“That human beings stand separate from a nature that must be controlled, that the mind is somehow superior to the body, and that all sexuality entails a seduction–a danger and a problem–are all assumptions upon which much of Western thought and culture is based. And all of them in some way underlie our exploitation of the earth, our distrust of emotion and our loneliness and reluctance to love,” Alan Watts, back cover of the book on the left
I am officially in love with this man. Sure, he may be dusty bones somewhere, but his words and wisdom live on.
I am so impressed with the timing of his arrival in my life. With everything that is happening politically, sociologically, and personally, his messages of healing and insight are much needed.
We continue, as humans, to be on the wrong path; one of separation, destruction and greed. I look at my own country, its politicians, its peoples. I am disgraced; as a human, as a woman, as an animal of nature. I am part of these layer upon layers of troubles.
I did not come on here today, though, to offer up a lengthy essay(though naturally I must add some commentary); I merely wished to recommend this book. If you agree that we are of nature, that we do not exist without it, yet it could exist without us, then this may be a read for you.
We do not hold dominion. As have other species, we too shall perish, become extinct and the earth shall continue on without us. But because of our so-called “aware” minds, we’ve deluded ourselves into thinking we can live as we please, and make short-sighted decisions into infinity without consequences for everyone.
Christianity, as an overarching code, tells us this is so; and by extension, our society at large, based upon these principles affirms it (for our Western group-think stems from Christianity; even amongst my most atheistic of friends, it is easy to see ingrained beliefs around work, money, gender roles, sex, property ownership and so on).
Before I go, I would like to share another quote from the book (I’ve actually only got 10 pages in).
“…yet in the present atmosphere, of Western thought the realization of man’s total involvement with nature is perhaps depressing. It is humiliating for a culture which is always used to think of man as nature’s head and lord. Even now, despite ever louder voices of warning, the culture still revels in technical power. Contrary to its avowed philosophy of living for the future, its perspective is really no longer than the day after tomorrow, for it exploits the resources of the earth and the energies of radioactivity with only the most fragmentary knowledge of the complex relationships so disturbed. The apparently depressing thing is not merely that the universe is not to be pushed heedlessly around, but that the very state of mind in which we attempt to do so is an illusion,” (This was written in 1958. It is not startling to see how relevant this still remains).