Illustration: Randal Roberts

Currently reading “The Book” by Alan Watts – a stunning essay on “the taboo against knowing who you are.”

In particular, he offers a devastating critique for any looking to “change the world”:

“The startling truth is that our best efforts for civil rights, international peace, population control, conservation of natural resources, and assistance to the starving of the earth -urgent as they are – will destroy rather than help if made in the present spirit.

For, as things stand, we have nothing to give.

If our own riches and our own way of life are not enjoyed here, they will not be enjoyed anywhere else. Certainly they will supply the immediate jolt of energy and hope that methedrine, and similar drugs, give in extreme fatigue. But peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love.

No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”

View more Alan Watts clips here.

6 Comments

  1. Love this: “No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”

    I have the book now on my shelf, in the queue. Looking forward to reading it! Thanks for the rec.

  2. @andy – absolutely. thanks for the link! i found that pic on a different website that didn’t have the credit. added now!

  3. precious… alan watts has been my main companion/teacher since 2010.

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