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ART, English, Literature

“For Sile” Wei Wu Wei / Saul Leiter

When the beetle sees, it is I that am looking,
When the nightingale sings, it is I that am singing,
When the lion roars, it is I that am roaring.

But when I look for myself, I can see nothing —
for no thing is there to be seen.

Síle cannot see me either, for when she tries to see me it is
I who am looking: she can do nothing — for only I can do anything.
The beetle can say that also, and Síle, for we are not three,
nor two, nor one.

I am the sea too, and the stars, the wind and the rain,
I am everything that has form — for form is my seeing of it.
I am every sound — for sound is my hearing of it,
I am all flavours, each perfume, whatever can be touched,
For that which is perceptible is my perceiving of it,
And all sentience is mine.

They have no other existence, and neither have I —
for what they are I am, and what I am they are.
What the universe is I am, and what I am the universe is.
And there is no other at all, nor any one whatsover.
Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi! Svaha! **

(**”Going, going, going on beyond, always going on beyond, always becoming Buddha.”)

— Wei Wu Wei, from “For Sile,” in Open Secret

WEI WU WEI : (1895-1986) Terence James Stannus Gray, was a theatre producer who created the Cambridge Festival Theatre as an experimental theatre in Cambridge. He produced over 100 plays there between 1926 and 1933. Later in life, under the pen name Wei Wu Wei, he published several books on Taoist philosophy.

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