Waking Up From Our Illusions – Alan Watts

“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


“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~

About Christopher Chase

Co-creator and Admin of the Facebook pages "Tao & Zen" "Art of Learning" & "Creative Systems Thinking." Majored in Studio Art at SUNY, Oneonta. Graduated in 1993 from the Child & Adolescent Development program at Stanford University's School of Education. Since 1994, have been teaching at Seinan Gakuin University, in Fukuoka, Japan.
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9 Responses to Waking Up From Our Illusions – Alan Watts

  1. Val Boyko says:

    What a great capture from Alan Watts. Thank you Christopher!

  2. Val Boyko says:

    Reblogged this on Find Your Middle Ground and commented:
    This is one of my favorite insights from from Alan Watts on awakening.
    “What’s required is a sort of act of super relaxation…”
    Thanks to Christopher over at Creative By Nature

  3. Pingback: Waking Up From Our Illusions – Alan Watts | Counseling TidBits

  4. Wayne Diotte says:

    IT IS a salutation, A greeting, a kind wish, a hope, a heartfelt outreach or even a prayer for you and with you… That you may be inspired to BE one with your true nature; living moment to moment your great life potential.” Wayne Diotte

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