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Nature, Man and Woman: Alan Watts, copyright 1958

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posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 01:43 PM
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Alan Watts' birthday (100 years) was on January 6.

Most of you (but not all of you) have possibly no idea who he is.

Today, I plucked a book from one of my 'spirituality' shelves (which shelves, taken together, hold perhaps 200 different books). One I'd read 20-something years ago when my kids were babies. Nature, Man and Woman.

Picking it back up today, on a beautiful midwestern afternoon, was a wise choice.
The bickering and anger between those who focus on "spiritual issues", whether they center on the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, the Metaphysical, the Mystic, the Nihilist.... all of it needs to be outgrown. Like a pair of jeans that fit Timmy a year and a half ago, but now are 'highwaters'. The hems are above his ankle. (As opposed, of course to 'high cotton', which is a phrase used when people feeling prosperous, fortunate, and hopeful speak up. "We're in High Cotton Now!").

Alan Watts published this book in 1958 - the year I was born. Although it was three decades after the landing (my feet-on-the-ground-here-on-Earth existence) that I discovered it, his work spoke to me in a way that is indescribable. His book The Way of Zen was the one that taught me how to find that sweet spot - that fleeting 'enlightenment' moment, when one realizes that we are all connected.

It is hard for Westerners to wrap their brains (and arms) around such a foreign thought-system, but I believe it's high time we did so.

Here is the paragraph (broken into separate sentences for easier reading and reflection) from the Preface to Nature, Man and Woman that prompted me to begin this thread.

I am not one who believes that it is any necessary virtue in the philosopher to spend his life defending a consistent position.

It is surely a kind of spiritual pride to refrain from 'thinking out loud', and to be unwilling to let a thesis appear in print until you are prepared to champion it to the death.

Philosophy, like science, is a social function, for a man cannot think rightly alone, and the philosopher must publish his thought as much to learn from criticism as to contribute to the sum of wisdom.

If then, I sometimes make statements in an authoritative and dogmatic manner, it is for the sake of clarity rather than from the desire to pose it as oracle.

(The source is a disintregrating paperback in front of me, sorry I can't give a link. I'm transcribing.)

(And no, I didn't change any of the words, or spellings, or nuances.
)

I was just thinking of you all, our correspondents team here in this forum, and wanted to run it by you for possible peaceful communication and contemplation as to how we can best deal with the future.


Peace, everybody. Namaste. Bless you.


edit on 3/15/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 02:02 PM
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His son (I believe) recorded many of his lectures, and are available online at YouTube and the like.

I highly recommend them. Although many of them were recorded decades ago, they speak directly to the myriad problems we face today. Problems which, through an entirely Western paradigm, are in fact unsolvable--hence the expeditious need for a new (or just different, perhaps) perspective on things.

Anyway. Thanks for posting this. Perfect reading/listening material for watching the sunset at the end of a beautiful day.




posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 02:05 PM
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a reply to: NthOther


Anyway. Thanks for posting this. Perfect reading/listening material for watching the sunset at the end of a beautiful day.

Indeed.


This morning here in my yard was equally beautiful - the entire area was bathed in pink - the clouds were of that delicious pink/lavendar shade that no painter has ever captured......

these perfect days are not that frequent where I live. I remember taking my kids to the park, saying "THIS is a perfect day. We only get about 15 or so each year."



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 02:19 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Which brings up the question:

Is it better to learn to appreciate 'perfection,' as in a 'perfect day' (weather wise, anyway) through deprivation of it (as in living in the northern realms where blue sky and comfy temperature is rare),

or to move to a 'perfect' place and experience it every day... and run the risk of losing one's appreciation?

Edit: oh, and Alan Watts had an amazing mind and manner... love his "stuff." On a baser level, his voice, alone, is the epitome of erudite... the way it sounds, anyway... then when you actually hear what he's saying it just gets better!


edit on 3/15/2015 by Baddogma because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 02:50 PM
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a reply to: NthOther

Yeah I've heard most if not all of them. Very cool stuff.

Here is one of my favorite tidbits.



👣



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 03:18 PM
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a reply to: Baddogma


Is it better to learn to appreciate 'perfection,' as in a 'perfect day' (weather wise, anyway) through deprivation of it (as in living in the northern realms where blue sky and comfy temperature is rare),

or to move to a 'perfect' place and experience it every day... and run the risk of losing one's appreciation?

Hm...
very interesting question.

I'm going to say that A is the correct answer. It is better to learn to appreciate it through deprivation of it - indeed, that is the only way one CAN appreciate it.....

This reminds me of when I left my home state (which has a mixed climate - sometimes so cold that people die, other times so hot that people die) which had distinct seasons, and moved to the Rocky Mountains right below the Continental Divide. It was never "boiling hot", and it was never "frozen to the bone cold". There were two seasons.....snow, and mud.

Yet every day that I lived there, no matter how crappy my work-a-day experience had been, I could look out at the landscape and say, "Yeah, but....LOOK WHERE WE LIVE!!!" It was so gorgeous that it overrode any angst or trivial daily worry.

After 3.5 years, though - I found myself missing "seasons". Wanting to return to the place where there were definitely "spring (beautiful), summer (hot), autumn (leaves dropping and a chill in the air), and winter (frigid humid ice storms and snow)" - and sometimes in between were severe storms:

blizzards, heat waves, floods, tornadoes, droughts, etc.

I missed the seasonal drama.

Now, back in the seasonal drama, I reminisce about the mountain climate, and fondly recall sitting atop an overlook at Lake Dillon and feeling totally connected to nature.




edit on 3/15/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 03:32 PM
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Or perhaps it's best not to require outside circumstance to make a perfect day but instead allow your inner space to make all days perfect?



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 03:36 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd


Or perhaps it's best not to require outside circumstance to make a perfect day but instead allow your inner space to make all days perfect?
That. Yes, and still - one can't deny that some days, regardless of 'idyllic outside circumstances', are difficult - sometimes seeming unbearable, and those days make it a challenge to feel the day is perfect.

Yet, it is perfect just the way it is. It is exactly the way it is meant to be. THAT is the Beauty of Zen.
Thank you.

No matter what is happening at this very moment, in this present existence, it is really all there is for us as sentient beings. Memory and hope are irrelevant in the here and now. The moment before is forever lost, and the moment 'to come' will never get here. It is always just RIGHT NOW.

Now.

Now.

- now.

now




edit on 3/15/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 06:40 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
No matter what is happening at this very moment, in this present existence, it is really all there is for us as sentient beings. Memory and hope are irrelevant in the here and now. The moment before is forever lost, and the moment 'to come' will never get here. It is always just RIGHT NOW.


But isn't everything we perceive already a memory given it takes time for the senses to process the image or sound or smell, etc.? In other words, isn't our experience of anything already in the past relative to the thing itself?

We look at a tree and it takes time for the image to be processed by the eyes and brain into a perception. So this perception is already of the past, right? A memory, albeit a very recent one.

So can we actually experience NOW through the mechanisms of the senses?

edit on 3/15/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 07:32 PM
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You are looking inside the light in your brain right now so closely that you can see dakrness and shadows because the pineal gland does not sit still and the frequency of light your pineal gland gives off does not remain the same.

Therefore your brain is doing nothing but translating the signal in the light that is a communication between soul and physical body.

Everything you see is just an imagination.

You never left the womb. You don't move you cannot change locations.

You have been in the same spot you have came to consciousness in. You are not swimming you are swam.

The whole universe moves around you and you will never ever move.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 09:22 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs




I am not one who believes that it is any necessary virtue in the philosopher to spend his life defending a consistent position.

It is surely a kind of spiritual pride to refrain from 'thinking out loud', and to be unwilling to let a thesis appear in print until you are prepared to champion it to the death.

Philosophy, like science, is a social function, for a man cannot think rightly alone, and the philosopher must publish his thought as much to learn from criticism as to contribute to the sum of wisdom.

If then, I sometimes make statements in an authoritative and dogmatic manner, it is for the sake of clarity rather than from the desire to pose it as oracle.




That is an awesome extract, who ever this Alan watts guy was, he clearly had his head screwed on…IMO

It’s really about people being flexible and open within their dialog with others, and actually looking to learn and grow from criticism; for a wise man admits, that he doesn’t know everything…

This quote below is quite relevant to your thread




Unfortunately, many regard the critic as an enemy, instead of seeing him as a guide to the truth …
William Steinitz




I think many people on Ats aren’t always open; their mainly just interested in their own Rhetoric, rather than getting involved in the discussion, by actually delving into the specifics of what THEY believe, and why they believe in the truth that they hold etc…

There’s also quite a bit of “sniping from the shadows” on ATS; whereby someone states that they disagree with you, and that your wrong, and that you should really think again, because (something really vague lol) …and all without ever actually stating what their OWN position is on the subject…

That last paragraph is excellent too; people shouldn’t be afraid to make authoritative statements, as long as it’s coming from a place of “I could be wrong, let discuss the specifics, as to why etc…”


Btw – Awesome thread S+F


- JC



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 12:49 PM
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a reply to: bb23108


So can we actually experience NOW through the mechanisms of the senses?


Well, it seems NOW because it's only nano-seconds from sensory input to cerebral absorption. Likewise, signals the brain sends to the body (like: move hand now) are operating at speeds so fast that for us it is "now".

But anyway - it is through meditation that we "quiet" our senses and simply "experience" what is coming into and passing out of our minds.

Good question, though! If I'm ever a Bodhisattva I'll be able to speak about it. So far I've only experienced that "oneness" feeling a few times. The longest one lasted several hours, perhaps a day. But the memory of it is like the recollections reported by NDErs - it doesn't fade from memory, even if it is 'gone' now. Still, it remains a part of us.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 12:51 PM
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a reply to: Joecroft


It’s really about people being flexible and open within their dialog with others, and actually looking to learn and grow from criticism; for a wise man admits, that he doesn’t know everything…

Quite.

Socrates said:

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.
Socrates

Read more at www.brainyquote.com...'___'xWhz.99


Thanks very much for your posts (and participation). I'm enjoying your contributions to the boards, too!

edit on 3/16/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 12:53 PM
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a reply to: metalholic

This is interesting.

I believe you are talking in the general sense of "you" though, right? Like they say, "One might think...." instead of "You might think..."
Not to me specifically?



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 02:21 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Why would I be talking invertedly about just myself?



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 04:17 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs

So far I've only experienced that "oneness" feeling a few times. The longest one lasted several hours, perhaps a day. But the memory of it is like the recollections reported by NDErs - it doesn't fade from memory, even if it is 'gone' now. Still, it remains a part of us.

The reason it does not fade away is because it is always the case - it is self-aware consciousness or unlimited being itself. If you consider fundamental awareness, it does not change or age. Feel into your awareness 20 years ago with how it is now - it is exactly the same.

So too with your experience of "oneness" - it was a glimpse of fundamental being, conscious light-energy, the self-aware non-separate "medium" upon which all modifications appear and disappear.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 05:46 PM
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a reply to: bb23108


Feel into your awareness 20 years ago with how it is now - it is exactly the same.

So too with your experience of "oneness" - it was a glimpse of fundamental being, conscious light-energy, the self-aware non-separate "medium" upon which all modifications appear and disappear.


It's also the same as it was when I was 9, or 12, or 25. We don't really change. We are 'ourselves'.
This just made my heart well up in my chest, and my 'expanded-head' feeling begin. Thank you.

It's such a precious glimpse.
edit on 3/16/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: metalholic

Never mind. This appears to be beyond you.

Meh.



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 06:13 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs

It's also the same as it was when I was 9, or 12, or 25. We don't really change. We are 'ourselves'.

This just made my heart well up in my chest, and my 'expanded-head' feeling begin. Thank you.

It's such a precious glimpse.

Yes those glimpses are valuable in that they show us what we really are as most fundamental self-aware conscious light/indivisible energy.

Those glimpses can also allow us to see what it is we do to actually disallow this from being our obvious conscious native state.

I read Alan Watts many moons ago - he was a great bridge between many of the dense Eastern texts and what those texts were actually getting at.

edit on 3/16/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on Mar, 16 2015 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: bb23108


I read Alan Watts many moons ago - he was a great bridge between many of the dense Eastern texts and what those texts were actually getting at.

Right? Me, too!

That's why I bring it back up now.
There are many of us who had fleeting exposure to Alan Watts - but then were swept back up into the "Western" way of things. It deserves revisiting.




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