In six progressive essays, thinker Alan Watts explores the connection among religious event and traditional life—and the necessity for them to coexist inside of each one people. With essays on “cosmic recognition” (including Watts’ account of his personal ventures into this inward realm); the paradoxes of self-consciousness; LSD and realization; and the fake competition of spirit and subject, This Is It and different Essays on Zen and religious event is a very mind-opening assortment.
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Extra info for This Is It: and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience
To turn into the sensations, as specific from having them, engenders the main fabulous experience of freedom and liberate. For it signifies that event isn't really whatever during which one is trapped or in which one is driven round, or opposed to which one needs to struggle. the normal duality of topic and item, knower and recognized, feeler and feeling, is modified right into a polarity: the knower and the identified turn into the poles, phrases, or stages of a unmarried occasion which occurs, to not me or from me, yet of itself. The experiencer and the event develop into a unmarried, ever-changing, self-forming technique, entire and fulfilled at each second of its unfolding, and of limitless complexity and subtlety. it really is like, now not observing, yet being, a coiling arabesque of smoke styles within the air, or of ink dropped in water, or of a dancing snake which turns out to maneuver from all the pieces of its physique right away. this can be a “drug-induced hallucination,” however it corresponds precisely to what Dewey and Bentley have known as the transactional dating of the organism to its atmosphere. this can be to claim that each one our activities and reviews come up jointly from the organism and from the surroundings while. The eyes can see mild end result of the sunlight, however the sunlight is mild due to the eyes. more often than not, less than the hypnosis of social conditioning, we suppose fairly precise from our actual atmosphere, dealing with them instead of belonging in them. but during this manner we forget about and monitor out the actual truth of our overall interdependence with the wildlife. we're as embodied in it as our personal cells and molecules are embodied in us. Our forget and repression of this interrelationship supplies specified urgency to the entire new sciences of ecology, learning the interaction of organisms with their environments, and caution us opposed to ignorant interference with the balances of nature. the feeling that occasions are taking place of themselves, and that not anything is making them occur and they usually are not occurring to something, has regularly been a massive characteristic of my reports with LSD. it really is attainable that the chemical is just giving me a vibrant recognition of my very own philosophy, even though there were instances whilst the event has advised changes of my past pondering. 1 yet simply because the sensation of subject-object polarity is proven by way of the transactional psychology of Dewey and Bentley, so the feeling of occasions occurring “of themselves” is simply how one may count on to understand an international consisting completely of strategy. Now the language of technological know-how is more and more a language of process—a description of occasions, kin, operations, and types instead of of items and elements. the area so defined is an international of activities instead of brokers, verbs instead of nouns, going opposed to the commonsense concept that an motion is the habit of a few factor, a few sturdy entity of “stuff. ” however the common sense concept that motion is usually the functionality of an agent is so deeply rooted, so certain up with our feel of order and protection, that seeing the area to be in a different way could be heavily nerve-racking.