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The prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East.
To define is to limit. The words we use in language are limits to the magnificence that is our presymbolic. The boundaries we set on the boundless make it impossible to properly define things like the universe.
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The individual is separate from his universal environment only in name. When this is not recognized, you have been fooled by your name. Confusing names with nature, you come to believe that having a separate name makes you a separate being. This is — rather literally — to be spellbound.
Just as nothing or organism exists on its own, it does not act on its own. The total interrelationship between all things.
The more things changes, the more they are the same. Change is in some ways an illusion, for we are always at a point of uncertainty where any future can occur.
By accepting our condition—craving for categorization—we can begin to monitor how we create these imitation realities and modify our conscious experience to embrace our relationship with the universe.
Our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing,...
The universe is at root a magical illusion and a fabulous game… there is never anything to be gained —through the zest of the game is to pretend that there is.
Everything is a big wiggle. They wiggle so much and in so many different ways that one can really make out where o...
Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way
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 environment.
Just as true humor is laughter at oneself, true humanity is knowledge of oneself.
Real travel requires a maximum of unscheduled wandering, for there is no other way of discovering surprises and marvels, which, as I see it, is the only good reason for not staying at home.
Life is a system of geological and biological cooperation. But man continues to separate himself, as though he is the only subject among a world of objects—such dualist thinking is a neurosis.
Two Factors are ignored:
Attention is an intentional, unapologetic discriminator. Attention is a narrowed perception. Like a scanning mechanism, it is a flashlight in the darkroom that narrows our perception. While a narrowed perception is great for being sharp, it can only focus on one area at a time.
The self or ego that we create and identify as a separate being does not really exist. A mind-altering experience on every page, the illusion of separateness we attach to is identified as the problem, and a solution to our ego trip is offered. Since forcibly ignoring the self only strengthens its...
How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself anything less than a god.
Alan Watts condenses eastern philosophy and spiritual teachings, providing insights in the language that the west understands.
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