Volume One (2005)
Guidance from the Book of Answers
Practical Insights for creating a life of success and good fortune
By Wu Wei
1. Do not hate. Hatred is a form of subjective involvement that binds you to the hated object.
When you hate someone you draw that person to you. Is that what you want? To eliminate the connection, dismiss the person from your throughts. To combat evil, respond with goodness.
2. The way of the superior person is to be joyous of heart, yet concerned in thought.
The superior person understands that all periods of prosperity are followed by times of decline and all people are not as they should be. He therefore takes thought for the future, and exercises caution in his dealings with people.
3. Pleasant manners succeed even with irritable people.
If you do not allow the irritability of others to affect your own pleasant conduct, your pleasant conduct then influences them.
4. In times of prosperity it is important to possess enough greatness of spirit to bear with the mistakes of others.
The superior person pardons mistakes and even forgives international transgressions. In that way he insures the upward spiral of his prosperity.
5. The small-minded person is not ashamed of unkindness and does not shrink from injustice.
The inferior person is unconcerned with unfairness or unkindness. As a result of natural law, he suffers and does not know that he is the cause of his suffering.
6. Boasting of power, wealth, position, promotion, success or influential friends inevitably invites misfortune and humiliation.
Boasting only confirms that you feel inferior, inadequate, and insecure and that you are trying to add to your stature by your boasting. The superior person considers what he has sufficient and lets it speak for itself.
7. If you live in a state of perpetual hurry, you will fail to attain inner composure.
Slow yourself, nurture yourself with the ways of the superior person, and all else will be achieved through the process of natural law.
8. On the road to success, as you near the attainment of your goal, beware of becoming intoxicated with your achievement.
If you allow yourself to become overly excited about an approaching success, you may become careless or light-headed and fail to pay attention to crucial matteres and thereby ruin your success. It is precisely at the point of success that you must remain sober and cautious.
9. If you neglect your good qualities and virtues, you will cease to be of value to your friends and neighbours. Soon, no one will seek you out or bother about you.
By nurturing your good qualities and virtues, you insure your inner worth will be inexhaustible, like a spring of sparkling, clear water and all will seek you out.
10. Knowledge is the key to freedom.
Knowing how to earn a living frees you from poverty. Knowing the path of the superior person frees you from misfortune, failure and suffering.
11. Through hardness and selfishness, the heart grows rigid, and this rigidity leads to separation from others.
When you see someone in need and turn away from them, this is the beginning of hardness. When someone asks you for forgiveness, and you refuse, that is the beginning of rigidity. Soon, you begin to look at everyone from behind a mask of hardness. That is your protection against their plea for help. Your voice becomes sharp and your manner truculent. Everyone avoids you.
12. Through words and deeds the superior person moves heaven and earth.
By your words and deeds you create good fortune and misfortune. Therefore, shouldn’t you be careful of what you say and do? If you heart is pure and your motivation that of the superior person, your words will be direct and powerful, and your actions will produce far reaching, beneficial effects.