Buddhism / Conscious living

Clinging to the Rock or Swimming?

zen rocks Unlike those who shy away from speaking of religion and spirituality — life and death —  my brother and I spent many hours discussing those topics.  After he lived in the forest for nearly a year with me, he returned to his home and sent me a postcard.

But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything. — Alan Watts

Alan Watts profoundly affected our lives. From his books and through our own experience of being we came to know how to be here now.

This is it.

Nothing to do.

This is it.

Nowhere to go.

This is it.

Nothing to get.

This is it.

Be here now.

This is it.

Alan Watts – You are God in the Dance of Life

“Jesus Christ knew he was God. So wake up and find out eventually who you really are. In our culture, of course, they’ll say you’re crazy and you’re blasphemous, and they’ll either put you in jail or in a nut house (which is pretty much the same thing). However if you wake up in India and tell your friends and relations, ‘My goodness, I’ve just discovered that I’m God,’ they’ll laugh and say, ‘Oh, congratulations, at last you found out.” ― Alan Wilson Watts, The Essential Alan Watts

Alan Watts – Learn to Swim

“Belief…is the insistence that the truth is what one would ‘lief’ or (will or) wish to be… Belief is fervent hope, and thus a cover-up for doubt and uncertainty.

Faith is an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be. Faith has no preconceptions; it is a plunge into the unknown.

Belief clings, but faith let’s go…faith is the essential virtue of science, and likewise of any religion that is not self-deception. If we cling to belief in God, we cannot likewise have faith, since faith is not clinging but letting go.

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.”  ― Alan Wilson Watts

“Although the rhythm of the waves beats a kind of time, it is not clock or calendar time. It has no urgency. It happens to be timeless time. I know that I am listening to a rhythm which has been just the same for millions of years, and it takes me out of a world of relentlessly ticking clocks. Clocks for some reason or other always seem to be marching, and, as with armies, marching is never to anything but doom.

But in the motion of waves there is no marching rhythm. It harmonizes with our very breathing. It does not count our days. Its pulse is not in the stingy spirit of measuring, of marking out how much still remains. It is the breathing of eternity, like the God Brahma of Indian mythology inhaling and exhaling, manifesting and dissolving the worlds, forever.

As a mere conception this might sound appallingly monotonous, until you come to listen to the breaking and washing of waves.”  ― Alan Wilson Watts

Alan Watts – Learn To Swim

Alan Watts had profound insights into the nature of life and existence that have affected millions of people.  Visit the related post Alan Watts – Death.

Related posts found in this blog:
A Bleak February
On time, space and the now moment

11 thoughts on “Clinging to the Rock or Swimming?

  1. Pingback: Words In Focus: October | Always Well Within

  2. Pingback: Become What You Are | NIKOtheOrb

    • Hi Sandra,
      I’m so glad to hear that you appreciate the first video. I had forgotten that “faith” was your word for 2012. To be honest I’ve such a confusing and painful year hence far that I can’t recall what my word for 2012 is.

    • Thanks for providing that link. It clarifies the distinction very well.

      “We believe things with our minds. Beliefs are ideas. They are concepts. They give us a picture of reality that others can agree with or disagree with. … Faith, in a spiritual sense, does not have to do with relative truths but with absolute truths – truths that exist for all time. Faith relates us to an unvarying, underlying reality that we share in – one that we assume exists whether we believe in it or not.”

      The key point is whether or not one chooses to be a believer, who clings dogma and doctrine or one choose to have faith and be open to all that is. My brother and I were raised to cling to a belief system but instead we chose to open our minds and hearts to all that is ie. we chose to have faith.

  3. In my mothertongue, faith and belief are just one word. So my concept for faith does not exist. Thank you from bringing this to my attention. I will do some research since dutch and english are close family, to try and find out how my own language would word what you express.

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