Zen Master Alan Watts on the Mind & Ethics

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— Alan Watts – You have a soul, you are not your mind,
though perhaps here as the existentialists say, “existence
precedes essence” — Alan Watts: “leave your mind alone.
It will quiet itself.” To think about thinking is a cardinal error.
Just do your thinking, pay a LOT of attention to what’s going on
around you, don’t “skip steps” and try to enjoy life.
Alan Watts speak on worrying and compulsive thinking. As Jesus said,
“will worrying the morrow so much as add a cubit to your height?”
The martial artist Bruce Lee said, “What worries you, masters you.”
This is profound, and Zen has many answers for us.

republished April 20, 2019
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Zen Master Alan Watts
on the Mind and Ethics

The Mind Seeking the Mind:
Is This Not The Greatest
of All Folly?

The Daily Walk with Love (Link to Home page and blog), repubished September 18, 2020, originally published March 30, 2016, by Paul Evans, video is Alan Watts All About Zen, courtesy of “The Spiritual Mind” and YouTube – 54:20. I give you Alan Watts advice: “leave your mind alone. It will quiet itself.” To think about thinking is a cardinal error. Just do your thinking and try to enjoy life. Alan Watts speaks on worrying and compulsive thinking. As Jesus said, “will worrying about the morrow so much as add a cubit to your height?” The martial artist Bruce Lee said, “What worries you, masters you.” This is profound. Great photograph of Alan Watts courtesy of AZQuotes. For friendship or fellowship or even possibly a relationship email the owner, Paul at sailingtokansas@gmail.com.

See Changing your life: Live Fully Now – Alan Watts & Paul Evans, The Daily Walk with Love, March 28, 2016, by Paul Evans; and Zen Master Alan Watts on Seeing Through The Net, The Daily Walk with Love, October 10, 2017, by Paul Evans: “Alan Watts asks the question: Can we move beyond ‘Linear Thinking,’ enhance our brains and minds and start loving and trusting each other enough so that we might avoid extinction as a species?”

It is as Steve Jobs, former founder of Apple computers said, “you must realize at a deep level that you are going to die. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” And you need to quiet your mind, by just allowing your thoughts to come and go…, as your breath, too, as Ram Dass said.

Watch Alan Watts How To Find Meaning In Life, The Spiritual Mind and YouTube – 44:30. Having meaning in your life gives you the purpose you have always sought. Find something pleasurable to you and you will have meaning and purpose. But do NOT simply live hedonistic-ally, try to have a constructive purpose in life, which is the “ethic of contribution.” The whole purpose of The Daily Walk with Love is to bring logic and caring to the minds’ understanding of my readers. That will let me die satisfied. And that is a strong purpose, the very top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, psychologically speaking.

Also watch a great dialogue, A Dialogue with Ram Dass and Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass channel and YouTube – 2:00:21. Ram Dass has been a very fine teacher to me. I’ve given you some grist for your mill in these links. I surely hope they might help you, even though hoping for something is an attachment and so brings suffering (you do not seek enlightenment, sometimes it just happens, but I will say, you will need to pay a great deal of attention to the world around you as you live, and have a really good understanding of suffering, as well). I still hope for you, that you might deeply understand all that is discussed or referenced in this article. Bless you all, in the name of Christ. Amen.

Also watch Ram Dass: Stages of Life, The Spiritual Mind and YouTube – 1:09:49.

See Confessions of an Internet Addict (the Best Quotable Quotes of Paul Evans), The Daily Walk with Love, by Paul Evans: basically, in the words of Eminem, “I had to go to That Place before I could get to this place.”

See The Dharma of the Mindful Now, also on the Daily Walk, by Paul Evans.

On Education Today

For some reason, we educated people have this strong tendency to seek religious and philosophical enlightenment and learn these “profound” ways of thinking and speaking. I feel that most of the stuff that is taught today in schools is sheer bulls*it, in terms of getting young people to learn to think and read and write. (All they teach is how to pass the Federal and State tests.) It’s the kind of thing Pink Floyd speaks of with the words “We don’t need no education…” in Another Brick in the Wall. Education as practiced today is indoctrination and the blunting of our senses and emotions (brainwashing). Those who “get ahead” are those who attend the right churches and at least act “average,” and, very sadly, come from wealthy families. I have sadly learned that all too many Americans care about is “if they got theirs.” This nation’s selfishness is going to come home to roost, just like Ron Paul warned. Sometimes karma’s a bitch. And we mostly deserve it.

Being the Change
by Paul Evans

You COULD be different. You COULD actually care about your fellow man. It doesn’t look like a few well-meaning activists are going to be able to make this happen. Prophetically, I’m looking for nuclear winter before more than a few years if we do not repent and begin to actually care about our fellow man. This separateness is an illusion, and when we hurt our brothers and sisters, we hurt ourselves just as much. Humanity stands at the cusp of greatness as a species, but, just as easy it could all go away in some nuclear holocaust or because of our degradation of the environment. At least, I am going to die with a clean conscience and knowing I myself did what I could. The rest is up to all of us.

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What seems to offend “the powers that be” the most is when someone manages to have a good (or decent, happy) life while they’re poor or, especially, dissident about what’s wrong in America. (I’m sorry, I know that’s cynical, you would think, but I have to say, that has been my experience. To do this while insisting on living well is the cardinal offence in America. THAT seems to be a full affront on the sensibilities of the elite and very rich in America. In your hearts you know better — that all that matters is not these “things” you posses at all but living a life with an ethic of contribution, having a few friends we can count on, and maybe a caring, loving partner. You KNOW this, but STILL you do not change your hearts. I tell you, God is not mocked, and neither is He this society you deify. (God is something much deeper than merely society, it delves into the depths of culture and gets into the very being of Life itself.

Alan Watts said, “In the end, these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? (And) how deeply did you let go.” Another of his most “profound” truths is that “Life exists only at this present moment, and in this moment, it is infinite and eternal.” That one takes some living to grasp.

Here is what a teacher of mine and Alan Watts taught me recently: Basically your suffering has to do with worrying about being egotistical when in fact your ego actually is an illusion. Must have been higher than normal x-ray emissions from the sun this afternoon and evening, when I first wrote this. I bet a LOT of people went through a similar sort of emotional pain. When some people – even a few who are unfairly targeted — are caused pain, you see it is as if you are doing it to yourselves, your conscience causes you a similar, if hidden suffering for yourselves, too. (if you have no conscience, what are you?) Many others share injustice, you see. This is why Martin Luther King said, “when there is injustice for one of us, none of us are truly free.” The illusion is our separateness, and now our world seems small and there is so much suffering in the world — so the world is more sick, and yet, it isn’t ALL bad news. There were 1.6 billion people in the world living in poverty in the year 2000. There are only 1.2 billion such people today, according to some statistics, really I’m not so sure about this one: but reason to hope. Still, few people enjoy watching the news if they are aware. Here is the reason that ego is an illusion. There is no ego because we all share each other’s fates, emotionally and psychologically, and not loving your brother is its own punishment. Such is the fallacy of social Darwinism.

Alan Watts Resources
and the Wealth of His Contribution

If you’d like to understand Alan Watts and his philosophy, visit the Alan Watts Channel on YouTube. One particularly good video which appeals to me is Alan Watts ~ Liberating The Self From Society, UK/Ireland video — 54:16. There are also some great Alan Watts quotes at BrainyQuote.The Alan Watts article on Wikipedia, which summarizes his life thus:

Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British-born American philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, England, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master’s degree in theology. Watts became an Episcopal priest in 1945, then left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies.

Watts gained a large following in the San Francisco Bay Area while working as a volunteer programmer at KPFA, a Pacifica Radio station in Berkeley. Watts wrote more than 25 books and articles on subjects important to Eastern and Western religion, introducing the then-burgeoning youth culture to The Way of Zen (1957), one of the first bestselling books on Buddhism. In Psychotherapy East and West (1961), Watts proposed that Buddhism could be thought of as a form of psychotherapy and not a religion. He considered Nature, Man and Woman (1958) to be, “from a literary point of view – the best book I have ever written.” He also explored human consciousness, in the essay “The New Alchemy” (1958), and in the book The Joyous Cosmology (1962).

Please feel encouraged to stop by a website called Alan Watts Life and Works, which summarizes his life philosophy thusly:

Alan Watts was profoundly influenced by the East Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Buddhism, and by Taoist thought, which is reflected in Zen poetry and the arts of China and Japan. After leaving the Church he never became a member of another organized religion, although he wrote and spoke extensively about Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoisim. Some American Buddhists criticized him for not sitting regularly in zazen, even though he recorded several guided meditations teaching a variety of mediation techniques. Alan Watts responded simply by saying: “A cat sits until it is done sitting, and then gets up, stretches, and walks away.”

Alan Watts – All About Zen

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