The Book

Have you ever wondered who or what we are, beyond an ego in a physical body? How are we connected to everything else?

Many people have a sense of separation from the Universe. But this is far from the truth. 

 “The Book” by Alan Watts explores our place in the universe and whether our existence has any meaning at all. He describes it as a combination of Western science and Eastern intuition. 

To begin, Alan Watts says that the belief that we are all separate and make contact with the outside world is simply an illusion.

This illusion of separateness is what causes the need to conquer the “outside” world rather than cooperating harmoniously with it. We tend to ignore the interconnectedness of everything. 

But we are not temporary visitors in the universe. We are like leaves on a tree branch, coming from the universe.

This leads to the discussion on religion. He says that a commitment to any religion is more of a hindrance because it can cause close-mindedness. Furthermore, shouldn’t faith be about openness to trusting the unknown? It would make more sense that God would make the human mind adaptable, not rigid and dependent on one book for all the answers. 

I had to read that part twice, I never thought of it that way before.

Another thing that struck me is that he says the reason we cannot see God is the same reason that we cannot see our own eyes if we don’t have a mirror. God is in each one of us. We have just forgotten who we are. Even when we die, we are simply taking off our masks and costumes just like actors do behind the scenes. Think of this life as a “persona.”

The real “you” is not part of the whole but is the whole. 

Even with all of our differences, we are not separate. He likens this to our head and feet being different, but not separate. 

With our understanding of who we are comes infinite possibilities of being capable of enjoyment, as well as the ability to live in the present moment. 

Of course, this blog doesn’t do “The Book” justice and there is so much more to learn from Alan Watts. But I want to end today with this quote from the last chapter, “true humanity is knowledge of oneself.” 

Investigate for yourself, you may be amazed by what you find. 

Thank you for reading!

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