Review: The Well of Being by Jean-Pierre Weill

The Well of Being by Jean-Pierre Weill is a charming book that follows a man’s quest for the wellbeing that society tells him is an illusion. Essentially a large hardback picture book, it’s simplicity and elegance engenders a calmness within the reader that bypasses the intellect to resonate within a space of truth and knowing.

In the beginning there was nothing. Only Oneness.

This is a book of remembrance; of all that we are and all that we have come from, that clearly communicates the essence of oneness through single sentences and endearing illustrations. Approached with lightness and humour, the truth of our existence is presented with a serene and gentle tone.

Within the new universe each creation was given the gift of oneness…Yet none had awakened to the gift they had received.

Weill asks that we still our minds as we begin our journey, valuing the gift of listening that exists beneath the noise of our minds and other people’s opinions; their path is not ours, which is one of mystery rather than random chaos and mystery can be trusted for it is us and us a part of it.

We may call our encounter with the One well-being…We can entrust ourselves to this mystery, for we are part of it. Indeed we are it.

When we meet with the oneness that exists in all separate things, we are in wellbeing and we can choose wellbeing, just as we choose our clothes every day. Wellbeing sees us live from love and joy and appreciation for the world, enjoying healthy emotional lives, in flow, aware of the gift we have been given. When we lose touch with wellbeing we feel as if the outer world is in control of our inner one and we no longer feel at home in either.

When we lose touch with well-being, joy seems to depend on circumstance, on what happens outside of us.

As Weill strings together the beads of the story of the human condition, which he so astutely depicts, he asks us to look at the stories we continually tell ourselves, that started so early on, about who we are and how we must operate in the world to stay safe. Escape comes through awareness of our thinking and the narratives through which we view the world, as well as the feelings they create, which awakens us to the freedom of wellbeing which we can enjoy without waiting for our circumstances to change.

Well-being is generated not from the outside but from the inside.

Surely set to become a modern classic, The Well of Being aims to reawaken our fundamental knowledge of oneness. Beautifully simple in its conveyance and message, Weill’s words speak to the soul and activate the wisdom and health within. The format of the book enforces slow reading – it is heavy and the pages large – which gives us time to savour the words and let their meaning land, whilst immersing ourselves in the brilliant art which has many messages of its own.

[W]hen we become aware of our own thinking, we awaken…to new possibilites. We see that our misery had only been us looking through the stories with which we had defined the world”

With the simplicity of a children’s book, its words strike at the heart of our quest for wellbeing, eschewing clever or sophisticated delivery to present a universal truth: we are the wellbeing we seek, a part of the oneness that is all and we only feel far from this when we misunderstand where wellbeing comes from.

From here, you have what you seek. Your heart opens…You are drinking at the well of being.

That there is so much to say about such a short and simple book is reflective of the impact it has. A book of insight, wellness and remembering, it is a resonating read that strikes at the core of truth, awakening us to the way we create our experience and the wellbeing that exists for us beneath and beyond it.