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Article posted Aug 30 2007, 12:54 AM Category: Resistance Source: Print

Alan Watts - A Conversation with Myself

Alan Watts discusses how we have confused the system of simple symbols we have invented with the actual complexity of the real world, and that our idea of the "self" is really an illusion.

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Comments 1 - 20 of 32 Add Comment Page of 2 >

Posted: Aug 30 2007, 5:43 AM

2463 It is "shocking news." I might add it is also implied that it is scarey. If one realizes that "I" can't do anything, then "who" is doing it? Watts comes close to answering this by saying "man's extremity is God's opportunity." If you overcome the fear of no "self" doing anything, (after all we like to think that we, the "I" do things.) then you can try to answer the question, Who is doing it?

By the wayside. Freud said the ego is not master of his house. Now we hear Watts saying the ego doesn't exist. Two shocking news.

Posted: Aug 30 2007, 2:27 PM

Who says there has to be a doer? The chinese word for nature is something which happens of itself. ;)

Posted: Aug 30 2007, 5:01 PM

2463 But do we think of ourself as part of nature that happens of itself. We think of our "self" as separate of nature, as individulals, separate and apart that "does. If a separate ego/self is an illusion and it doesn't exist then the question now is, Who is this something that does/happen of itself? If it happens of itself, then can we say "I" do this? We say that all the time.

I go to a Guru and say "I suffer and want to stop suffering." He would then reply, "who is this "I" that suffers? The Guru could reply that "it happens of itself." Does he mean to say that to stop suffering happens of itself? Meanwhile I wait for this to happen of itself? "I" wait? again we are back to an "I" a self that is an illusion. Question now is, "now what."

Posted: Aug 30 2007, 5:17 PM

I don't think the concept of the self is an illusion altogether. I think in the same way a mirage is mistaken for water we mistake our concept of "ourselves" with our real selves.

Posted: Aug 30 2007, 6:17 PM

2463 The difference between an illusion and a mirage is that a mirage (of the self) "exists" but an illusion of the self does not "exist." When one meditates deeply on the self we "realize" it does not exist.

The Buddha when "Awakened" said: (I paraphrase} "Now I find you out (his self). Never again will I build upon you.

One way of expressing no-self is the saying "THAT ART THOU." What I thought of "that" as separate from me, is really not. One's true transcendental identity is what is called the Self or Atman. Now, the Buddha goes as far as to say even this Self or Aman does not exist.

Posted: Aug 30 2007, 7:32 PM

the self, subjectivity, is the only thing I can know for certain actually exists. Everything else I only believe to exist separate from my perceptions of such an external/objective reality through a leap of faith. I AM.

Now then, since most "good" members of the state are defined by what others think of them, what they refer to as "self" only exists in the minds of other people, not themselves, and thus is it an illusion and not real.

It is through introspection that we find who we are. It is through introspection that we will learn to demand autonomy for ourselves and every single living human, and then we shall truly be free. I just hope we get there before the damn world explodes.

Posted: Aug 30 2007, 8:24 PM

2463 <<<Everything else I only believe to exist separate from my perceptions of such an external/objective reality through a leap of faith. I AM.>>>

I think this is called "solipsism." Think of getting two solipsists in a room together and each one will say "I exist and you don't" Which one is right?

However. On the "conventional" level you are absolutely correct. Buddists believe there are two truths. 1 "Conventional" truth and 2. Transcendental Truth. It is the Transcendental self that all my messages are about.

<<<just hopewe get there before the damn world explodes. >>>
How do we all get there (automomy, Freedom). One teacher says: "transform yourself and you trasform the world." Again, you see, we are back the the "self." What is the self? Know the answer and Transformation happens.


Posted: Aug 31 2007, 1:31 AM


Posted: Aug 31 2007, 5:50 AM

I wouldn't call it solipsism, exactly. I think the word "subjectivism" works better. I do believe others exist objectively, but the only way I can know about them is through my subjective perceptions. We all of us make that initial leap of faith, to believe in an objective world outside ourselves. Otherwise, we couldn't function in this world at all. Some people choose to make lots more leaps of faith, their error lies in trying to force that faith upon others, or in believing that what is true for them is true for anyone/everyone else.

"How do we all get there (automomy, Freedom). One teacher says: "transform yourself and you trasform the world." Again, you see, we are back the the "self." What is the self? Know the answer and Transformation happens."

yes, I agree. You can't beat someone over the head with a stick in attempt to make them stop letting people beat them over the head with sticks. They have to find it within themselves. We all do. I did, or rather, I'm in the process of finding myself, within. It's been a grand adventure so far! And here we are back in full circle. I AM. That is the Great Secret, a cosmic joke of infinite proportions.

Posted: Aug 31 2007, 8:47 AM

2463 <<< Its been a grand adventure so far!>>>

We seem now to be going off the main topic now (the self) but thats ok because no idea likes to be alone. Ideas invite other ideas. The proper thing to do is to make then feel welcomed and at home.
OK. Lets go on an adventure. We all like adventures. We will travel light because we will deal with heavy concepts. I had (still do) many adventure in philosophy (layman\'s not professionally). In my travels I met them all. However all that are different I say like Roger Williams (I believe) I haven\'t met one I didn\'t like no matter the disagreements.
In this adventure we will travel to the land of \"subjectivism.\"

To be continued.....

Posted: Aug 31 2007, 10:39 AM

(the self)


to me, "self" equates with subjectivity. not off-topic at all, actually. :-) But maybe I should watch the video again....

Posted: Aug 31 2007, 11:30 AM

2463 Yes, and I was going to write about subjectivity (self).

I wrote a long piece for "to be continued." It got lost when I clicked on Add Comment. Don't think I will re-write it. I should of Saved before posting. Oh well.

oh yeah. the video link. I put it there only because I thought it was a good movie. No other reason, actually.

Posted: Aug 31 2007, 3:50 PM

2463 Yet, another movie I thought you might enjoy (and anybody else of course.)


Posted: Sep 01 2007, 4:12 PM

2463 Thinking philosophy in 36 seconds. Must one know how to think philosophy before entering sunyata (no-self)?

Posted: Sep 02 2007, 8:40 AM

"Must one know how to think philosophy before entering sunyata (no-self)?"
surely not. But I did.

Posted: Sep 02 2007, 10:55 AM

2463 "But I did." Meaning you entered Sunyata?

Hmm, unexpected, the nature of the reply. I don't know what to ask. Like meeting God, what question would I ask? Since I'm outside the sunyata (the great Void) it would make it extraordinarily difficult. I know intellectually "form is void and void is form" but that only takes me so far (not to the "other shore." Perhaps an expression a :::bow::: would do in place of words (concepts).

Posted: Sep 02 2007, 11:07 AM

2463 By the Way, did you enjoy the movies?

Posted: Sep 02 2007, 2:44 PM

let me go watch them... LOL!

I like the Russell one, but can't quite hear his mumbled last statement though. I do greatly appreciate that it wasn't two hours long. Bothers me how people like to use too many words. My computer won't open the Yogis-of-Tibet nor the Buddha one.

When you meet your God, ask him his Name. That one's easy. All it takes to know God is to know yourself, then you will find the Divinity that lies within. That's the hard part, though, because it involves facing all of your fears.

I have recently experienced a sort of spiritual awakening, and as my experience is uniquely mine, I can't quite explain it to anyone else. It involved not only finding myself, all the little bits and pieces that make me who I am, but integrating all those parts into one coherent whole Person. There were parts of me I had been trying to deny for far too long. And I was separated into a Dream self and an Awake self, a Spiritual self and a Physical self. That was making me physically ill and causing much pain. But I'm better now! Not only am I healthy and don't hurt for the first time in my life, I am happy!!

and you know what? I had the answers all along, all I needed to do was find the right questions.

Posted: Sep 02 2007, 3:54 PM

2463 The best I can get from Bertrand Russell is:
"...I don't think philosophy in the old fashion sense is quite think what it means means rather different..."

Sounds like working on you psychological self for "Wholeness," "Intergration." I mean to speak of the Transcendental Self, not the conventional self that uses self analysis, but Meditation upon the self to attain the transcendental Self.

You spoke of this fear. I experienced this fear a bit. The fear of not being in "self control", to see deeply "who is the doer."

The best I can explain it is some kind of "Relationship." Seeing that the other and I are One, not separate, its all One doing. In this relationship ther is no self. I really can't dwell on this now, I"m typing, listening to the radio, playing casino Slots, etc, doing and thinking other things.
Don't think I'm doing all this as the Buddhist would say with "Mindfullness." Then again,taken on Faith that Form is Void and Void is Form I don't think there is much to worry about.

Going to Copy/Paste now before I loose this post again, LOL

Posted: Sep 02 2007, 4:53 PM

2463 Oh yes. Alan Watts is the best to listen to when he talks and gives live (taped) seminars explaining the Eastern philosophies for Western minds. He makes difficult Eastern concepts easy to understand. His taped seminars are very enjoyable to listen to. They were broadcast on radio long ago. Thats when I first heard Watts. His book "The Infinite and the Finite" is especially enlightening to me.
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