Notes from reading: Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

I was recommended reading “Wisdom of Insecurity” by Alan Watts from a friend of mine. She insisted that I should read other philosophers as well apart from J Krishnamurti.

These are some my notes from kindle.

  1. It should be clear that eternal life is the realization that the present is the only reality, and that past and future can be distinguished from it in a conventional sense alone.
  2. Nothing is really more inhuman than human relations based on morals.
  3. So long as there is the motive to become something, so long as the mind believes in the possibility of escape from what it is at this moment, there can be no freedom.
  4. The worst part of pain is expecting it and trying to get away from it when it has come.
  5. Choices are usually decisions motivated by pleasure and pain, and the divided mind acts with the sole purpose of getting “I” into pleasure and out of pain.
  6. Death is the epitome of the truth that in each moment we are thrust into the unknown.
  7. The feeling that we stand face-to-face with the world, cut off and set apart, has the greatest influence on thought and action.
  8. We learn nothing of very much importance when it can be explained entirely in terms of past experience.
  9. It is open to all of us in so far as “the mystery of life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
  10. Seeing that there is no escape from the pain, the mind yields to it, absorbs it, and becomes conscious of just pain without any “I” feeling it or resisting it.
  11. To remain stable is to refrain from trying to separate yourself from a pain because you know that you cannot.
  12. The mind has just the same powers, for it has give and can absorb shocks like water or a cushion.
  13. One has to make the experiment to understand that it brings into play altogether new powers of adaptation to life, of literally absorbing pain and insecurity.
  14. You see that calling it “fear” tells you little or nothing about it, for the comparison and the naming is based, not on past experience, but on memory.
  15. Memory never captures the essence, the present intensity, the concrete reality of an experience.
  16. Sorrow can only be compared with the memory of joy, which is not at all the same thing as joy itself.
  17. Had we never known joy, it would be impossible to identify sorrow as sorrow.
  18. To understand joy or fear, you must be wholly and undividedly aware of it.
  19. To understand that there is no security is far more than to agree with the theory that all things change, more even than to observe the transitoriness of life.
  20. The capacity of the brain to foresee the future has much to do with the fear of death.
  21. Human desire tends to be insatiable. We are so anxious for pleasure that we can never get enough of it.
  22. We have been taught to neglect, despise, and violate our bodies, and to put all faith in our brains.
  23. To be passing is to live; to remain and continue is to die.
  24. We fall in love with people and possessions only to be tortured by anxiety for them.
  25. We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.
  26. The present cannot be lived happily unless the past has been “cleared up” and the future is bright with promise.
  27. What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?
  28. Human beings appear to be happy just so long as they have a future to which they can look forward—whether it be a “good time” tomorrow or an everlasting life beyond the grave.
  29. Tomorrow can have no significance at all unless you are in full contact with the reality of the present, since it is in the present and only in the present that you live.”

After reading this I realized Alan Watts saying all things what I have read in J Krishnamurti.