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  • Existence - the physical universe, is basically playful.

  • There is no necessity for it whatsoever.

  • It isn't going anywhere,

  • that is to say, it doesn't

  • have some destination that it ought to arrive at.

  • But, it is best understood by analogy with music.

  • Because music, as an art form,

  • is essentially playful. We say you play the piano.

  • You don't work the piano.

  • Why?

  • Music differs from, say, travel.

  • When you travel, you are trying to get somewhere.

  • One doesn't make the end of the composition

  • the point of the composition.

  • If that were so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest.

  • (laughter in audience)

  • And there would be composers who wrote only finales.

  • People would go to concerts just to hear one cracking chord, 'cause that's the end.

  • (laughing)

  • Same when dancing -

  • you don't aim at a particular spot in the room,

  • that's where you should arrive.

  • The whole point of the dancing is the dance!

  • Now, but we don't see that as

  • something brought by our education into our everyday conduct.

  • We've got a system

  • of schooling, which gives a completely different impression.

  • It's all graded.

  • And what we do is we put the child into the corridor,

  • of this grade system,

  • with a kind of "Come on, kitty kitty kitty"

  • and now, you go to kindergarten, you know,

  • and that's a great thing because

  • when you finish that you get into first grade.

  • And then, come on, first grade leads to second grade and so on

  • and then you get out of grade school and you go to high school,

  • and it's revving up - the thing is coming!

  • And then you're gonna go to college

  • and, by Jove, then you'll get into graduate school,

  • and when you're through with graduate school you'll go out to join the world.

  • And then you'll get into some racket, where you're selling insurance.

  • And they've got that quota to make.

  • And you're gonna make that. And all the time that thing is coming,

  • it's coming, it's coming, that great thing - the success you're working for.

  • Then, when you wake up one day about forty years old,

  • you say, "My God, I've arrived. I'm there!"

  • And you don't feel very different from what you always felt.

  • By expectation, look at the people who live to retire

  • and put those savings away.

  • And then, when they're 65, they don't have any energy left, they're more or less impotent and uh,

  • they go and rot in an old people's "senior citizen's community".

  • Ha ha

  • Because we simply cheated ourselves the whole way down the line.

  • We thought of life by analogy with a journey

  • with a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end, and the thing was to get to that end.

  • Success, or whatever it is, or maybe Heaven after you're dead.

  • But, we missed the point the whole way along.

  • It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing, or to dance, while the music was being played.

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Existence - the physical universe, is basically playful.

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B1 US grade kitty kitty kitty graduate school playful music

Life is NOT a Journey - Alan Watts

  • 26 0 posted on 2020/03/30
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