I first heard this poem read online by author David Whyte. When he reads a poem his voice tone truly adds to the dimension and my understanding of the poem. Imagine an earthy Irish brogue voice reading this:
“Why are you unhappy?
Because 99.9 per cent
Of everything you think,
And of everything you do,
Is for yourself —
And there isn’t one.”
From “Ask The Awakened” by Wei Wu Wei
The question “Why are you so unhappy” triggers us to put a name to any malaise we may be experiencing. In a nanosecond before finishing the first line, we’ll hear in our head a rapid firing of all our grievances that add up to “Why we are so unhappy”. BUT! – our excuses and reasons are short lived. Author Wei Wu Wei, takes the juice of justification and tells us the truth. We don’t exist. We don’t have a self that can be made happy. In the broad scheme of the universe or the end goal of enlightenment, we discover that we are nothing or no thing. We are part of the vast universe of emptiness from which all things arise. Wrap your mind around that! Then know that we do exist in relation to each other – part of the vast interconnection of the grid of humanity. It may change your orientation to having status, stuff or having things for yourself… as your motivation for what makes you happy.
When you realize that everything we think and do is for everyone, we suddenly lose an orientation toward choice and instead embody an obligation to serve the whole. In each present moment, we ask “What is my purpose here for the highest and best for everyone?” “How are my choices benefiting me and everyone else?” “What do I appreciate about myself and everyone here?”
The poem is from a classic book of poetry and essays written by an anonymous author who went by the name of Wei Wu Wei. Google his name for a very interesting story. He wrote a number of books from 1958 to 1974. ‘Why are you so unhappy’ is from the book “Ask the Awakened – The Negative Way”, first published in 1963.
To help integrate repatterning sessions I often recommend clients take time to reflect on a session and journal about their experiences. On the path of enlightenment or healing, the writing of Wei Woo Wei can help you reflect a little deeper on life and living.
With love and light
2 thoughts on “Why Are You Unhappy? (Wei Wu Wei)”
Reblogged this on and commented:
Another twist on the quest for happiness…
Changing your perspective on things can make all the difference!