INTRODUCTION


Answers to the questions Who am I? and What are we? have eluded us since the start of recorded history. Yet the sages of the Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Greek traditions were quite clear about the answers and explained them in simple statements. Why are we still confused and why do many of us spend our lives unsuccessfully trying to find the answers? Maybe it’s because we don’t like what it is they seem to have been saying. Maybe it’s because we think we have come a long way from their times and advances in the sciences are about to give us all the answers. Another reason may be that what they are saying may be impossible to convey in words and that the sayings come to us in bits, ancient sound-bites, isolated quotations relying on the memory and imagination of scribes who had not got the benefit of the original philosophical framework and have since probably been badly translated anyway. Yet that framework can be teased out of the statements because they almost all are saying the same thing, distorted in the exoteric forms of all the major religions but implicit in their esoteric forms and some of the philosophies (mainly Eastern) that have come down to us.

This framework has been called “The Perennial Philosophy’ and is, more specifically, Advaita or Non-duality. This website attempts to describe this philosophy. If you can accept that religions are based on philosophies, then this one can be seen to be the ground for all of them. It can be set out very simply. When understood, one might well be led to say: “Why on earth didn’t I think of that before?” but the simple statements that the Sages have left us have clearly not been sufficient to result in widespread comprehension. So the words that follow are an attempt to set down a few pointers to that Truth that must always and forever be impossible to define by the use of dualistic language. Logic and reason are used to put them together. The comprehension of what each is saying will be a purely intellectual exercise but how they relate to each other and add up to something meaningful depends on intuition – the light bulbs going on in one’s head. Arguing with yourself (or me in absentia) on each pointer is unlikely to be productive. I would like to think that the understanding of the import of the whole will hit you in an intuitive flash or the accumulation of a series of mini-flashes. Such insight could be said to constitute the understanding that can be the intellectual foundation of the ‘knowing’ that is referred to as ‘awakening’ or ‘enlightenment’.

What follows owes nearly everything to Wei Wu Wei and will be recognised as such by readers of his books. A series of eight books appeared in the 1960’s and early ‘70’s in limited editions under the name of Wei Wu Wei. This name turned out to be a pseudonym for Terence Gray who, after pioneering experimental theatre in the 30’s, turned to eastern philosophy after the war and wrote these extraordinary books. I knew about them in the 70’s and was determined to get copies after reading a quote from one of them.

“Why are we unhappy?
Because 99.9% of everything you think,
And everything you do,
Is for yourself –
And there isn’t one.”

Eventually the books were reprinted. Details about how to get them can be found in References.

I can’t hope to emulate Wei Wu Wei’s mastery of the philosophy but I believe repetition of his pointers to the truth in different forms is a necessary task to be undertaken. As he said in the Preface to one of his books: “This work [and it applies equally to all of them] is a series of observations on the path of a pilgrim, and represents a continual development of the intuitions and ideas so experienced.....if you should not understand this – give the book away. But give it to a pilgrim on the Way. Why? Because it would have helped the pilgrim who compiled it, if it had been given to him, and that is why he compiled it, and why he presumes to offer it to other pilgrims.”


Return to Home page