Sunday, May 04, 2008

Alan Watts droppin science

Alan Watts rules. Check out this short monologue...

A couple of minutes in, he says, "the difficulty is, to borrow an old ancient Chinese saying, 'When the wrong man uses the right means, the right means work in the wrong way.' In other words, something is wrong with the way we think. And while that is there, everything we do will be a mess..."

Similarly, Chapter 29 of the Tao Te Ching:

Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it?
I do not believe it can be done.

The universe is sacred.
You cannot improve it.
If you try to change it, you will ruin it.
If you try to hold it, you will lose it.

So sometimes things are ahead and sometimes they are behind;
Sometimes breathing is hard, sometimes it comes easily;
Sometimes there is strength and sometimes weakness;
Sometimes one is up and sometimes down.

Therefore the sage avoids extremes, excesses, and complacency.

If we do not first transform our minds, transform the way we think about ourselves, the world, God, the Universe, everything, we'll just continue to muck up everything we put our hands to. You see ecological breakdown, you see unhappy people, you see failing political and economic systems: this is what I mean.

Likewise, in the words of Sri Ramana Maharshi: Wanting to reform the world without discovering one's true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.

Jesus said something similar:

First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

The outward journey and the inward journey are the same journey.

More philosophical Alan Watts goodies on podcast.

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