Writer, philosopher Alan Watts wrote about being out of our minds. In fact, one of his books was called, Out of Your Mind. He emphasized the word OUT to say that we are more than the vessel we carry around. We are the universe. An energy force that connects everything. You, me the planet and universe.
If you’re not a spiritual person this may not resonate with you or for that matter, you may simple not believe what he’s saying to be true.
Apart from being a philosopher, Watts led an interesting life. And ironically one (at times) that seemed contradictory to his beliefs.
I believe that he was so aware of himself and the universe that the idea was simply too complex for him to lead a ‘normal’ everyday life. It probably seemed absurd to him.
He certainly wanted to live on his own terms. He wanted control over the outcome of his life. He wanted to decide when to pack it in and move out into the universe. And he did. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not referring to out meaning death, he just knew something that we didn’t. As well, he didn’t fear death nor life for that matter.
What I like about his writing and teachings is that we’re all connected. We have a vibe, an energy that needs to attach itself (ourselves) to others, or at the very least to something.
The struggle is perhaps with us.
This then begs the questions, “Do you know, and are you comfortable with who we are?” It seems that we have a much easier time relating and connecting with others than we do with ourselves. Which isn’t new, as we tend to care for others better than we do ourselves. I’m not sure that’s a selfless act. It could be a deflection. I don’t believe it’s selfish to care for ourselves first. In fact, we are healthier and happier when we have a solid nurturing relationship with ourselves to better contribute and serve others more positively.
I think it comes down to how we learned, and what we thought connecting was when we were younger. Did we run away from ourselves, find distraction, or were we able to sit within curiosity and contemplation?
Now, I can’t see a 5-year-old knowing whether they were running away from themselves or contemplating, but I do know that they reacted to things around them. They were intuitive enough to understand what was going on. What they did with that information informed who they (we) are today.
Which brings me back to connecting. More specifically, connecting life. In my observation we tend to narrow ourselves to the life we’re living in the moment. Which, of course is all that we have. But here’s the kicker, and let’s be honest, we don’t actually live our lives that way. We jostle between past, present, and future thinking constantly.
We wake up, we go about our day, eat, poop, sleep and do it all over again. Some lead more complicated lives than others. Some are just trying to survive, while others thrive. It’s not an even playing field. It never has been.
Imagine if we truly understood what connecting life meant in real terms. We would appreciate everything more. We would have deeper relationships and stronger connections. We would find more meaningful aspects of how we wanted to lead our lives. Everything would be more holistic in essence. The term work-life balance wouldn’t exist. In flow would be more of what we strived for. We wouldn’t live such compartmentalized lives. And we wouldn’t define ourselves by what we do rather than who we are.
And yet, until conversations shift in a meaningful way. Until work and relationships are not compartmentalized. Until we change the way we are towards one another. Until racism, ageism, discrimination, and inhumanity to humans aren’t abolished, we will not fully, if ever, connect life.
When we become more aware of how important it is to connect, we think differently. We become higher thinkers. That’s what Watts knew to be true. Any sense of higher consciousness void of ego creates this conflict within us because we know we’re leading surreal lives when we could be shifting to something more connected. More healthful for humanity. More holistic in its delivery.
My contemplation of this comes from the absurdity of life itself, and how I see it being realized. In knowing this, it’s a mental struggle between connecting life for one’s well-being, and conforming and compromising to the ways life is led. In essence it’s asking, “How do I want to thrive rather than survive in life, knowing what I know?”
One answer is – every day we can strive and lean toward a more contemplative state where we create more flow in our lives.
If every one of us became more mindful of how we play an important part in shifting our mindset, energy, and the way we move in the world and with others – then we would be positively and energetically connecting life.
Something to flow with …