Finding Yourself in the Universe: Perspectives Inspired by Alan Watts

Introduction

Alan Watts, a British philosopher known for his teachings on Eastern philosophy, often pondered on the meaning of existence and the human connection to the universe. Personally, I am a fan of his work. During my difficult time, his books and lectures on YouTube have helped me to understand the purpose of life. From his perspective, finding oneself is an exploration of the inner and the outer cosmos. This blog post reflects on such introspection, inviting readers to embark on a journey to find themselves in the vast expanse of the universe.

The Illusion of Separation

Watts famously stated, “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” He challenged the notion of individualism, proposing that feeling separate from the universe is an illusion. To find ourselves, we must first recognize that we are intrinsically connected to the web of life, as integral to the universe as the stars and galaxies.

The Nature of the Self

Exploring the nature of the self, Watts suggested that our true identity is not tied to the ego or the persona we present to the world. “The ego is nothing other than the focus of conscious attention,” he said. It’s the instrument of the mind, but not the essence of our being. By shifting our focus from the ego to the experience of simply being, we can begin to sense our true nature as part of the universe. Ego can fool us easily. Bragging about not having an ego is a display of a bigger ego (hahaha… the irony)

Meditation and Mindfulness

Watts advocated for meditation and mindfulness as practices to dissolve the boundaries between the self and the universe. He taught that in the act of quieting the mind, we can experience the universe observing itself through us. “Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment,” he explained. And so, to find ourselves, we must fully inhabit the present, where the universe is alive within us. Every day meditation is highly recommended. A lot of research has been conducted and it has been proven that daily meditation is highly beneficial for mind, body, and soul.

The Journey Within

The journey to finding oneself in the universe is ultimately a journey within. Watts encouraged an inner exploration, a quest not for answers but for the dissolution of questions in the vastness of what is. “The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you,” he remarked. This inner peace is a reflection of the universe’s tranquil expanse.

Conclusion

To find yourself in the universe, according to Alan Watts, is to realize that you are the universe expressing itself as a human for a little while. It is to understand that the separation between you and the cosmos is a construct and that in reality, we are all intertwined in the beautiful tapestry of existence.

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