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Alan Watts on how we see things

The other day when I met a Speech by Alan Watts listening, one part stayed in my head for a long time. He explained with ease how everything is connected, our point of view just doesn't allow us to see it. When I first became interested in philosophy, I had a lot of trouble understanding the concept of the Non-Duality to understand. In the meantime, I would say that I have grasped the concept by now and believe the following explanation may help others to understand more easily.

The excerpt of the speech read as follows: "Imagine a very narrow slit in a wall that you look out of and see a cat walking by. First you see the cat's head and then there's a kind of cylindrical appearance and then comes the tail. First you think to yourself, look at that one. Then the cat turns around and goes in the other direction and again you see the head. But this time it comes from the right instead of the left. And again the body follows, then the tail. Again the cat turns around and comes back and again you say, isn't that interesting. Every time you see the thing called the head, it's followed by a consequence called the tail. That's cause and effect. But if you could really see the whole picture, beyond the narrow slit, you would see that head and tail are not cause and effect, but simply the cat. which is composed of head and tail. You don't get a cat with a tail without a head or a head cat without a tail, so we start looking for more. So it is to be understood that the events called causes and effects are not two events, but are all one and the same event. We just look at it through a slit and break it down into parts that way to describe it better."

What fascinates me personally about this description is how simple it is. I think everyone understands exactly the essence of the statement. War and peace, sickness and health, you and the rest of the world are not separate entities. We only ever see a piece of the whole and think that one is the consequence of the other. The only problem here is that we are looking at the cause and effect through too narrow a window.

But not only cause and effect can be understood this way. The whole universe can be divided either into billions and billions of solar systems, galaxies, stars or atoms. But depending on what we divide it into depends only on which slit in the wall we choose. The bigger the slot the more holistic the picture will be. So it's important that we don't divide our life into too small pieces. Like, for example, getting up, going to work, going to work, lunch, more work, going home, going home from work, and so on, because this only makes everything feel even more unnatural and we have a strong aversion to specific parts of the day. It's like looking only when only the tail can be seen through the hole in the wall. A life is to be understood as a whole and not as days, weeks or years. In this way, one recognizes that life in and of itself is something very beautiful and can thus more easily overlook the unpleasant moments.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Alan Watts' speech as much as I did and that it opened your eyes. If not, feel free to share your opinion in the comments.

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