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Alan Watts – The State Of Nothing

Alan Watts – The State Of Nothing


Alan Watts: Last night i was i began by reviewing two possible concepts of the nature of space one that it is simply an abstraction and projected upon the physical world in rather the same way that we project measurements lines of latitude and longitude or the cutting up of an another abstraction called time into divisions like hours minutes and seconds which are there only on the dial of the clock the earth in its rotation doesn’t tick and time is of course that’s enough simply a measure of change of the rate of change as between two changing processes the changing process of the clock and the changing process of say a person’s running around it is out of that relationship in other words that you get a concept of time and similarly through being able to measure distances in a similar way and get a concept of space so this is one point of view that it’s a an abstraction because force would be led to this point of view by the fact that space itself isn’t really there space is there disturb absence and you must be very careful not as whitehead would have said to reify that is to make a thing out of something that isn’t there at all like saying have an absence oh boy we Gary Snyder invented a corporation it’s called the null and void guarantee and Trust Company and if slogan was registered your absence with us I’m sorry business cards made up fortune wish but at the bottom Gary Snyder non representative but this is of course Zen mikuma because then people are always joking about things not really being there at all the general feeling of them is being nobody at all as distinct from being important and somebody has a kind of inverse human to it one becomes the sort of bag of wind and there’s something about that they design masters call each other wind bags and rice bags and things like that because the whole idea of taking nothingness for real is somehow funny the other point of view that I was trying to contrast with this was rather different that is that just because they are so empowering and so ungettable space is you space is your consciousness and your consciousness is not something located in your head although your head is a way in which it focused and therefore consciousness can be altered by a surgeon putting instruments into the brain but the full range of consciousness or the full range of the mind is the entirety of space as the continuum in which the universe exists in rather much the same way as images exists in a mirror only here there seems to be no solid mirror there is an infinitely permeable continuum space in them a Chinese text called the dungeon or the platform Sutra attributed to the sixth patriarch of Zen Buddhism way none he has a passage where he says that the mind is like the emptiness of space now he says if you want to realize this don’t exclude everything from your mind because if your mind is like space space contains the earth and the stars and Sun Moon and the mountains and forests good men and bad men enlightened men and unenlightened men everything is in it and so if a person wants to attain an understanding of the mind merely by emptying his mind he’s making his mind small instead of great so you cannot therefore separate space from what it contains because without the content there’s no container without the container no content and when you see that kind of relationship when you see two apparently very different things going together inseparably always find them together you can smell a rat for example nobody has seen any stuff that had no shape and nobody has ever seen a shape that had no stuff there’s a suspicion here then that stuff and shape are the same and likewise I’m improbable as it may seem you can realize that space and solid are the same only they are as it were the same energy showing itself under two different aspects to a being who always must see things two-sided Li which is man man yeah is symmetrical almost see right down this dividing line two sides to his brain two eyes nostrils 2 is a symmetrical mouth 2 arms 2 nipples hips legs you see all balancing except the heart is a little bit over to one side and but here is you see this is to Wayde thing man is like a Rorschach bluff he’s some mess that was squeezed and folded then you unfold it by Jove it’s symmetrical and it’s a very strange thing about that you could make a order out of almost any mess by symmetrize in it in various ways you know there’s a gadget called a tell Ida scope which is a marriage between a kaleidoscope in the telescope and you could look at things through it and because it’s got mirrors inside of the 45 degree angle they will bounce the reflection in a circle which is very elegant and the more messy that you think you look at the more interesting it is with the Salida scope because it is through this balancing process of some sort of symmetry that order comes about repetition regularity so the human being then mean that’s two-sided is always wanting to ask is you is always you wait is it this or is it that answer yes or no true or false black or white and has very difficulty the most simple-minded the person is the more difficulty they have in using their conscious attention to do anything but estimate these very simple contrast between the good guys and bad guys you man you’re a woman there can be no doubt see there might be nothing vaguely in between no greys no no washes because a simple mind wants this great precision which of course you can’t have but as polls you see of one of the greatest dualities in the world is the disease the duality of something and nothing of being and non-being and of course in our thinking the solid world represents existence and the space world represents non-existence the conquest of space therefore will be the conquest of non-existence see this is that our great attempt to survive by being able to leave this increasingly plundered planet or somewhere else in plunder that that’s the difference between mining and farming hunting and farming too

Comments (3)

  1. Yes. As it should be. Mundane. Nothing special. Unremarkable.

  2. Seeing past 3D. We create our own reality.

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