Waking Up From Our Illusions – Alan Watts

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“This is IT! So you don’t need to do anything at all… It’s just the way it is. What’s required is a sort of act of super relaxation.. It’s not just letting go. It’s being with yourself as you are without altering anything.” ~Alan Watts

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“When you look for your own mind, that is to say, your own particularized center of being which is separate from everything else, you won’t be able to find it. But the only way you’ll know it isn’t there is if you look for it hard enough, to find out that it isn’t there.

And so everybody says ‘All right, know yourself, look within, find out who you are.’ Because the harder you look, you won’t be able to find it, and then you’ll realize it isn’t there at all. There isn’t a separate you. You’re mind is what there is. Everything. But the only way to find that out is to persist in the state of delusion as hard as possible….

So if a person believes that the Earth is flat, you can’t talk him out of that. He knows it’s flat. Look out the window and see; it’s obvious, it looks flat. So the only way to convince him it isn’t is to say ‘Well let’s go and find the edge.’ And in order to find the edge, you’ve got to be very careful not to walk in circles, you’ll never find it that way.

So we’ve got to go consistently in a straight line due west along the same line of latitude, and eventually when we get back to where we started from, you’ve convinced the guy that the world is round. That’s the only way that will teach him. Because people can’t be talked out of illusions.

There is another possibility, however. But this is more difficult to describe. Let’s say we take as the basic supposition–which is the thing that one sees in the experience of satori or awakening, or whatever you want to call it–that this now moment in which I’m talking and you’re listening, is eternity.

That although we have somehow conned ourselves into the notion that this moment is ordinary, and that we may not feel very well, we’re sort of vaguely frustrated and worried and so on, and that it ought to be changed.

This is IT! So you don’t need to do anything at all. But the difficulty about explaining that is that you mustn’t try and not do anything, because that’s doing something. It’s just the way it is. In other words, what’s required is a sort of act of super relaxation; it’s not ordinary relaxation.

It’s not just letting go, as when you lie down on the floor and imagine that you’re heavy so you get into a state of muscular relaxation. It’s not like that. It’s being with yourself as you are without altering anything.

And how to explain that? Because there’s nothing to explain. It is the way it is now. See? And if you understand that, it will automatically wake you up!”

~Alan Watts~

Creative by Nature

“This is IT! So you don’t need to do anything at all… It’s just the way it is. What’s required is a sort of act of super relaxation.. It’s not just letting go. It’s being with yourself as you are without altering anything.” ~Alan Watts

luxfon.com_17596

“When you look for your own mind, that is to say, your own particularized center of being which is separate from everything else, you won’t be able to find it. But the only way you’ll know it isn’t there is if you look for it hard enough, to find out that it isn’t there.

And so everybody says ‘All right, know yourself, look within, find out who you are.’ Because the harder you look, you won’t be able to find it, and then you’ll realize it isn’t there at all. There isn’t a separate you. You’re mind is what there is. Everything. But the only way…

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6 thoughts on “Waking Up From Our Illusions – Alan Watts

  1. That’s perfect. I keep looking. I’m off to Byron Katie workshop in July, PSYCK-K workshop in Sept., sit zen and I’m tired of these things. Why can’t I just be with what is? What am I trying to change or prove? I just want to accept life and live it without all this running around like an idiot. I guess I just have to look hard enough to finally relax. Makes sense.

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    • Here is a bit of advice from a guy who knows, Tilopa:

      Let go of what has passed.
      Let go of what may come.
      Let go of what is happening now.
      Don’t try to figure anything out.
      Don’t try to make anything happen.
      Relax, right now, and rest.

      Similarly, another great sage, Ajahn Chah, recommended:

      Do not try to become anything.
      Do not make yourself into anything.
      Do not be a meditator.
      Do not become enlightened.
      When you sit, let it be.
      When you walk, let it be.
      Grasp at nothing.
      Resist nothing.

      That is all the teaching you need.

      Cheers!

      Liked by 2 people

        • Eventually, you come to the rock bottom realization that there is no other option. You’ve tried everything else, and nothing works. Sure, there are all kinds of things to do that will change your state, but that is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. To let go of the struggle is not easy, because the struggle is what we use to confirm our existence. That is why the mystics consider such a surrender a death, because it is the end of the sense of separate self, and all the hopes and dreams that accompany it. Many peek into that chasm and back away, because the prospect of leaping into the unknown is too threatening to the fictional story they still would cling to. Few are courageous enough to make that leap, but the rare ones that do have no regrets.

          Liked by 1 person

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