Alan Watts explores the ‘veil of thoughts’ in money, civilization & progress; before shifting gears to the ‘divine madness’ of marriage & falling in love.
This series is brought to you by the Alan Watts Organization and Ram Dass’ Love Serve Remember Foundation. Visit Alanwatts.org for full talks from Alan Watts.
Veil of Thoughts // What Do You Desire?
What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really like to enjoy your life? Opening with these introspective queries, host Mark Watts invites us into the empowering Alan Watts lecture, Veil of Thoughts, discussing money, symbolism, civilization, and desire. To begin, Alan shares that we must first surrender the notion we can improve ourselves or the world—we must accept ourselves as who we are.
“If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living; that is, to go on doing things you don’t like doing—which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way.” – Alan Watts
Ram Dass offers perspectives on work, money, & making decisions, on Ep. 177 of Here & Now
Civilization, Progress, & Meaning // Divination, Gurus, & Responsibility (20:22)
In an analysis on modern human civilization, nature, technology, and progress; Alan investigates the notions of effort and meaning in a culture so focused on the impossible instruction: “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.” Through this lens, he illuminates how the magic and responsibility behind divination, oracles (like the I Ching,) and gurus, are actually self-bound—that it all always comes back to you.
“That helps you make a decision—the fact that you don’t really have to accept responsibility for it. Then you can say, ‘It told me, I consulted the oracle.’ Same way when you go to a guru. You say, ‘My guru is very wise and he’s instructed me to do this that or the other.’ But it was you that decided on this guru. How did you know he was a good one? See? You gave him his authority because you picked him out. It always comes back to you.” – Alan Watts
Dr. Svoboda & Paula Crossfield illuminate wisdom on divination, omens, & intuition, on Ep. 10 of Living With Reality
Divine Madness // Marriage & Falling in Love (45:00)
In this discourse on the difference between marriage and falling in love, Alan outlines the problems with modern marriage as a legal contract that propagates rules, laws, and break-ups. On the other hand, he highlights falling in love as analogous to the mystical vision—a sudden lightning strike of overwhelming passion. Through the lens of seeing your partner as the Beloved, Alan recognizes that truth and honesty in marriage should mean an arrangement where partners set each other free.
“Is it only when you’re in love with another person, that you see them as they really are And in the ordinary way, when you’re not in love with people, you see only a fragmented version of that being. Because when you’re in love with someone, you do indeed see them as a Divine Being. Suppose that’s what they are truly, and your eyes by your Beloved have been opened; in which case your Beloved is serving to you as a kind of guru, an initiator.” – Alan Watts