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The Wisdom of Insecurity

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Unmistakably a book to spend time with, each passage requires a thorough reading with a lot of thinking. Once the split between our descriptions of reality and the real thing can be properly appreciated, the next insight is that time itself is an abstract concept. Conversely, one of the greatest pains is to be self-conscious, to feel unabsorbed and cut off from the community and the surrounding world.

Anyone who has obsessed over something in the future, be it something desirable, like achieving a goal, or anxiety-producing, like an exam, can recognize this pattern. This basic approach accords much in my understanding with the basics of Zen, which takes Buddhist ideas about the nature of suffering and the nonexistence of the self, but adds to the idea that enlightenment is something instantly attainable through meditation, rather than the product of thousands of lifetimes of karmic investment. I do not believe, as he contends, that most Christians view the stories in the Bible as being merely metaphors for the process of insight he describes in his book.

Focusing attention on current experience, rather than being subsumed in the world of thoughts, memories and future projections. We can practice imagining the future, but when it finally comes it often doesn’t feel much like our imaginations and once it has been dealt with it is quickly replaced with a new hope or worry.

It argues, among other things, that insecurity, indeterminacy, is the truth of existence, and that to cling to particular things as if they were eternal is to waste your time and strength. However, I do think there are some interesting possibilities for investigating what this kind of experience he describes may be. Watts sums up this stance perfectly: 'If, the scientists would say, you believe in God, you must do so on purely emotional grounds, without basis in logic or fact.

Jedino što malo iritira jeste čuveno "novac nije cilj, ne mo'š jesti novac", mislim da i ja imam taštu punu k'o brod kao njegovu verovatno bih meditirajući u kući na kalifornijskoj obali došla na istu ideju. The desire for perfect control, of the environment and of oneself, is based on a profound mistrust of the controller. It's fascinating to see how his thought from the 1950s are still valid today in a seemingly completely different society. I've comes across this idea before but Watts has a new spin: we 'reach a point where what is unknown is not a mere blank space in a web of words but a window in the mind, a window whose name is not ignorance but wonder. We are not certain where this I lives: in our heads, our bodies but we are certain there is a I and everybody else is you.

My cogitative self is disbursed after putting myself through an endless hard time full of anxiety, underconfidence and feeble self-worth.Does it come faster and fancier every year, to be sure to be better than last spring, and to hurry on its way to the spring that shall out-spring all springs? There are so many pithy statements in this book; every page seems to contain a phrase or sentence that just leaps out at you and I love Watts' distinction between faith and belief: 'belief clings while faith lets go. Watts and Krishnamurti also share similiar preoccupations with 'the thought and the thinker,' the burden of selfhood and the nature of time and its role in creating psychology insecurity. Alan Watts is an ex Episcopal priest who converted to Zen Buddhism and then to Taoism, and then sort of moved beyond both in his own way.

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