Monday, 30 July 2012

Alan Watts - The Joker

The following is an audio clip by the luminary Alan Watts with words transcribed by yours truly.
Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. {Wiki}


"In some ways the joker and a monk has similar functions. The monk is a person who abandons society, he is an outlaw only he is on the upper side rather than on the lower side . As the ordinary criminal is below caste the outlaw in the sense of the monk is an abovecast. In the time of Buddha his followers wore orange robes because those were the garments of criminals. (think orange overhauls of guantanamo bay) they wore the garbs of the lower outcasts but were respected as upper outcasts. In modern society its very difficult to be in this position."
"The worst kind of criticism is the one who pokes fun... The joker doesn't out rightly deride things, he is not a slapstick comedian, he gives people the giggles about things they thought were terribly sacred and that is extremely demoralizing."
"The Fool's standpoint is that all social institutions are games. He sees the whole world as game playing. That's why, when people take their games seriously and take on stern and pious expressions the Fool gets the giggles because he knows that it is all a game. Not a 'mere' game' or mere entertainment but it is not frivolous.
The idea of game is this, the nature of things are musical. There is no purpose beyond doing it. Music has no destination. It isn't aimed at the future, It does travels in time, but it doesnt aim at a goal in time. The point of music is every phrase at it unfolds itself and how you perceive their relationship to earlier and later phrases.
Music itself is dance. You dance to dance. Everything is its own point. Things develop. A seed becomes a tree. But the purpose of a seed could be thought to be the tree. That doesnt hold up since each tree makes new seeds. The aim is to go on and on and on. Life."

"The network of life has no other objective than to do what its doing..."

I do love the blessed thoughts of the Reverent Alan Watts

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