A Japanese Ceremonial Tea

This is Japanese ceremonial tea, it’s good on a cold day. See our problem is we don’t really know how to stop. We’ve got something started and we see it’s going in the wrong direction and I think the difficulty is, to borrow an old Chinese saying, that when the wrong man uses the right means the right means work in the wrong way. In other words, there’s something wrong with the way we think. And while that is there everything we do will be a mess. Now, what is it that’s wrong?

Now as far as I can see the basic mistake is, that we’ve invented this wonderful system of language and calculation and that is at once too simple to deal with the complexity of the world. And also, we are liable to confuse that system of simples with the world itself just as we confuse say money with wealth. A lot of people are in business to make money instead of wealth. When they make the money they don’t know what to do with it. And no wonder we feel cut off from everything, alienated, frightened of life and death. So what has to happen is, we have to come back to a view of our own life which is the way we really are. An organism functioning in terms of the whole environment with the whole environment, instead of this funny little separate personality. 

But how are we going to do that? You can’t transform yourself. You can’t make yourself sane, you can’t make yourself loving, you can’t make yourself unselfish. And yet, it’s absolutely necessary we be that way. If we are going to hand over the direction of nature to nature, it’s absolutely necessary. I’m not going to say what we should do but simply that before we think of doing anything in this critical situation, we realize the completely illusory of nature of beings that we think we are. And yet back again to the beings we really are. Which includes, all this outside world no longer left outside.

 

– words by Alan Watts

  

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