You Are The Universe – Philosophy

A little Alan Watt’s time.

Since he died in his sleep in 1973 at the age of fifty-eight, Watt’s interpretation of Eastern spirituality has continued to resonate with Western seekers. Although he read and studied widely and traveled the world interacting with some of the twentieth century’s most influential minds (D.T. Suzuki, John Cage, Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and poet Gary Snyder, among them), Watts would be the first to say that, most importantly, he was on a de-conditioning mission.  I like the expression de-conditioning, it resonates with me! 🙂

Here’s one of my favourite Alan Watt’s quotes.

“Jesus Christ knew he was God. So wake up and find out eventually who you really are. In our culture, of course, they’ll say you’re crazy and you’re blasphemous, and they’ll either put you in jail or in a nut house (which is pretty much the same thing). However if you wake up in India and tell your friends and relations, ‘My goodness, I’ve just discovered that I’m God,’ they’ll laugh and say, ‘Oh, congratulations, at last you found out.” – From The book, The Essential Alan Watts.

 

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“This is therefore to say that the transformation of human consciousness through meditation is frustrated so long as we think of it as something that I by myself can bring about, by some sort of wangle, by some sort of gimmick. Because, you see, it leads to endless games of spiritual one-up-man-ship. And of guru competition. Of my guru being more effective than your guru. My yogas are faster than your yoga. I am more aware of myself than you are. I am humbler than you are. I am sorrier for my sins than you are. I love you more than you love me. There’s this interminable goings on where people fight and wonder whether they are a bit more evolved than somebody else and so on.

“All that can just fall away. And then we get this strange feeling that we’ve never had in our lives except occasionally by accident. Some people get a glimpse that we are no longer this poor little stranger and afraid in a world it never made. But that you are this universe. And you are creating it at every moment. Because you see, it starts now. It didn’t begin in the past. There was no past. If the universe began in the past, when that happened it was now. But it is still now and the universe is still beginning now and it’s trailing off like the wake of a ship from now and as the wake of the ship fades out, so does the past. You can look back there to explain things but the explanation disappears. You will never find it there. Things are not explained by the past. They’re explained by what happens now. That creates the past. And it begins here.

‘That’s the birth of responsibility. Because otherwise you can look over your shoulder and say, ‘Well, I am the way I am because my mother dropped me. And she dropped me because she was neurotic because her mother dropped her.’ and we go way way back to Adam and Eve or to a disappearing monkey or something.We never get at it. But in this way you are faced with that you’re doing all this. And that’s an extraordinary shock.

‘So cheer up! You can’t blame anyone else for the kind of world you’re in… And if you know, you see, that the I — in the sense of the person, the front, the ego — it really doesn’t exist, then it won’t go to your head too badly if you wake up and discover that you’re god.”

– Alan Watts

15 thoughts on “You Are The Universe – Philosophy

  1. could you please tell me which morning i’m going to wake-up and find myself to be God ? It’s all about time, what someone called ‘the eternal NOW’ ;-}

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    1. Your welcome. Alan Watt’s seems to be more popular than ever. I like his talks but I am not entirely convinced by his “convictions.” – Did he walk his talk? I don’t think so. Does that make him less of a teacher? I don’t know. He can hold an audience well, not sure they would stay around for the practice.. (My take only.) Eve

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  2. “You can’t blame anyone else for the kind of world you’re in”

    That’s quite a tough one isn’t it?

    Watts was brilliant of course; and many thanks for posting this article Eve.

    Hariod. ❤

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      1. His is blamed for misinterpreting several key Zen Buddhist concepts. Below: –

        Watts has been criticized by Buddhists such as Philip Kapleau and D. T. Suzuki for allegedly misinterpreting several key Zen Buddhist concepts. In particular, he drew criticism from those who believe that zazen must entail a strict and specific means of sitting, as opposed to a cultivated state of mind available at any moment in any situation. Typical of these is Kapleau’s claim that Watts dismissed zazen on the basis of only half a koan. In regard to the aforementioned koan, Robert Baker Aitken reports that Suzuki told him, “I regret to say that Mr. Watts did not understand that story.” In his talks, Watts addressed the issue of defining zazen practice by saying, “A cat sits until it is tired of sitting, then gets up, stretches, and walks away.”

        I like Alan Watt’s talks but I don’t hang on to every word. No indeed..! thanks for comment – Eve

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      1. Is anyone ever sure of any guru’s message Eve? They make think they are (most do), but until what’s being pointed to is actualised in their own experience, then just so long are they deceiving themselves that they have understood. That is the nature of realisation of course; and just as one can’t be ‘a bit pregnant’, then so too one can’t be ‘a bit realised’ – there is either seen a non-duality, or else it remains unseen. [ I know nothing about God(s) ] When I said that Watts was brilliant, I meant in terms of his exceptional writing as regards a unique mix of Christian Mysticism with Zen Buddhism.

        Hariod. ❤

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        1. hmm. Being a bit realized surely would be a dangerous thing. I am sure I met a few people who fitted that shoe. My reaction to them at the time was to run in the other direction.. (smile).I have not read much of Watt’s works – his you tubes are beautifully presented, great to listen to, but I would not want to sit at his feet – so to speak. Eve ❤ –

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