" The more you give it away, the more it comes back." – Alan Watts.
In this post I decided to share with you one of my favorite excerpts from Alan Watts talks. In this audio, Alan Watts encourages us to dig deep into the questions: "who am I?" and "what do I really want?", leading us to the truth that the only way to find the answers to these questions is through love, acceptance and humility. It also enlightens us on the fact that probably we already have that which we have been searching for all along. Therefore, we are whole and we have always been, but through our attempts to control the world around us, we create separation of the Self. To overcome this separation, we must realize that our environment is not our enemy and that there is a state of being beyond fear. This state of consciousness can only be reached by looking within ourselves with honesty and humbleness. Can we lose fear of the things that frighten us the most such as death and nonexistence? This is only possible when we let go of the need to force our will onto the outside world. This excerpt reminds us of the importance to relinquish control in order to align with divine synchronicity and connect with our true self.
The constant variables in this universe are change and transformation. If we hold onto things or manifestations of the egoic mind, we are destined to lose them because eventually they will fall away, giving birth to new things. There is no way to hold onto anything, because everything is in decay as part of a cycle of life and death. To hold onto something that is destined to collapse is to give our power away. It is to invest our energy in a failed cause. That's why Alan Watts reminds us that we have an access of power when we cease to cling to ourselves and the world around us, because we stop wasting our energy in self-defense. The Divine Energy, which is eternal, omnipresent and pure, cannot be grabbed by a mind that is vibrating in separation. We can't know God through the mind, so to be able to understand this Divine Energy, we must emulate it. This is, we must become able to give it away and nurture life. To surrender our own existence to life itself. If we give this energy away, it will multiply, just like a seed that becomes a forest, or the tree that gives numerous fruits to other life forms. Our true nature is to give and expand, and so "the more you give it away, the more it comes back" (Alan Watts).
One of the final thoughts of this excerpt tells us that the power which comes to us as a result of surrendering to the divine order of things, is power with which we can be trusted. This means that to be able to access the infinite power of the universe, we must attain a level of consciousness in which we will be able to preserve the principles of life and evolution. Therefore, we would not destroy life as a result of our selfish desires, demands and attempts at control, because if we did, we would immediately lose this power. And this is because this power is in reality fueled by love itself. The more we are capable of loving, the more we will be supported by other beings and universal forces to expand this love into the entire cosmos. And this creates a healing chain reaction that propitiates a cycle of rebirth and transformation. The key to know ourselves and the universe resides in the loving nature of our hearts, and it is through this nature that we become capable to unite all aspects of creation through a vibration of peace, love, acceptance and compassion.
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Video edition by HDvids 101 (https://www.youtube.com/user/HDvids101).
Music: I Giorni by Ludovico Einaudi.
Transcript of the Alan Watts excerpt:
'That what I want, basically, what I really want, is what you want. And I don't know what you want. Surprise me'.
But that's the kinship between "I" and "thou". So when I ask, I go right down to the question, which we started with: "What do I want?"
The answer is "I don't know".
When Bodhidharma was asked, "Who are you?" which is another form of the same question, he said "I don't know". Planting flowers to which the butterflies come, Bodhidharma says "I know not".
I don't know what I want.
And when you don't know what you want, you reach the state of desirelessness. When you *really* don't know... you see, there's a beginning stage of not knowing, and there's an ending stage of not knowing.
In the beginning stage, you don't know what you want because you haven't thought about it, or you've only thought superficially.
Then when somebody forces you to think about it and go through it, you say, "Yeah, I think I'd like this, I think I'd like that, I think I'd like the other". That's the middle stage.
Then you get beyond that, and say "Is that what I really want?" In the end you say, "No, I don't think that's it... I might be satisfied with it for a while, and I wouldn't turn my nose up at it, but it's not really what I want".
Why don't you really know what you want?
Two reasons, that you don't really know what you want.
Number one: You have it.
Number two: You don't know yourself. Because you never can. The godhead is never the object of its own knowledge, just as a knife doesn't cut itself, fire doesn't burn itself, life doesn't illumine itself. It's always an endless mystery to itself. "I don't know".
And this "I don't know", uttered in the infinite interior of the spirit, this "I don't know", is the same thing as "I love", "I let go", "I don't try to force or control". It's the same thing as humility.
And so the Upanishads say, "If you think that you understand Brahman, you do not understand. You have yet to be instructed further. If you know that you do not understand, then you truly understand, for the Brahman is unknown to those who know it, and known to those who know it not'.
And the principle is that any time you, as it were, voluntarily let up control, in other words, cease to cling to yourself, you have an access to power. Because you're wasting energy all the time in self-defense, trying to manage things, trying to force things to conform to your will.
The moment you stop doing that, that wasted energy is available. And therefore you are, in that sense, having that energy available, you are one with the divine principle. You have the energy! When you're trying, however, to act as if you are god, that is to say, you don't trust anybody and you're the dictator and you have to keep everybody in line, you lose the divine energy, because what you're doing is simply defending yourself.
So then the principle is: the more you give it away, the more it comes back. Now you say, 'I don't have the courage to give it away. I'm afraid'.
And you can only overcome that by realizing, you better give it away, because there's no way of holding on to it. The meaning of the fact that everything is dissolving constantly, that we're all falling apart, we're all in the process of constant death, and that - 'The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon / Turns Ashes - or it prospers; and / Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face / Lighting a little Hour or two - is gone
all that Omar Khayyam jazz. You know,
'The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, the great globe itself, I, all which it inherit -- shall dissolve, and like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind.'...
All falling apart. Everything is. That's the great assistance to you. That fact that everything is in decay is your helper. That is allowing you that you don't have to let go, because there's nothing to hold on to.
It's achieved for you, in other words, by the process of nature. So once you see that you just don't have a prayer, and it's all washed up, and that you will vanish and "leave not a rack behind", and you really get with that, suddenly you find that you have the power, this enormous access of energy.
But it's not power that came to you because you grabbed it; it came in entirely the opposite way. The power that comes to you in that opposite way is power with which you can be trusted.'