Uncovering how we arise mutually with all things, Alan Watts examines our place in the universe and how very natural it is to be human.
Continuing the last episode’s dharma talk on Taoism, relativity, and the connections between you and not-you; Mark introduces part two of his father’s classic talk, Being in the Way – a fundamental lecture by Alan explaining mutual arising within the context of a human-populated, yet ever-changing universe.
“You can be untaught. In other words, your mind can be wiped clean, and you can experience yourself as a whirlpool of energy in a stream which is the Tao, which is the total course of nature, the energy field of the whole cosmos.” – Alan Watts
Patterns of Energy: Being in the Way Pt. II
Opening the podcast, Mark Watts succinctly introduces the second part of the Alan Watts lecture from our previous episode, whose title became the namesake of this podcast, Being in the Way. Tying together the Theory of Relativity with Taoism, Alan welcomes us into the patterned energetic flow of the living universe’s constantly dancing change.
“Everything is pattern of energy. I don’t want you to think of the words ‘pattern of energy’ as if the pattern were one thing, and the energy another – as if a pattern were made of something called energy. Energy and pattern are the same thing, because you will never find energy not in a pattern, or a pattern that is not energy.” – Alan Watts
Dive into the first part of this talk, elucidating Taoism and relativity, Saints and Rascals, and more, on Ep. 3 of Being in the Way
It Takes Two: You Arise Mutually with the Universe (16:30)
Asking the universe, “Who’s in charge around here?” Alan matter-of-factly states the truth of the matter: nobody’s in charge. From the Taoist lens of no ruler or controller, Alan speaks to interconnection, posing the thought-provoking questions: Are our brain and stomach different? How about bees and flowers? Highlighting the subtle currents which connect all things in the singular universe, Alan uncovers the law of mutual arising.
“The world that you see outside you is a state of your own nervous system. In other words, it is because you have senses and a nervous organization of a certain particular structure, that the sky is blue, the sun is light, and vibrations in the air are sound. You turn them into color, light, sound, etc.” – Alan Watts
Alan reconciles order and mystery within the mutual arising of a cooperative universe, on Ep. 2 of Being in the Way
Our Place In The Universe: Each One Contains Everything (28:35)
Masterfully weaving together Mahayana Buddhism with Einstein, Alan explains the interpenetration of all things – the realization that: each one contains everything. Illuminating the ever-changing center of the metaphorical sphere of existence, he explains how any point in reality can be regarded as the center point of the universe. From this point of view, he explores how very natural it is to be a human.
“Fruit is implied in the tree; so people are implied in the cosmos. So, as it were, you were there from the beginning by implication. Just as the apple is implicit in the apple tree.” – Alan Watts