Chapter Four — Alan Watts
I take Emily to the table where Simone Weil and Anaïs Nin are seated. They both welcome us to join them but I see Alan Watts across the room gesturing for me to come over. I excuse myself promising to return before the gathering ends and I join Alan at his table.
”Thank you for joining me Socrates. I am most appreciative especially in light of the fact you left three beautiful and inspiring ladies to converse with me.”
”In truth Alan, I wanted to continue our conversation from a few nights ago. We are both autodidacts and yet I find our views of nature and mankind to be so similar. I have listened to many of your lectures, and with each listening I learn something different about myself and my relationship with nature and with all kind.”
”It saddens me Socrates that humankind sees itself as lonely and isolated from nature when the reality is that we, humankind and nature, are part of one continuous energy flux. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin.”
”How true my friend. I know much of your vision and philosophy of life comes from your experiences and your mystical dreams.”
“That is true Socrates. My mystical dreams and experiences started when I was very young. Most individuals discard their dreams and visions as bundled sensations with no clarity of meaning, but they are so much more. They are doorways into the larger consciousness of all that exists.”
“While living at Esalen, I had many mystical experiences that I cannot explain to someone who has not themself had at least one which they remember. They are too easily abandoned as a flash of light or a shadow in our blind spot.”
”I know from our last conversation you are familiar with a few of my dreams and visions, but please share with me one of your experiences.”
“Okay. I will. As mentioned, this one occurred while living at Esalen. I had a favorite bench on the edge of the bluff, facing east. I would plan my arrival right before sunrise. I would sit down, take a deep breath, cross my legs, straighten my back, watch the sun rise, the occasional school of dolphins and listen to the sea, the birds and then, total silence. The day turned to absolute darkness. The rising sun became just another star in the universe around me. It, I am immense. Endless. I am the universe. Then, just as quickly, I looked down upon myself sitting there on the bench looking into my abdomen and seeing that same endless, immense universe inside my finite body. I know what everything is. I am it!”
“Bravo my dear friend. For when you see that the universe cannot be distinguished from how you act upon it, there is neither fate nor free will, self nor other. There is simply one all-inclusive ‘Happening,’ in which your personal sensation of being alive occurs in just the same way as the river flowing and the stars shinning far out in space. There is no question of submitting or accepting or going with it, for what happens in and as you is no different from what happens as it.“
”And still we see ourselves as separate and alone in the universe,” says Socrates.
“Socrates I have a question for you. I see you in front of me. I can reach across this solid table and grab your arm. I see other people, I know without knowing, each interesting in his or her own manner. I want to talk with them all. My suite is England, New York, California, my boat in Sausalito, wherever I see myself. Wherever I wish to be. The guests are past and present, timeless and now. This place Socrates. It exists in the reality of the imagination, but is it real?
”Excuse me for interrupting gentlemen but I decided to leave the poetesses to their discussion of rhyme and meter and to join the philosophers. Besides Socrates, you promised me this dance.”
”You are correct Simone. I did. Excuse us Alan.”
“By all means Socrates. We will talk again soon.”
The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Five — Simone Weil will be published on Sunday, February 04, 2018.