The Dream of Life


Alan Watts lecture, Tragedy and Hope Productions video


“If you awaken from this illusion and you understand that

black implies white,

self implies other,

life implies death, or shall I say, death implies life,

you can feel yourself not as a stranger in the world, not as something here on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental.

I’m not trying to sell you on this idea, in the sense of converting you to it. I want you to play with it. I want you to think of its possibilities, I’m not trying to prove it. I’m just putting it forward as a possibility of life to think about.

So then, let’s suppose that you were able, every night, to dream any dream you wanted to dream. And that you could, for example, have the power within one night to dream 75 years of time, or any length of time you wanted to have.

And you would, naturally, as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes. You would have every kind of pleasure, you see.

And after several nights, of 75 years of total pleasure each, you would say, “Well, that was pretty great. But now let’s have a surprise. Let’s have a dream which isn’t under control. Well, something is going to happen to me that I don’t know what it’s going to be.”

And you would dig that and come out of that and say, “Wow that was a close shave, wasn’t it?”

Then you would get more and more adventurous and you would make further and further out-gambles as to what you would dream.

Finally you would dream where you are now.

You would dream the dream of living the life that you are actually living today.

That would be within the infinite multiplicity of choices you would have: of playing that you weren’t God.

Because the whole nature of the Godhead, according to this idea, is to play that he’s not.

So in this idea then, everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality, not God in a politically kingly sense, but God in the sense of being the self. The deep down basic, whatever there is.

And you’re all that.

Only you’re pretending you’re not.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: