Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Meditative Inseparability

"Now, of course, reality—from a philosopher’s point of view—is a dangerous word. A philosopher will ask me: what do I mean by reality? Am I talking about the physical world of nature, or am I talking about a spiritual world, or what? And to that, I have a very simple answer. When we talk about the material world, that is actually a philosophical concept. So, in the same way, if I say that reality is spiritual, that’s also a philosophical concept. And reality itself is not a concept. Reality is [imagine hearing Alan Watts striking a standing bell], and we won’t give it a name.

Now, it’s amazing what doesn’t exist in the real world. For example, in the real world there aren’t any things, nor are there any events. That doesn’t mean to say that the real world is a perfectly featureless blank. It means that it is a marvelous system of wiggles in which we describe things and events in the same way as we would project images on a Rorschach blot, or pick out particular groups of stars in the sky and call them constellations as if they were separate groups of stars. Well, they’re groups of stars in the mind’s eye, in our system of concepts. They are not—out there, as constellations—already grouped in the sky.

So, in the same way, the difference between myself and all the rest of the universe is nothing more than an idea. It is not a real difference. And meditation is the way in which we come to feel our basic inseparability from the whole universe, and what that requires is that we shut up. That is to say, that we become interiorally silent and cease from the interminable chatter that goes on inside our skulls. Because you see, most of us think compulsively all the time, that is to say, we talk to ourselves."

Alan Watts (1915 - 1973)
Essential Lectures, Meditation


Markus said...

This is a occasion as good as many to thank you for that stream of photographs and the inspiring texts that you provide to us. You certainly use art in the way of a gift.

Andy Ilachinski said...

Marcus: thank you for stopping by and for your kind comments! It melts my photographer's heart to know that someone is enjoying my images; I'll do my best to keep it going (as "day job" constraints permit).

Robert Sliclen said...

Echoing Markus' comment, I think there are a number of of us who look forward to your posts and are just a little bit 'the less' when you are unable to do so.
The/Your gift I find/take is a view of the/my world which isn't as rife with illness, ageing issues, ethics, war, and such. Neither is it critical-art/photo oriented. Many times, I find your post just IS . . . and that is enough for me to resonate with . . . and to smile.
Andy, thank you for many years of offering your personal feelings of harmony.

Andy Ilachinski said...

Robert: I can only echo the words I wrote earlier for Marcus - thank you so much. And your phrase, "just IS" - how perfect; how utterly perfect! - I never consciously intended my images/blog to *be* that (and never even *thought* of it as such, since I'm simply consumed in "creating" it when I do, and have no purpose other than to share some of the beauty I've been lucky to find with my camera), but your "just IS" comment floored me - you have seen/experienced what I've been (unconsciously) trying to do (with blog, life, and photography!) all along. I suppose a part of whatever other-dimensional creative essence permeates everything and helps sculpt who we are has bled through a bit.

Carlos said...

Me gusta mucho esta fotografía.
Esa bruma que la envuelve le da un aire de misterio que atrapa.
Un abrazo