The book by Alan Watts


Audio version




The third response to life is possible. Not withdrawal not stewardship on the hypothesis of a future reward, but the fullest collaboration with the world as a harmonious system of contained conflicts, based in the realisation that the only real “I”  is the whole endless process. This realisation is already in us, in the sense that our body knows it, our bones and our nerves and our sense organs. We do not know it, only in the thin ray of conscious attention have we been taught to ignore it and taught so thoroughly that we are very genuine fakes indeed.


 Watts was referring to us as a species that relates to the world of objects or is so concerned with the separateness of our ego. In this passage above he alludes to a new way or a different way of seeing life. We are it, we encompass it, it encompasses us as we are as ancient as the big bang and as new as our birth. I have learned that I can connect with the “us” of things and objects.  I recognise myself as part of the whole process, for me this is what experiential learning is all about, being able to have a glimpse unifying process.


The outline of an object is the in-line of the background. This statement by watts helped me understand our relationship to other and other to us, that there really is no difference, we are the same.  I recall watching a cat alerted by movement on a doorstep and I recognised the cat wasn’t there. What was really there was a gesture or a glimpse, a focal point in which reality had imposed itself on to something specific.


 I’m certainly learning that contemplation is as important as action, destination is as important as the here and now. This seems rather pretentious the way I’m speaking right now but I feel that it is significant for me to express myself like this because it feels that I am acknowledging what is happening in this moment.