Alan Watts – Life Is Not A Journey

Alan Watts – Life Is Not A Journey


Music as an art form is essentially playful.
We say you play the piano, you don’t work the piano. Why? Music differs from say travel.
When you travel you are trying to get somewhere. And of course we because being a very compulsive
and purposive culture are busy getting everywhere faster and faster and faster till we eliminate
the distance between places. i mean with a modern jet travel you can arrive almost instantaneously.
What happens as a result of that is that the two ends of your journey becomes the same
place. So you eliminate the distance you eliminate the journey. Cause the fun of the journey
is to travel, not to obliterate travelling. So then, in music though, one doesn’t make
the end of a composition the point of the composition. If that were so, the best conductors
would be those that played fastest. And there would be composers who wrote only finales.
People got to a concert, just to hear one crashing chord, cause that’s the end. Same
when dancing, you don’t aim at a particular spot in the room. That’s where you should
arrive. The whole point of the dancing is the dance. Look at the people who live to
retire. Put those savings away. And then when they’re 65 they don’t have any energy
left. they’re more or less impotent. And they go and rot in an old people’s senior
citizen’s community. Because we’ve simply cheated ourselves the whole way down the line.
We thought of life by analogy with a journey. With a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose
at the end. And the thing was to get to that end. Success or whatever it is, or maybe heaven
after your death. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing
and you were supposed to sing or dance while the music was being played. But you had to
do that. You didn’t let it happen. And so, in this in this way, the human being sometimes
become an organism for self-frustration. Let’s take, Korzybski called man a time binder.
That means that he’s the animal peculiarly aware of the time sequence. And as a result
of this is able to do some very remarkable things. He can predict. He studies what’s
happened in the past, and he says the chances are so and so of that happening again. So
he predicts. Thought it’s very useful to be able to predict. Because that has survival
value. But at the same time it creates anxiety. You pay for this increased survival ability
involved in prediction. By knowing that in the end you won’t succeed. They’re all
gonna fall apart by one way or another. It might happen tomorrow, might happen 50 years
from now. But it all comes apart in the end. And people get worried about that, they get
anxious. So what they gained on the roundabout they lost on the swings. So then, if you see
on the other hand that existence, that existence is musical in nature. That is to say that
is not serious. It is a play of all kinds of patterns. We can look upon different creatures
as we look at different games. As we look at chest, checkers, backgammon, tennis. There’s
the tree game, the beetle game, the grass game, or you can look at them as you look
at different style of music. Mazurkas, Waltzes, sonata, etc, etc. all down the line. They’re
all these different things doing their stuff. And we’re doing that. Now existence you
see, is something that is spontaneous. The Chinese word for nature zi ran means that
which happens of itself. Your hair grows by itself. Your heart beats by itself. You breathe
pretty much by itself. Your glands secrete their essences by themselves. You don’t
have voluntary control over these things. So we say it happens spontaneously. So when
you go to sleep and you try to go to sleep you interfere with he spontaneous process
of going to sleep. Try to breathe, you know real hard, and you find you get balled up
in your breathing. You’ve got to be human. You just have to trust yourself to have bowel
movements, to go to sleep, and digest your food. Of course if something goes seriously
wrong and you need a surgeon that’s another matter. So with the whole picture that is
fundamental. You gotta let go. You gotta let go, and let it happen. Because if you don’t,
you’re gonna be all clutched up. You’re gonna be constantly trying to do what can
happen healthily only if you don’t try.

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Comments

  1. Great The Outcome. IDK how to explain but it's like every video you upload is a piece of my mind's thoughts. Kinda crazy… Well, keep striving and reading my mind. Hahahaha.

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