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The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness by Alan W. Watts
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The Joyous Cosmology Quotes Showing 1-13 of 13
“But the transformation of consciousness undertaken in Taoism and Zen is more like the correction of faulty perception or the curing of a disease. It is not an acquisitive process of learning more and more facts or greater and greater skills, but rather an unlearning of wrong habits and opinions. As Lao-tzu said, "The scholar gains every day, but the Taoist loses every day.”
Alan Wilson Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
“Behind the mask of love I find my innate selfishness. What a predicament I am in if someone asks, “Do you really love me?” I can’t say yes without saying no, for the only answer that will really satisfy is, “Yes, I love you so much I could eat you! My love for you is identical with my love for myself. I love you with the purest selfishness.” No one wants to be loved out of a sense of duty. So I will be very frank. “Yes, I am pure, selfish desire and I love because you make me feel wonderful—at any rate for the time being.” But then I begin to wonder whether there isn’t something a bit cunning in this frankness. It is big of me to be so sincere, to make a play for her by not pretending to be more than I am—unlike the other guys who say they love her for herself. I see that there is always something insincere about trying to be sincere, as if I were to say openly, “The statement that I am now making is a lie.” There seems to be something phony about every attempt to define myself, to be totally honest. The trouble is that I can’t see the back, much less the inside, of my head. I can’t be honest because I don’t fully know what I am. Consciousness peers out from a center which it cannot see—and that is the root of the matter.”
Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
“But by meditation I do not mean a practice or exercise undertaken as a preparation for something, as a means to some future end, or as a discipline in which one is concerned with progress. A better word may be "contemplation" or even "centering," for what I mean is a slowing down of time, of mental hurry, and an allowing of one's attention to rest in the present—so coming to the unseeking observation, not of what should be, but of what is.”
Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
“There is no difference in principle between sharpening perception with an external instrument, such as a microscope, and sharpening it with an internal instrument, such as one of these three drugs. If they are an affront to the dignity of the mind, the microscope is an affront to the dignity of the eye and the telephone to the dignity of the ear. Strictly speaking, these drugs do not impart wisdom at all, any more than the microscope alone gives knowledge.”
Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
“The sense of wrong is simply failure to see where something fits into a pattern[.]”
Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
“[T]he present is self-sufficient, but it is not a static present. It is a dancing present—the unfolding of a pattern which has no specific destination in the future but is simply its own point. It leaves and arrives simultaneously, and the seed is as much the goal as the flower.”
Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
“What are these substances? Medicines or drugs or sacramental foods? It is easier to say what they are not. They are not narcotics, nor intoxicants, nor energizers, nor anaesthetics, nor tranquilizers. They are, rather, biochemical keys which unlock experiences shatteringly new to most Westerners. For the last two years, staff members of the Center for Research in Personality at Harvard University have engaged in systematic experiments with these substances. Our first inquiry into the biochemical expansion of consciousness has been a study of the reactions of Americans in a supportive, comfortable naturalistic setting. We have had the opportunity of participating in over one thousand individual administrations. From our observations, from interviews and reports, from analysis of questionnaire data, and from pre- and postexperimental differences in personality test results, certain conclusions have emerged. (1) These substances do alter consciousness. There is no dispute on this score. (2) It is meaningless to talk more specifically about the “effect of the drug.” Set and setting, expectation, and atmosphere account for all specificity of reaction. There is no “drug reaction” but always setting-plus-drug. (3) In talking about potentialities it is useful to consider not just the setting-plus-drug but rather the potentialities of the human cortex to create images and experiences far beyond the narrow limitations of words and concepts. Those of us on this research project spend a good share of our working hours listening to people talk about the effect and use of consciousness-altering drugs. If we substitute the words human cortex for drug we can then agree with any statement made about the potentialities—for good or evil, for helping or hurting, for loving or fearing. Potentialities of the cortex, not of the drug. The drug is just an instrument. In analyzing and interpreting the results of our studies we looked first to the conventional models of modern psychology—psychoanalytic, behavioristic—and found these concepts quite inadequate to map the richness and breadth of expanded consciousness. To understand our findings we have finally been forced back on a language and point of view quite alien to us who are trained in the traditions of mechanistic objective psychology. We have had to return again and again to the nondualistic conceptions of Eastern philosophy, a theory of mind made more explicit and familiar in our Western world by Bergson, Aldous Huxley, and Alan Watts. In the first part of this book Mr. Watts presents with beautiful clarity this theory of consciousness, which we have seen confirmed in the accounts of our research subjects—philosophers, unlettered convicts, housewives, intellectuals, alcoholics. The leap across entangling thickets of the verbal, to identify with the totality of the experienced, is a phenomenon reported over and over by these persons.”
Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
“True, the seed does not intend to move itself with the wind, but neither did I intend to have arms and legs.”
Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
“Yet could anything be more obvious than that the past follows from the present like a comet's tail, and that if we are to be alive at all, here is the place to be?”
Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
“I am not looking at the world, not confronting it; I am knowing it by a continuous process of transforming it into myself, so that everything around me, the whole globe of space, no longer feels away from me but in the middle.”
Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
“To begin with, this world has a different kind of time. It is the time of biological rhythm, not
of the clock and all that goes with the clock. There is no hurry. Our sense of time is
notoriously subjective and thus dependent upon the quality of our attention, whether of
interest or boredom, and upon the alignment of our behavior in terms of routines, goals, and deadlines. Here the present is self-sufficient, but it is not a static present. It is a
dancing present, the unfolding of a pattern which has no specific destination in the future
but is simply its own point. It leaves and arrives simultaneously, and the seed is as much
the goal as the flower. There is therefore time to perceive every detail of the movement
with infinitely greater richness of articulation. Normally we do not so much look at things as
overlook them.”
― Alan W Watts”
Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
“No one wants to be loved out of a sense of duty.”
Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
“It is generally forgotten that our guarantees of religious freedom were designed to protect precisely those who were not members of established denominations, but rather such (then) screwball and subversive individuals as Quakers, Shakers, Levellers, and Anabaptists. There is little question that those who use cannabis or other psychedelics with religious intent are now members of a persecuted religion which appears to the rest of society as a grave menace to “mental health,” as distinct from the old-fashioned “immortal soul.” But it’s the same old story.”
Alan W. Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness