More on Ramesh Balsekar
And his connection with Wei Wu Wei

Taken, with a tip o' th' hat to Jerry Katz, from Nondual Highlights #1774, who got it from Ramesh's Foreword to W3's book Fingers Pointing Towards the Moon. Ramesh quotes W3, explores the parallels between W3's views and his, and explains how he was influenced by him. This goes a long way in defusing the criticism that Ramesh has on occasion plagiarized W3.

Wei Wu Wei says:

"The implied Unicity, the totality of undivided mind, is itself a concept of its own division or duality, for relatively -- relativity being relative to what itself is -- it cannot be conceived or known at all.

"All that could ever be known about it is simply that, being Absolute, it must necessarily be devoid of any kind of objective existence whatever, other than that of the totality of all possible phenomena which constitute its relative appearance."

What does Wei Wu Wei mean by this statement? I think what he means is precisely what I mean when I say:

"Consciousness is all there is; other than Consciousness, nothing is. And this is a concept."

I have been giving talks at my residence in Bombay every morning for the last several years. I always keep repeating:

"Make no mistake: whatever I say -- whatever its impact -- is a concept. It is not the truth. A concept is something that someone may accept and someone may not. The Truth is that which no one can deny. And therefore the only Truth, in phenomenality, is 'I AM' -- the impersonal awareness of being. On this basis, whatever any sage has ever said, whatever any scripture of any religion says is a concept."

When I wrote the preface for my first book, 'Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj,' I had included the following paragraph in it:

"As I was translating Shri Maharaj's talks into English, I began noticing in my translations the distinct influence of Wei Wu Wei's use of the English language in his books. I have no doubt that traces of this influence would be clearly noticed by the discerning reader in those articles. Apart from the language, it seemed to me a wondrous demonstration of the universality of the subject itself that the writings of a scholar and practitioner of the Tao philosophy like Wei Wu Wei, thousands of miles away (and hardly a popular writer), would find corroboration in the words of a Self-realized Jnani like Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj, whose education, as he says himself, takes him just beyond the limit of illiteracy!"

Against my better judgment, under pressure from several well-wishers, this paragraph was dropped: the argument was that what I was in effect doing was to place a mere writer on the same level with Maharaj, a Self-realized Jnani.

The whole story is that Wei Wu Wei's book, 'Open Secret,' was given to me as a gift by a friend of mine more than a decade before I started going to Maharaj. When I first read it, I could not make any sense out of it, except that I had the good fortune to realize that his book was a real treasure; and I kept it aside so that it would not get thrown out with other books during one of the routine clean-ups. And then, for some unfathomable reason, the thought suddenly occurred to me about the book almost immediately after I started visiting Maharaj. I cannot describe the innumerable intellectual frustrations I went through between the two of them -- Nisargadatta Maharaj and Wei Wu Wei. I repeatedly felt that the two of them had ganged up to have a private joke of their own at my expense. It was indeed a gang-up but, as I realized some time later, it was to bring about a sudden awakening in this body-mind mechanism called Ramesh.

When I started reading Wei Wu Wei, I used to marvel at the command of the English language that a Chinese man should have acquired. It was some time later that I gathered that Wei Wu Wei was not a Chinese but a wealthy Irish aristocrat (Terrence Gray), highly educated at Oxford University, an authority on wines and race horses!

I got this information through a lady who used to visit Maharaj. She later sent me a photograph of Wei Wu Wei with her. He was a giant of a man. She mentioned 'Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj' to him and he expressed a desire to see the book. I sent a copy of the book to him at his villa in the South of France, with a letter expressing my gratitude for the guidance I had received from his books. Unfortunately at that time (W.W.W. was almost 90 years of age) senility was beginning to set in; and his wife had to read out the book (Pointers) to him at his lucid moments. W.W.W. indicated that he enjoyed the book. Our mutual friend told me that he referred to 'Pointers' as "Wei Wu Wei without tears." I could at once relate the reference to the play on the London stage -- in the late thirties when I was a student in London -- named 'French Without Tears.' W.W.W. died in 1986 at the age of 91.

I gathered that his principal mentor was Ramana Maharshi of Tiruvannamalai, who has been my earliest inspiration since I was twelve years old. The core of W.W.W.'s understanding is non-doership. As the Buddha has put it: "Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer thereof."

It is interesting that the Hindu scripture says, "Thou art the doer, Thou art the experiencer; Thou art the speaker and Thou art the listener." This obviously means: you may think you are the speaker and the "other" is the listener, and vice versa; but the truth is that it is the Primal Energy functioning through two human body-mind instruments producing the speaking through one instrument and the listening through the other.

Ramesh S. Balsekar
Bombay, India
26 February 2003

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