Become What You Are by Alan Watts

By Alan Watts

“Life exists basically at this very second, and during this second it really is endless and everlasting. For the current second is infinitely small; ahead of we will degree it, it has long gone, and but it exists ceaselessly. . . . you'll think your self out of concord with existence and its everlasting Now; yet you can't be, for you're lifestyles and exist Now.” —from Become What You Are

In this number of writings, together with 9 new chapters by no means earlier than to be had in booklet shape, Watts screens the intelligence, playfulness of concept, and straightforwardness of language that has made him so perennially well known as an interpreter of jap proposal for Westerners. He attracts on a number of non secular traditions, and covers issues resembling the problem of seeing one’s existence “just because it is,” the Taoist method of harmonious residing, the bounds of language within the face of ineffable non secular fact, and the mental symbolism of Christian concept.

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Sample text

There is a “me” here that loves to feel personally offended by the cold soup and is going to make the most of it, a “me” that enjoys making someone wrong. The complaining we are talking about is in the service of the ego, not of change. Sometimes it becomes obvious that the ego doesn't really want change so that it can go on complaining.  The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind­pattern. Ego implies unawareness.

Their only blind aim is profit.  Nature, animals, people, even their own employees, are no more than digits on a balance sheet, lifeless objects to be used, then discarded.  No matter what you have or get, you won't be happy. You will always be looking for something else that promises greater fulfillment, that promises to make your incomplete sense of self complete and fill that sense of lack you feel within.  Life's fulfillment is perceived to be fulfillment of one's gender identity.  many feel a diminished sense of self­worth because they perceive their body as ugly or imperfect.

It may not be immediately apparent how complaining, say, about a traffic jam, about politicians, about the “greedy wealthy” or the “lazy unemployed,” or your colleagues or ex­spouse , men or women, can give you a sense of superiority. Here is why. When you complain, by implication you are right and the person or situation you complain about or react against is wrong.  It is that sense of superiority the ego craves and through which it enhances itself.  If you are simply stating what you know to be true, the ego is not involved at all, because there is no identification.

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