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March 30, 2016
The Daily Walk with Zen
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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 Zen, March 30, 2016, by Paul Evans, video courtesy of The Mind, with the advice: “leave your mind alone. It will quiet itself.” Alan Watts speaks on worrying and compulsive thinking. This is profound.
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 practised 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.” I have sadly learned that all far to 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 my fellow man. At least, I am going to die with a clean conscience and knowing I myself did what I could.
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What seems to offend “the powers that be” the most is when someone manages to “have a good (or decent) life while they’re poor or, especially, dissident about what’s wrong in America.” 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 America. In your hearts you know better — that all that matters is not these “things” at all but living a life with an ethic of contribution, having a few friends we can count on, and maybe a caring significant other. 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.
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 “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 my teacher and Alan Watts taught me today: 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, 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 too. 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: 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 website, 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.”
The Mind – Alan Watts
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