The Nature of Existence – Alan Watts

Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Conscious Evolution with 0 Comments

Source: PSNy2kUK

Philosopher Alan Watts tries to answer the question about the nature of our existence, but in doing so he helps us understand the answer cannot be found. He could only say that existence is very, very strange and it’s about relationship.  Transcript follows:


It has become extremely plausible that this trip between the maternity ward and the crematorium is what there is to life. But when you consider this attitude—you know, what is the poetic counterpart of it? Man is a little germ that lives on an unimportant rock ball that revolves about an insignificant star on the outer edges of one of the smaller galaxies… God, what a put-down that was.

But, you see, I don’t know what question to ask when I wonder about the Universe. It isn’t a question that I’m wondering about, it’s a feeling that I have. Because I cannot formulate the question that is my wonder. The moment my mouth opens to utter it, I suddenly find I’m talking nonsense. But that should not prevent wonder from being the foundation of philosophy.

As Aristotle said, wonder is the beginning of philosophy. Because it strikes you that existence is very, very strange.

So there is obviously a place in life for a sense of awe — astonishment — at existence. And that is also a basis of respect for existence. We don’t have very much of it in this culture, even though we call it materialistic. A materialist is person who loves material.

In the culture that we call materialistic today, we are of course bent on the total destruction of material, and its conversion into junk and poisonous gas as quickly as possible. This is not a materialistic culture, because it has no respect for material. And respect is in turn based on wonder – on feeling the marvel of just an ordinary pebble in your fingers.

And then more so when this so-called insignificant little creature has inside his skull a neurological contraption that is able to center itself in the midst of this incredible expanse of galaxies and start measuring the whole thing. That is quite extraordinary, and then furthermore when you realize that in a world where there are no eyes, the sun would not be light. …and that in a world where there were no soft skins, rocks would not be hard, nor in a world where there were no muscles would they be heavy.


Existence is relationship and you are smack in the middle of it!

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