Alan watts english essayist

And to practice a discipline to attain it is to postpone realization. Suppose I were to tell you that you, right now, are the great Self— the Brahman.

The Spiritual Materialism of Alan Watts: A Review of Does it Matter?

Why put it off? Because we are brought up in a social scheme that tells us we have to deserve what we get, and the price to pay for all good things is suffering.

But all of that is mere postponement. We are afraid here and now to see the truth. So you can suffer for it.


There are all kinds of ways invented for you to do this. You can discipline yourself and gain control of your mind and do all sorts of extraordinary things—like drink water in through your rectum and push a peanut up a mountain with your nose.

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There are all sorts of accomplishments you can engage in. But they have absolutely nothing to do with the realization of the self. And to this end, the guru will come up with all sorts of exercises to get you to come off it. See, the guru is very clever. And people start coming around and bringing their problems and propositions to the guru, and the guru answers and challenges you in whatever way they think is appropriate to your situation.

I know who you are! Most people have very thick shells, so the guru has to invent ways of cracking those shells. First, you learn to control your breath. And breathing is a very strange thing, because breathing can be viewed both as a voluntary and involuntary action. You can feel that you breathe and yet you can also feel that breathing breathes you. And there are all sorts of fancy ways to breathe in yoga which are very amusing to practice, because you can get quite high on them.

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So this sutra sets you up with all sorts of tricks and if you are bright you may begin to realize some things at this point. You learn to concentrate the mind on one point. Now, this can be an absolutely fascinating undertaking.

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Now, look at it and put your eyes out of focus so that the bright spot appears to be fuzzy, like a fuzzy circle. Then get your eyes back into focus and look at an intense light and go deep into it, like falling down a funnel and at the end of the funnel is this intense light. And how far do you think you can get into realization through fear? So they put you onto the kick of getting a pure motive, which means getting a very deep control of your emotions.

So you try not to have impure thoughts. You did it for the same old reason. From the very beginning you were afraid, because you wanted to play one-up on the universe. Eventually you see how crazy your mind is. It can only go in circles. Everything your mind does to get out of the trap puts it more securely in the trap. Every step toward liberation ties you up even more.

You started with molasses in one hand and feathers in the other, and the guru made you clap your hands together and then told you to pick the feathers off.

Alan Watts ~ How to Get Your Mind Back

And the more you try to do so, the more mess you make. However, the basic task of natural science consisted of making this energy usable. This is the sole difference between my work and all preceding knowledge.

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April This comment is modified in a later article derived from these talks:. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion and elimination of ignorance, selfishness and greed. The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger, and so on, are human-created problems which can be resolved through human effort, understanding and the development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood.

We need to cultivate a universal responsibility for one another and the planet we share. Although I have found my own Buddhist religion helpful in generating love and compassion, even for those we consider our enemies, I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.

All science has damaged is the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Jonah and the Whale.

alan watts english essayist

Everything else holds up pretty well, particularly lessons about fairness and gentleness. People who find those lessons irrelevant in the twentieth century are simply using science as an excuse for greed and harshness. Science has nothing to do with it, friends.

Alan Watts 98 British philosopher, writer and speaker - Knowledge is necessary, too. An intuitive child couldn't accomplish anything without some knowledge. There will come a point in everyone's life, however, where only intuition can make the leap ahead, without ever knowing precisely how. One can never know why, but one must accept intuition as a fact. Darwin never imagined the exquisitely profound complexity that exists even at the most basic levels of life.

Behe American biochemist, author, and intelligent design advocate Life , Imagination , Science. Chesterton English mystery novelist and Christian apologist - "Spiritualism" Religion. And that assumption is that sedentary life itself is superior to and more attractive than mobile forms of existence.