Alan Watts - Veil of Thoughts III

Alan Watts - Veil of Thoughts III

Well, now, we’ve been discussing—in two sessions—the ways in which thought can conceal truth, and so now we have to come to the other aspect of the problem, which is: how to get un-bamboozled. And I often say that, in a way, this is the wrong question because it reminds me of the famous tale about the American tourist in England who wanted to find a way to obscure a little village called Upper Tuddenham. And he asked a local yokel the way, and the man scratched his head and said, “Well, sir, I do know the way, but if I were you I wouldn’t start from here.” And the problem, therefore, of what to do is, in a way, the wrong question. Because—as I pointed out yesterday—you have to begin with the assumption that you can’t do anything. You can’t change yourself because the whole idea involves a sort of schizy situation where this “I” is going to change “me.” And this is where the genius of Krishnamurti comes out, where he won’t give anyone a method. And, actually, he gets you into the meditation process by pretending not to. He’s a real tricky character! Very, very great guru, except that nobody really knows what to do with him. Because whenever you suggest that there might be something that you could do to bring your mind to tranquility or your heart to the knowledge of the ultimate reality, he says simply, “Well, why do you want to? Find out why you want to.” And then he gives you a kōan. And, in a way, this gets you meditating naturally instead of it being a kind of artificial process; you get so bugged by this questioning that you are involved in the kōan process right away. And he’s very insistent about this.

The Buddhist theory is not cause and effect, it is called pratītyasamutpāda. And that means “interdependent origination.” In other words: when the wind blows, the trees move. This is not two events, but one. Wind blowing and trees waving are all the same process.

- Alan Watts - Veil of Thoughts III

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