Markings in Marble

Alan Watts, Out of Your Mind: The Nature of Consciousness

“In order to understand what the self is, you have to remember that it doesn’t need to remember anything.

Just like you don’t need to know how to work your thyroid gland.”

“Doesn’t it really astonish you that you are this fantastically complex thing and that you’re doing all this and you never had any education in how to do it? You never learned, but you are this miracle?

Well the point is, that from a strictly physical, scientific standpoint, this organism is a continuous energy with everything else that’s going on. And if I am my foot, I am the sun.

Only we’ve got this little partial view, we’ve got the idea that “No, I am just something in this body: the ego.”

That’s a joke.

The ego is nothing other than the focus of conscious attention. It’s like a radar on a ship. The radar on a ship is a troubleshooter; “Is there anything in the way?

And conscious attention is a designed function of the brain to scan the environment, like a radar does, and note for any trouble making changes. But if you identify yourself with your troubleshooter, then naturally you define yourself as being in a perpetual state of anxiety.

And the moment we cease to identify with the ego and become aware that we are the whole organism, you realize as the first thing, how harmonious it all is.

Because your organism is a miracle of harmony, all this thing functioning together. Even those creatures that are fighting each other in the blood stream and eating each other up. If they weren’t doing that you wouldn’t be healthy.

So what is discord at one level of your being is harmony at a higher level.

And you begin to realize that, and you begin to be aware too that the discords of your life, and the discords of people’s lives, which are a fight at one level, at a higher level of the universe are healthy and harmonious.

And you suddenly realize that everything that you are and do is at that level, as magnificent and as free of any blemish

as the patterns in waves,

the markings in marble,

the way a cat moves.

And that this world is really okay. It can’t be anything else because otherwise it couldn’t exist. “

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