Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bag of Skin

Alan Watts was the author of more than 25 books on spirituality, Buddhism and philosophy. He was absolutely direct and uncompromising in deconstructing the common ideas, assumptions and beliefs which are propagated in society. Although not officially belonging or adhering to any one system or religion, he influenced many through his sharp insight and humor.

"I find that the sensation of myself as an ego inside a bag of skin is really a hallucination. What we really are is, first of all, the whole of our body. And although our bodies are bounded with skin, and we can differentiate between outside and inside, they cannot exist except in a certain kind of natural environment. Obviously a body requires air, and the air must be within a certain temperature range. The body also requires certain kinds of nutrition. So in order to occur the body must be on a mild and nutritive planet with just enough oxygen in the atmosphere spinning regularly around in a harmonious and rhythmical way near a certain kind of warm star.

That arrangement is just as essential to the existence of my body as my heart, my lungs, and my brain. So to describe myself in a scientific way, I must also describe my surroundings, which is a clumsy way getting around to the realization that you are the entire universe. However we do not normally feel that way because we have constructed in thought an abstract idea of our self."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010