Wu Wei: A Phantasy Based on the Philosophy of Lao-Tse

by Henri Borel

  1. ISBN: 978-81-291-4525-3
  2. Pages: 102 pages
  3. Date: February 2017


This small book based on the philosophy of Chinese philosopher Lao-Tse is the story of an ordinary man’s search for meaning, and the profound truths unveiled to him by the sage of Shien Shan.

One day, tired of the emptiness of daily existence and the pettiness he is surrounded with, the author sets out to the far island of Shien Shan in search of a Master who will cleanse his soul and lead him to Truth. There he meets the venerable recluse, and what follows is a beautiful discourse on three fundamental issues – Tao, Art and Love. The Master leads him to Wu Wei – a state of repose wherein all contradictions are subsumed and the self merges with the One.

Deceptive in its simplicity, this is a work of great depth bound to reveal multiple layers of meaning to one who seeks.


Born in Dordrecht, Netherlands, in 1869, Henri Borel belonged to a family of military men. Equipped with a degree in Hokkien Chinese from Leiden University and a working knowledge of Mandarin, he began his career as an interpreter and government official for Chinese affairs in the Dutch East Indies. His in-depth understanding of the Chinese language, culture and people enabled him to be identified as a colonial spokesperson of the Chinese population. A journalist, author and poet, Borel’s interest in China finds reflection in all his literary endeavours.

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