But spontaneity is not by any means a blind, disorderly urge, a mere power of caprice. A philosophy restricted to the alternatives of conventional language has no way of conceiving an intelligence which does not work according to plan, according to a one-at-a-time order of thought. Yet the concrete evidence of such an intelligence is right to hand in our own thoughtlessly ordered bodies. For the Tao does not 'know' how it produces the universe just as we do not 'know' how we construct our brains.
-Alan W. Watts
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APAAlan W. Watts Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=but-spontaneity-is-not-by-any-means-blind-disorderly-urge-mere-power-caprice-a-philosophy-restricted-to-alternatives-conventional-language-has-no-way-conceiving-intelligence-whic
ChicagoAlan W. Watts Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=but-spontaneity-is-not-by-any-means-blind-disorderly-urge-mere-power-caprice-a-philosophy-restricted-to-alternatives-conventional-language-has-no-way-conceiving-intelligence-whic, accessed .
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It's like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it's dense, isn't it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting. But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you're a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don't feel that we're still the big bang. But you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually-if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning- you're not something that's a result of the big bang. You're not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as-Mr so-and- so, Ms so-and-so, Mrs so-and-so-I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I'm that, too. But we've learned to define ourselves as separate from it.
Alan W. Watts
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Here's an example: someone says, "Master, please hand me the knife, " and he hands them the knife, blade first. "Please give me the other end, " he says. And the master replies, "What would you do with the other end?" This is answering an everyday matter in terms of the metaphysical. When the question is, "Master, what is the fundamental principle of Buddhism?" Then he replies, "There is enough breeze in this fan to keep me cool." That is answering the metaphysical in terms of the everyday, and that is, more or less, the principle zen works on. The mundane and the sacred are one and the same.
Alan W. Watts
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When it comes down to it, government is simply an abandonment of responsibility on the assumption that there are people, other than ourselves, who really know how to manage things. But the government, run ostensibly for the good of the people, becomes a self-serving corporation. To keep things under control, it proliferates law of ever-increasing complexity and unintelligibility, and hinders productive work by demanding so much accounting on paper that the record of what has been done becomes more important than what has actually been done. [... ] The Taoist moral is that people who mistrust themselves and one another are doomed.
Alan W. Watts
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Faith is a state of openness or trust. To have faith is like when you trust yourself to the water. You don't grab hold of the water when you swim, because if you do you will become stiff and tight in the water, and sink. You have to relax, and the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging, and holding on. In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.
Alan W. Watts
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To Taoism that which is absolutely still or absolutely perfect is absolutely dead, for without the possibility of growth and change there can be no Tao. In reality there is nothing in the universe which is completely perfect or completely still; it is only in the minds of men that such concepts exist.
Alan W. Watts
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We must abandon completely the notion of blaming the past for any kind of situation we're in and reverse our thinking and see that the past always flows back form the present. That now is the creative point of life. So you see its like the idea of forgiving somebody, you change the meaning of the past by doing that... Also watch the flow of music. The melody as its expressed is changed by notes that come later. Just as the meaning of a sentence... you wait till later to find out what the sentence means... The present is always changing the past.
Alan W. Watts
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It is fundamental to both Taoist and Confucian thought that the natural man is to be trusted, and from their standpoint it appears that the Western mistrust of human nature-whether theological or technological-is a kind of schizophrenia. It would be impossible, in their view, to believe oneself innately evil without discrediting the very belief, since all the notions of a perverted mind would be perverted notions.
Alan W. Watts
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