Friday, August 21, 2009

Allan W.Watts

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I like this introduction to Alan W. Watts, in John White's; What is Enlightenment? Exploring the Goal of the Spiritual Path.

Some people mistakenly regard the quest for enlightenment as infantile regression or other worldly escapism. It is none of that. Enlightenment, Alan Watts points out, is the very essence of what is happening here and now throughout the cosmos. It therefore includes all planets and all worlds, from the gross material to the exalted and ethereal, but at the same time transcends them. Enlightenment is the state of awareness which lights all creation, making it clear and understandable, accessible to the vision of the inner eye. And what the inner eye sees is this: I am the universe; I am present everywhere. Thus it is paradoxical that the enlightenment although beyond the entire realm of space , time and causality in their consciousness, are at the same time more in the world than anyone else. When you realise yourself to be infinite and eternal, when you have nowhere to go and nothing to seek, you become , in the most fundamental sense, here and now, completely at home in the universe.

Watts elucidates the relationship between ordinary awareness and cosmic consciousness, and shows that enlightenment is none other than your everyday mind, but realised as such. Where does mind end? Where does self end? They don't they are infinite and eternal. In truth, then, the ordinary is extraordinary. Enlightenment is simply surrendering yourself to what is already the case. Here-and-now is It, perfect in all its apparent imperfection. As a wise yogi once said, there is nothing wrong with the word but your attitude to it. If the creation is perfect, if you are in essence already perfectly enlightened, the question of how how to experience enlightenment is not primarily a matter of "What should I do in the future to get it?" but rather, "What am I presently doing that prevents me from realising it is so right now?" The answer: everything about us that is ego-based, separative and resistant to recognising the intelligence that lives in us all-the Love, as Dante puts it in the end of The Divine Comedy, "to which all creation moves."

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