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Love this video. How true is what Alan Watts is talking about.
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I found it quite timely all these years later.
Interesting take on things, as one generally expects from Watts.
I have had a thought about what Watts was saying here a little more. I guess what he was hinting at was that the opposite of a society being intolerant of outsiders is one that puts them on a pedestal. I guess some outsiders in such a situation would get sucked into the ‘game’ by such ‘acceptance’ and could turn into religious dictators. But some would still refuse and attempt to remain outside as much as possible.
Also it could be possible to misinterpret Watts words and assume that he means ‘sitting on a mountain’ quite literally. Whilst in some cases the outsider will literally be found meditating ‘on top of a mountain’, generally speaking the ‘mountain’ refers to the outsiders themselves, in particular the ‘heavenly ladder’ or the path up the chakra’s. An outsider may invariably exist seemingly within the system but yet still refuse to ‘play the game’.
I wonder if “outsider” can refer to our “higher” or inner self, the part of us that knows we are just playing the game and we shouldn’t take things so seriously. If you get “sucked into the game”, at first this inner voice will annoy you and can be perceived as a sudden impression that your life doesn’t make sense. Some of my friends experienced that whilst taking psychedelics and this experience put them off further experimentation with a given drug… sad but true. I guess that deeply inside we all sit on “top of the mountains” enjoying the view whilst our “everyday life” selves run about busy with different activities. The key is to find the “top of the mountain” in everything we do
Great insight! It always adds depth when you view a situation and its players as aspects of your internal selves.
His book ‘Tao: The Watercourse Way’ was a huge influence on me. I read it in primary school I must have been 11 or 12 years old. Good one to start your life with.
I remember a PE class when teacher was ill and we were left to play as we wish. There was some girls in my class that loved picking on me. I was sitting alone and reading that book and overheard their conversation. They were playing on swings and one said to the other ‘these seats are so small I can hardly sit in them. Lets call Lola to play with us. I’m sure she will get stuck!’ They came over and said some bullshit about feeling sorry that I am all alone and then went on proposing me the swings. I simply replied ‘No thanks, I enjoy being on my own and reading, besides my ass is well to big to fit in these seats.’ They both turned red and walked away. I felt incredibly pleased with myself that I had courage to say it. It still makes me laugh recalling their reaction. That was a big turning point for me.
I think that people do not like outsiders (internal or not) because of what @Hippi said -fear that what they strive to achieve is pointless. In the above mentioned story it was a striving to be slim.
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