Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Alan Watts Sutra: Expressions of Nature

We suffer from a hallucination,

from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms.

Most of us have the sensation that "I myself" is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body--a center which "confronts an "external" world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange.

Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion. "I came into this world." "You must face reality." "The conquest of nature."

This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences.

We do not "come into" this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree.

As the ocean "waves," the universe "peoples." Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.

This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated "egos" inside bags of skin.
from Alan Watts ‘The Book: On the Taboo of Knowing Who You Are’ xtremely formatted for this posting


abraxas23 said...

When you live in a world with beings who are estranged from nature, estranged from themselves, it is difficult not to be infected by their mental attitudes.

A child is born into this world, having inherited not only his DNA, not only the atoms of his body, not only concepts from previous incarnations, but also inheriting a kind of collective mental environment. You may call this the the spirit of time or the zeitgeist.

It is not easy for a human being not to get enmeshed by this mental pressure, by this group-pressure. It is all about trusting in what you think and feel and believe, instead of trusting in what others tell you to believe and think and feel.

You may say, there are no others, yes, afterwards you may say this. It is like saying you don't need a guru, since you are your own guru. Does an animal understand that it has a soul?

To become one with all, you have to separate yourself from them first, from their collective mental group-pressure.

At first, you need the courage to stand completely alone, indifferent to what others say, behave as if they didn't exist.

And then, later, you realize, that by embracing everyone internally it no longer matters, that they are so enmeshed in their alienating concepts.

In order to untangle them from their concepts, you need contact, and now, standing on your own, there is no fear, that this contact will mean a fallback into your old identity, means a loss of what you have achieved at such a high price.

You no longer need to defend your concepts against the concepts of others, since you have become your own concept of yourself. You are defining yourself as what your Self wants to be here and now.

god bless

greg perry said...

No doubt. And to separate yourself you must first rely on the guidance of others. Just another paradox of course. And to know to rely on the guidance of others takes some kind of influence, call it grace, or some kind of intuition. And then when you are free, that’s all that remains. Everything and everyone is gone except grace and intuition.