and the moment you stop thinking,alan watts, 1967
you come into immediate contact with what Korzybski called,
so delightfully, ‘the unspeakable world.’
it’s christmas. i don’t really know what to say except… wow. we made it another year. of course, we’re writing down more things for we didn’t start the fire v2.
but that’s not important right now. right now, we’re in the best part of the year. except for the blizzard coming up but that’s not important.
it’s interesting just what the end of the year means. logically, it means nothing. just another loop on our imaginary time system. another trip around the sun.
emotionally, it’s a reboot. a fresh start, new things to be had, new places to be seen, new memories to be made.
there’s others who can describe it better then me. i leave you with alan watts, a writer, speaker, and philosopher. you can hear and read the full talk here.
“But you know, if you talk all the time, you will never hear what anybody else has to say, and therefore, all you’ll have to talk about is your own conversation.
The same is true for people who think all the time. That means, when I use the word ‘think,’ talking to yourself, subvocal conversation, the constant chit-chat of symbols and images and talk and words inside your skull.
Now, if you do that all the time, you’ll find that you’ve nothing to think about except thinking, and just as you have to stop talking to hear what I have to say, you have to stop thinking to find out what life is about.
And the moment you stop thinking, you come into immediate contact with what Korzybski called, so delightfully, ‘the unspeakable world.’
The most ordinary sights and sounds and smells, the texture of shadows on the floor in front of you. All these things, without being named, and saying ‘that’s a shadow, that’s red, that’s brown, that’s somebody’s foot.’
When you don’t name things anymore, you start seeing them. Because say when a person says ‘I see a leaf,’ immediately, one thinks of a spearhead-shaped thing outlined in black and filled in with flat green. No leaf looks like that. No leaves–leaves are not green.
That’s why Lao-Tzu said ‘the five colors make a man blind, the five tones make a man deaf,’ because if you can only see five colors, you’re blind, and if you can only hear five tones in music, you’re deaf. You see, if you force sound into five tones, you force color into five colors, you’re blind and deaf.
The world of color is infinite, as is the world of sound. And it is only by stopping fixing conceptions on the world of color and the world of sound that you really begin to hear it and see it.
I am not talking about the ordering of ordinary everyday life in a reasonable and methodical way as being schoolteacherish, and saying ‘if you were NICE people, that’s what you would do.’ For heaven’s sake, don’t be nice people.
But the thing is, that unless you do have that basic framework of a certain kind of order, and a certain kind of discipline, the force of liberation will blow the world to pieces. It’s too strong a current for the wire.”
from all of us everywhere, merry christmas, happy hanukkah, and a happy new year. ■