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School of Art faculty candidate lectures, 4: Finalists for the Japanese art faculty position in the art history division meet the public in Room of the Art Building. The School of Drama presents a play by David Edgar, directed by Andrew McGinn, about a mysterious church fresco discovered in a Balkan country that may rewrite the history of art. In the Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse. Watch a video about the show.
Jazz Innovations II, 7: Student jazz ensembles pay homage to the icons of jazz and break new ground with original progressive jazz compositions. Breakfast at the Jake, a. The Jacob Lawrence Gallery invites all for coffee, tea, juice and pastries in an event organized by the Undergraduate Art History Society. Developed for the Henry Art Gallery, the exhibit by designer and artist Anna Telcs extends her research comparing lateth-century undergarment construction and tailoring techniques with contemporary layered street fashion. In order for the consciousness to hide itself from itself, the entire universe is brought into being by itself and from itself, in order to experience the infinitude of possibilities of itself.
Strangely enough, and what makes for one of the most fascinated studies in experimental psychology, is the laboratory observations of what is first described as the multiplex personality. The multiplex personality is a term coined by F. Myers and was adopted with different terminology by William James as a basis for some the first experiments in psychology in the United States after developments already observed in France and England Taylor, , In the laboratory, a participant would be hypnotized and a veil would be placed between their head and their hand.
The hand would then be given a pencil to write with. Experimenters would then prick the hand with a pin, and the hand would write that it was being hurt by the pin while at the same time another experimenter would interview the head, which would have no knowledge of the hand or any pain or discomfort at all. The implications of these type of experiments are profound and a full discussion too lengthy for this paper. Briefly, mystical traditions throughout the world, such as the Hindu description of hide and seek that Watts is expounding upon, have similar insights and similar themes Chodkiewicz, ; Zaehner, Therefore I created the Creation that I might be known.
The idea of consciousness hiding itself from itself theosis that it might come to better know and love itself is a profound and baffling mystery. The spiritual experience of the merging of knower and the known-- lover and the beloved--is also an interesting topic specialized for the purview of psychological exploration: These questions of identity and mystical union, more of a transpersonal nature and theme, give rise to the theme of understanding existential identity, and the relation of worldview to self, uberwelt unt eigenwelt.
In the phenomenological discussions of Husserl and Heidegger that form a scientific foundation for existential and phenomenological psychology, this issue of solipsism is also raised. According to Boileau , Heidegger removed Cartesian flaws in thinking about the self in relation to others from existential thought. From the Cartesian basis, Husserl fell into a type of problem where others--as experienced in relation to the self-- were viewed as a type of doppelganger phenomena. In other words, a type of solipsism was suggested where the self only saw other versions of the self duplicated in other people.
In contrast, Heidegger argues that the self is never alone and that it does not come to be except in relation to Others. For Heidegger, the world is foundationally that which I share with Others. Against Husserl, he argued that we do not first constitute isolated subjectivity, then derivatively attain empathy as a function of being-with these Others.
Instead, empathy is first possible on the primordial basis of being with Others. For Heidegger, because being-with is fundamental, each human is in the world essentially for Others. This is the case because we are inextricably tied to Others at the very base of our humanity and our existence. That what I am involves what you are. We define each other. We are all backs and fronts to each other.
Take one away and the other falls. And so in exactly that way, we and our environment, and all of us and each other, are interdependent systems. We know who we are in terms of other people. We all lock together. And any good scientist knows, therefore, what you call the external world is as much you as your own body. The idea of self takes on many forms and approaches. From the tradition of Hebrew Kabbalah the Ultimately Real is conceived Ayin which is a form of inconceivable emptiness, indicating the unfathomable mysterious source, which is then indentified with ayin as the concept of perfected no-self.
This may be similar to Buddhist conceptions of Sunyata and the concept of no-self, anatta, or not-self: Think of yourself as Ayin and forget yourself totally. Then you can transcend time, rising to the world of thought, where all is equal: Such is not the case if you are attached to the material nature of this world.
No vessel can contain God, unless you think of yourself as Ayin. In practice the majority of clients have experiences with these types of existential and transpersonal themes. Watts contributes to the process of what it means to be human and the idea that individuation in relation to human unity remains a key dynamic in personal development and spiritual growth. The Earth as a Living Organism Returning to the concept of the universe as a living organism, we have with that the idea of the earth itself as a living organism.
Gaia is the ancient Greek term for earth, and here Gaia is meant as referring to the earth as a living organism.
In my understanding of Gaia--which is indicated by Watts in his lecture--the rocks are like its bones, the rivers like its blood, the wind its breath, the flora and fauna like the microbes and cells of muscle and skin, and the appearance of people as the brain and mind of the planetary being. From this perspective is formulated a psychological conception of global collective consciousness related to all the people of the world in varying states and degrees of consciousness and unconsciousness.
If the appearance of human beings is like the appearance of the brain and the mind in the universe, dis-corporation at physical death may indicate a migration into the deeper condition of the pure-mind side of the experience of human reality. For Alan Watts, the appearance and journey of the human being is purposeful and essential. The human reality is the end known in the beginning of cosmic and universal process: In a similar way, although in the development of a physical system there may by billions of years between the creation of the most primitive form of energy and then the arrival of intelligent life, that billions of years is just the same things as the trip of that current around the wire.
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Takes a bit of time. It takes time for an acorn to turn into an oak, but the oak is already implied in the acorn. And so in any lump of rock floating about in space, there is implicit human intelligence. They all go together. Upon the apples separation from the tree, the apple yields forth its own life and itself is gradually transformed into a tree of its own substance and reality in its new relation to favorable conditions.
In the Dramatic worldview of Alan Watts: On the one hand we have the existential limitations of reality, and on the other hand we have the conceptions of transcendence of those very same limitations. These two go together hand-in-hand as two parts of one same open-ended system. Grundformen und erkenntnis mensclichen daseins.
The case of Ellen West. The quest of phenomenology, Heidegger, intersubjectivity, and solipsism [Web log post]. The story of civilization, Vol. The age of faith: New metaphysical foundations of modern science. Institute of Noetic Science. Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal, 21, The knowing of things together.
Psychological Review, 2 2 , Philosophical conceptions and practical results. University Chronicle, Berkeley, 1 4 , The Varieties of religious experience: Hibbert lectures at Manchester College on the present situation in philosophy pp. Longmans, Green, and Company. The collected works of C. Three faces of being: Toward and existential clinical psychology.
Dancing with the trickster: Notes for a transpersonal autobiography. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 21, The unique state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 4, Consciousness and the universe: The Yogi Publication Society. From autopoiesis to neurophenomenology: Biological Research, 36, Cultural psychology--What is it?
Essays on comparative human development pp. Overcoming the obstacles to human potential. The end of materialism. William James on exceptional mental states. William James on consciousness beyond the margin. A psychology of spiritual healing. The language of metaphysical experience. Journal of Religious Thought, 10 2 , The nature of consciousness. On Out of your mind: Essential listening from the Alan Watts audio archives [CD]. Psychotherapy East and West. The two hands of God: The myths of polarity.
A study in the necessity of mystical religion. In my own way: The web of life. An ur-text is defined as an original text especially without modification or additions. The necessary modifications to the text that I have made are all artifacts to the process of transcription: These Alan Watts lectures were recorded during the late s in the home of Alan Watts, an old ferryboat in Sausalito, California.
This transcription is from discs 1 and 2. Two Phases of the Same Thing You are Continuous with the Universe Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. Now, the first thing, though, that we have to do is to get our perspectives with some background about the basic ideas which as Westerners living today in the United States influence our everyday common sense, our fundamental notions about what life is about.
And there are historical origins for this which influence us more strongly than most people realize. Ideas of the world which are built into the very nature of the language we use, and of our ideas of logic, and of what makes sense altogether. And these basic ideas I call myth, not using the word myth to mean simply something untrue, but to use the word myth in a more powerful sense. A myth is an image in terms of which we try to make sense of the world. And we at present are living under the influence of two very powerful images which are in the present state of scientific knowledge inadequate.
Well, that is what I am going to talk about. And I am going to go further than that, not only what image of the world to have, but how we can get our sensations and our feelings, in accordance with the most sensible image of the world that we can manage to conceive. The Myth of the Ceramic Model The Ceramic model of the universe is based on the book of Genesis, from which Judaism, Islam, and Christianity derive their basic picture of the world.
And the image of the world in the book of Genesis is that the world is an artifact.
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It is made, as a potter takes clay and forms pots out of it, or as a carpenter takes wood and makes tables and chairs out of it. And also the son of God. So the image of God and of the world is based on the idea of God as a technician, potter, carpenter, architect, who has in mind a plan, and who fashions the universe in accordance with that plan.
So basic to this image of the world is the notion, you see, that the world consists of stuff, basically. Primordial matter, substance, stuff. As pots are made of clay. And the potter imposes his will on it, and makes it become whatever he wants. And so in the book of Genesis, the lord God creates Adam out of the dust of the Earth. In other words, he makes a clay figurine, and then he breathes into it, and it becomes alive. And because the clay becomes in-formed. By itself it is formless, it has no intelligence, and therefore it requires an external intelligence and an external energy to bring it to life and to put some sense into it.
You see, when you make something, you put it together, you arrange parts, or you work from the outside in, as a sculpture works on a stone, or as a potter works on clay. But when you watch something growing, it works in exactly the opposite direction. It works from the inside to the outside.
And it happens all over itself at once. And so there is for that reason a fundamental difference between the made and the maker. And this image, this Ceramic model of the universe, originated in cultures where the form of government was monarchical, and where, therefore, the maker of the universe was conceived also at the same time in the image of the king of the universe. And so, all those people who are oriented to the universe in that way feel related to basic reality as a subject to a king.
And so they are on very, very humble terms in relation to whatever it is that works all this thing. I find it odd, in the United States, that people who are citizens of a republic have a monarchical theory of the universe. Because we are carrying over from very ancient near- Eastern cultures, the notion that the lord of the universe must be respected in a certain way. And the man who rules you all is the biggest crook in the bunch. So naturally, the real boss sits with his back to the wall and his henchmen on either side of him.
And so when you design a church, what does it look like? And the altar is the throne and the priest is the chief vizier of the court, and he is making obeisance to the throne, but there is the throne of God, the altar. And all the people are facing it, and kneeling down. And a great Catholic cathedral is called a basilica, from the Greek basileus, which means king. So a basilica is the house of a king, and the rituals of the Catholic church is based on the court rituals of Byzantium. A Protestant church is a little different. The furniture of a Protestant church is based on a judicial courthouse.
The pulpit, the judge in an American court wears a black robe, he wears exactly the same dress as a Protestant minister. The Ceramic image of the world ran into trouble. And changed into what I call the Fully- Automatic model or image of the world. In other words, Western science was based on the idea that there are laws of nature, and got that idea from Judaism and Christianity and Islam.
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That in other words, the potter, the maker of the world in the beginning of things laid down the laws, and the law of God, which is also the law of nature, is called the logos. And in Christianity, the logos is the second person of the trinity, incarnate as Jesus Christ, who thereby is the perfect exemplar of the divine law.
So we have tended to think of all natural phenomena as responding to laws, as if, in other words, the laws of the world were like the rails on which a streetcar or a tram or a train runs, and these things exist in a certain way, and all events respond to these laws. You know that limerick: Well, in the 18th century, Western intellectuals began to suspect this idea.
What they suspected is whether there is a lawmaker, whether there is an architect of the universe.
Three Lectures on the Mystery Dramas
Because the hypothesis of God does not help us to make any predictions. And to do this, and to make successful predictions, you do not need God as a hypothesis. Because it makes no difference to anything. And so what they did was drop that hypothesis. But they kept the hypothesis of law. And so what they did was got rid of the lawmaker and kept the law. And so they conceived the universe in terms of a mechanism. Something, in other words, that is functioning according to regular, clocklike mechanical principles. The atoms are billiard balls, and they bang each other around.
And so your behavior, every individual therefore is defined as a very, very complex arrangement of billiard balls being banged around by everything else. And so behind the Fully-Automatic model of the universe is the notion that reality itself is, to use the favorite term of 19th century scientists, blind energy. With values, with reason, with languages, with cultures, and with love. Like, you know, monkeys typing on typewriters for a million years will eventually type the Encyclopedia Britannica.
And of course the moment they stop typing the Encyclopedia Britannica, they will relapse into nonsense. And so we get a culture based on the idea of the war between man and nature. And so we talk about the conquest of space. The conquest of Everest. And the great symbols of our culture are the rocket and the bulldozer. The rocket--you know, compensation for the sexually inadequate male.
Aided by telescopes, aided by radio astronomy, aided by all the kind of sensitive instruments we can devise. And so we put on this great show of being a tough guy. Because after all, you are a symptom of nature. You, as a human being, you grow out of this physical universe in just exactly the same way an apple grows off an apple tree.
And a world in which human beings arrive is a world that peoples. And so the existence of people is symptomatic of the kind of universe we live in. But we have been brought up by reason of our two great myths--the Ceramic and the Fully-Automatic--not to feel that we belong in the world. Belonging In the World Our popular speech reflects it. You came out of it. And the average person has the sensation that he is a somewhat that exists inside a bag of skin. But there are all those people over in Asia, and Africa, and they may not really be people.
Machines, maybe, but not people. But we have this hostility to the external world because of the superstition, the myth, the absolutely unfounded theory that you, yourself, exist only inside your skin. There are astronomers who say there was a primordial explosion, an enormous bang billions of years ago which flung all the galaxies into space. And all that ink spreads. And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets are finer and finer and make more complicated patterns. So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread.
And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. But so we define ourselves as being only that.
Three Lectures on the Mystery Dramas
If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlicue, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. It depends how you define yourself. You are actually--if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning--you are not something that is a result of the big bang on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are.
When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as--Mr. That is to say separate things, or separate events. That that is only a way of talking. There are no nouns in the physical world. There are no separate things in the physical world, either. The physical world is wiggly. Clouds, mountains, trees, people, are all wiggly. But here we are, sitting in this room all built out of straight lines, but each one of us is as wiggly as all get-out.
You try and pick up a fish in your hands, and the fish is wiggly and it slips out. What do you do to get hold of the fish? You use a net. And so the net is the basic thing we have for getting hold of the wiggly world. And I can number the holes in a net. So many holes up, so many holes across. And if I can number these holes, I can count exactly where each wiggle is, in terms of a hole in that net.
And so these bits are things or events. Which I mark out in order to talk about the wiggle. In order to measure it and therefore in order to control it. But you have to cut the chicken up in order to eat it. You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean. The ocean waves, and the universe peoples. Being based on a myth that we are made, that we are parts, that we are things, our consciousness has been influenced, so that each one of us does not feel that. Consensus Trance We have been hypnotized, literally hypnotized by social convention into feeling and sensing that we exist only inside our skins.
That we are not the original bang, but just something out on the end of it. And that would be awful. And therefore everybody feels unhappy and miserable. This is what people really believe today. But if you really believed in Christianity, you would be screaming in the streets. You would be taking full-page ads in the paper every day. You would have the most terrifying television programs. The churches would be going out of their minds if they really believed what they teach. They think they ought to believe what they teach. And that is our basic plausible common sense. You are a fluke. You are a separate event.
Now why does anybody think that way? They want to play a certain game. The game of God got embarrassing. The idea if God as the potter, as the architect of the universe, is good. It makes you feel that life is, after all, important. There is someone who cares. It has meaning, it has sense, and you are valuable in the eyes of the father. But after a while, it gets embarrassing, and you realize that everything you do is being watched by God. Then you feel terrible after that, because you got rid of God, but that means you got rid of yourself. Camus said there is only one serious philosophical question, which is whether or not to commit suicide.
I think there are four or five serious philosophical questions. The first one is: Are we going to make it? Where are we going to put it? But still, should you or not commit suicide? This is a good question. And you only go on if the game is worth the gamble. Now the universe has been going on for an incredible long time.
And so really, a satisfactory theory of the universe has to be one that is worth betting on. That is, it seems to me, a very absolutely elementary common sense.
Otherwise there is no point in it. But the people who coined the Fully-Automatic theory of the universe were playing a very funny game.