The book by Alan Watts


Audio version


Chapter 5 0:58


 Protestantism, man as ego, a world of separate objects, hoaxed into being an independent responsible source of actions. He never understands that what he does never comes up to what you should do, for a society that defines him as separate cannot persuade him to behave as if he really belongs. Thus he feels the most chronic guilt and plays the most heroic effort to placate his conscience. From these efforts come social services, hospitals, peace movements, foreign aid programs, free education programs and the philosophy of the welfare state. Yet we are bedevilled by the fact that the most heroic and admirable enterprise succeed, the more they provoke new and increasingly hideous problems.


 Note is this why I am doing the bonobo experience, due to a lack of being alienated and belonging in a specific society.  Is the bonobo experience a social enterprise that is trying to cure something that maybe doesn’t need curing? Or is it just enabling people to play and consider alternative ways of existing through love and connection belonging?


I would have to say yes, I don’t feel that the work I’m doing entirely reflects what Watts is saying.  The bonobo experience is a response to knowing who we really are not knowing who we really are. We are isolated we are lonely and disconnected from one another. I can see his point but at the same time I do feel a sense of belonging and connection when I do this work.



 For one thing few others have ever thought through the problem of what good social enterprises are supposed to achieve, when we have fed the hungry, clothed  the naked and housed the homeless what then is the object of those unfortunate people is it to help those more unfortunate?


Note I do find this quite bleak, what is he saying here? is he saying that may be we shouldn’t care about our society and the people in it.  Or is he saying that these are natural processes and they won’t ever be cleared up?


 I think what I’m getting from this is that there is an opportunity to really feel a sense of connectedness to the universe and not considering anything to be separate from oneself and oneself never being separate from something else and the way society is setup it continuously forces us to be competitive to think for oneself to have agency without anybody else, I think that maybe that is what I need to get from this piece.