My mind is my shelter

Felicia

The wisdom of insecurity

alanwattsYou are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.

“We seldom realize that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of language and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society

“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.”

The menu is not the meal.

“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”

“You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.”

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

“The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.”

“Every intelligent individual wants to know what makes him tick, and yet is at once fascinated and frustrated by the fact that oneself is the most difficult of all things to know.”

“Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.”

The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.

Life is like music for its own sake. We are living in an eternal now, and when we listen to music we are not listening to the past, we are not listening to the future, we are listening to an expanded present.”

Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.”

“Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to sleep.”

watts“A scholar tries to learn something everyday; a student of Buddhism tries to unlearn something daily.”

The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”

“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”

“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.”

“Real religion is the transformation of anxiety into laughter.”

Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.”

“What we have forgotten is that thoughts and words are conventions, and that it is fatal to take conventions too seriously. A convention is a social convenience, as, for example, money … but it is absurd to take money too seriously, to confuse it with real wealth … In somewhat the same way, thoughts, ideas and words are “coins” for real things.”

“Tomorrow and plans for tomorrow can have no significance at all unless you are in full contact with the reality of the present, since it is in the present and only in the present that you live. There is no other reality than present reality, so that, even if one were to live for endless ages, to live for the future would be to miss the point everlastingly.”

“When we attempt to exercise power or control over someone else, we cannot avoid giving that person the very same power or control over us.”

“So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself.”

“Words can be communicative only between those who share similar experiences.”

“One is a great deal less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious, and the same may be said of guilt.”

“Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe.”

Like love, the light or guidance of truth that influences us exists only in living form, not in principles or rules or expectations or advice, however widely circulated”

“Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them.

“There is nothing at all that can be talked about adequately, and the whole art of poetry is to say what can’t be said.”

“Our pleasures are not material pleasures, but symbols of pleasure – attractively packaged but inferior in content.”

The source of all light is in the eye.

“Like too much alcohol, self-consciousness makes us see ourselves double, and we make the double image for two selves – mental and material, controlling and controlled, reflective and spontaneous. Thus instead of suffering we suffer about suffering, and suffer about suffering about suffering.”

To remain stable is to refrain from trying to separate yourself from a pain because you know that you cannot. Running away from fear is fear, fighting pain is pain, trying to be brave is being scared. If the mind is in pain, the mind is pain. The thinker has no other form than his thought. There is no escape.”

If we cling to belief in God, we cannot likewise have faith, since faith is not clinging but letting go.

Other people teach us who we are. Their attitudes to us are the mirror in which we learn to see ourselves, but the mirror is distorted. We are, perhaps, rather dimly aware of the immense power of our social enviornment.

“What we have to discover is that there is no safety, that seeking is painful, and that when we imagine that we have found it, we don’t like it.

Just as true humor is laughter at oneself, true humanity is knowledge of oneself.

“Life and Reality are not things you can have for yourself unless you accord them to all others.”

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

Alan Watts

 

 

 

 

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This entry was posted on 09/08/2014 by in Inspiring views, Spirituality.
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