks and speaks therefrom, subject is identified with that object and is bound.

As long as such condition obtains, the identified subject can never be free - for freedom is liberation from that identification.

Abandonment of a phenomenal centre constitutes the only 'practice', and such abandonment is not an act volitionally performed by the identified subject, but a non-action (wu wei) leaving the noumenal centre in control of phenomenal activity, and free from fictitious interference by an imaginary 'self'.

Are you still thinking, looking, living, as from an imaginary phenomenal centre? As long as you do that you can never recognise your freedom.

Could any statement be more classic?
Could any statement be more obvious?
Could any statement be more vital?

Yet - East and West - how many observe it?
Could any statement be more needed?

Note: 'Wu Wei' merely implies absence of volitional interference.
Whom do I mean by 'you'? I mean 'I'. I am always I, whoever says it, man or monkey, noumenally or phenomenally, identified or free - and there is no such entity.

P.S.: If you have understood the above it is quite unnecessary for you to read any more of this book.

(© HKU Press, 1965)
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