Allan Watts

An explanation of human nature

“Astronomers… say there was a primordial explosion, an enormous bang billions of years ago which flung all the galaxies into space. It’s like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it’s dense, isn’t it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see?

So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting.

But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time.

Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you’re a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don’t feel that we’re still the big bang. But you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually—if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning—you’re not something that’s a result of the big bang. You’re not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are.

When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as—Mr. So-and-so, Ms. So-and-so, Mrs. So-and-so—I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I’m that, too. But we’ve learned to define ourselves as separate from it.”

A Brief Critique of the Monist Worldview

Much of Alan Watts’ work can be misinterpreted as “All is One,” that “you are the universe,” that boundaries do not actually exist. Many fake guru’s. shamans and con artists espoused versions of this idea.

Watts himself, always emphasized that human beings are continuous with the universe. That is, we do have individual existences, but we also can’t be separated from the entire process. Others hold that you simply are the entire universe, and your individual existence is something to be regarded as a persistent delusion. In philosophical terms, this position is known as monism, which can be contrasted with dualism—the view that reality contains unambiguously separate objects.

Monism is the ultimate fantasy of power and invulnerability. When the fantasy collides with reality, monists retreat into a make-believe magical world of dreamy spaciness, refusal to make distinctions. This leads to contributing nothing except spiritual clichés mouthed at unwanted times.”

Watts espoused “participation.” You are an inextricable portion of the reality-process that began with the Big Bang. You are comprised of the same atoms as everything else. But you’re definitely you, distinct from everything else.

The entire content of this page came from here. Other than editing for length I did nothing. If it was a test I suppose it would be cheating.

I also get most of my good ideas from one redhead in particular.

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