Thursday, February 14, 2013

Alan Watts - Knowing Who You Are...

..."You have seen that the universe is at root a magical illusion and fabulous game, and that there is no separate 'you' to get something out of it, as if life were a bank to be robbed. The only real 'you' is the one that comes and goes, manifests and withdraws itself eternally in and as every conscious being. For 'you' is the universe looking at itself from billions of points of view, points that come and go so that the vision is forever new. What we see as death, empty space, or nothingness is only the trough between the crests of this endlessly waving ocean. It is all part of the illusion that there should seem to be something to be gained in the future, and that there is an urgent necessity to go on and on until we get it. Yet just as there is no time but the present, and no one except the all-and-everything, there is never anything to be gained--though the zest of the game is to pretend that there is.

Anyone who brags about knowing this doesn't understand it, for he is only using the theory as a trick to maintain his illusion of separateness, a gimmick in a game of spiritual one-upmanship. Moreover, such bragging is deeply offensive to those who do not understand, and who honestly believe themselves to be lonely, individual spirits in a desperate and agonizing struggle for life. For all such there must be deep and unpatronizing compassion, even a special kind of reverence and respect, because after all, in them the Self is playing its most far-out and daring game--the game of having lost Itself completely and of being in danger of some total and irremediable disaster. This is why Hindus do not shake hands on meeting, but put their palms together and bow in a gesture of reverence, honoring the Godhead in the stranger."

~Alan Watts, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are...

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