Sunday, March 21, 2021



What we ordinarily mean by choice is not freedom.
 Choices are usually decisions motivated by pleasure and pain,
 and the divided mind acts with the sole purpose 
of getting “I” into pleasure and out of pain. 
But the best pleasures are those for which we do not plan, 
and the worst part of pain is expecting it
 and trying to get away from it when it has come. 
  when I try to act and decide in order to be happy,
 when I make “being pleased” my future goal.
 For the more my actions 
are directed towards future pleasures, 
the more I am incapable
of enjoying any pleasures at all.
 For all pleasures are present, 
and nothing save complete awareness of the present 
can even begin to guarantee future happiness.

It seems that if I am afraid, then I am “stuck” with fear.
 But in fact I am chained to the fear only so long as I am trying to get away from it.
 On the other hand, when I do not try to get away I discover 
that there is nothing “stuck” or fixed about the reality of the moment.
 When I am aware of this feeling without naming it, without calling it “fear,”
 “bad,” “negative,” etc., it changes instantly into something else,
 and life moves freely ahead. The feeling no longer perpetuates itself...

The further truth that the undivided mind is aware of experience as a unity,
 of the world as itself, and that the whole nature of mind and awareness 
is to be one with what it knows, suggests a state that would usually be called love…
 Love is the organizing and unifying principle which makes the world a universe
 and the disintegrated mass a community. It is the very essence and character
 of mind, and becomes manifest in action when the mind is whole… 
This, rather than any mere emotion, 
is the power and principle of free action.
 ~ Alan Watts
from The Wisdom of Insecurity
art by Van Gogh
with thanks to brainpickings