Off late I’ve been obsessed with Alan Watts. His books and audio files are my go-to boredom cure.
I would not make the mistake of defining hin as a person, definitions limit us and others. But his writings are amaze! If you’re a fan of Buddhist-Hindu philosophies then he’s your man. Inspite of being an Indian millennial I have been brought up with western books, education and thinking. I view the world through the eyes of a westerner and even buddhist and hindu philosophies. Thankfully Watts is here to the rescue.
His way of explaining the Maya is mind blowing.
The most recent thing I read today in the book, the Way of Zen, was about how we split our mind or imagine it to be split.
We are constantly switching between doing something and imagining ourselves doing it. Like doing workout and imagining the workout. The latter causes a lot of stress, lethargy and just basic unwillingness to do the activity.
That means we think we are split into the voice in our head which records the activities of the other which is the body and what the voice sees through the body.
The voice is nothing without the body and is completely dependent on it. Yet we have made the split. The voice is the sane one and the body or the heart is the insane one. We think there’s a difference.
Like the comics of today’s world which constantly portray a struggle between the heart and the brain. In reality there’s no struggle. Because there’s no split. The more we imagine there’s a split the more we feed this imaginary concept. Like our ego. I’ll get back to the ego thing later though.
He gives this example,
Imagine if you’re reading and you simultaneously think I’m reading, you wouldn’t be actually reading while having that thought. This means our thoughts are a one way road. You can’t have multiple numbers of them at once. Just one at a time. As I’m typing this sentence if I think “oh I’m typing a sentence” I’ll have to stop typing.
So the split that we imagine is nothing but a stream of thoughts coming one after the another from the same source our mind. But we try to play with the ‘source’ and think oh it is this part of my body or mind talking to this part of my body or mind. It’s really not.
This internal monologuing we have going on about our ‘life’ as a documentary is nothing thoughts lined up on a stream of them. I know it feels like a traffic jam of thoughts and my head spins too every time I ‘think’ about it. But it is good to know it is not a wide lane and that I’ll never be over crowded with too many thoughts at once. Not even two thoughts at once. Each come one after the other, like our seconds on the clock or moments in life. It is only in our imagination we speed things up and the traffic jam on our mind then causes anxiety.
I attempted to capture what I’ve read in the book today. But words don’t do justice to his genius or the genius of the Vedic gurus and Zen masters. Hope you have a thoughtless moment today and find peace.