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An interesting quote by Alan Watts

"There is no fate unless there is someone or something to be fated. There is no trap without someone to be caught. There is, indeed, no compulsion unless there is also freedom of choice, for the sensation of behaving involuntarily is known only by contrast with that of behaving voluntarily. Thus when the line between myself and what happens to me is dissolved and there is no stronghold left for an ego even as a passive witness, I find myself not in a world but as a world which is neither compulsive nor capricious. What happens is neither automatic nor arbitrary: it just happens, and all happenings are mutually interdependent in a way that seems unbelievably harmonious. Every this goes with every that. Without others there is no self, and without somewhere else there is no here, so that — in this sense — self is other and here is there."

Tomfoolery33 9 Sep 25

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4 comments

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1

Reading this quote of amorphous vaguery evokes feelings of ... Jell-O.

1

I find this statement to filled with false equivalencies and logical fallacies.
To take the first example, a trap requires prey, since a trap need not necessarily be used to capture, it can indeed be for the purposes of deception or execution for example.
How does this concept of a trap equate with fate?
Fate implies a degree of predestination, though not so unalterable as destiny itself. Therefore fate is not a trap more a funneling force, a guidance.
Likewise freedom of choice does is not indicative of compulsion any more than heat is indicative of cold, only a given understanding of compulsion such as as a simile for an act of tyranny.

The second stanza seems to be attempting to draw some esoteric maxim, that verges on the eastern mystical concept of the holistic self, being superior to an objective or even subject life view. Drawing from this the contention that ego is a false or at least social construct that allows negativity to become a guiding force in consciousness.
This is inherent nonsense.

Finally relying on the two previous points the conclusion is drawn that reality has an inherent though random interconnectedness that is both at once ordered and chaotic, thus indicating that the order of the all is in fact a serendipitous accident.
It is much simpler to simply agree with Friedrich Nietzsche that order emerges from chaos naturally.

How the conclusion is drawn that there is no "I" without there being an "other" or no "here" without there being a "there" to compare with, from the given contentions is a mystery to me, especially when followed up with a direct contradiction "here" is "there" and "self" is 2other".
Proceeding from the premise that I think there for I am aware of the proximity of thought, is a far better starting point than this contrived mess.

I disagree.

@tnorman1236 Which is fine 🙂 Finding thoughts interesting need not necessarily indicate agreement, but I can still appreciate the expression, postulations and inductions.

2

Seem like deep thinkers like a lot of us on this website would understand and digest this mentally. I think for most people this would fly right over their head.

3

Reading sentences like these I never know whether they are expressing a deep wisdom or whether it is just a caricature of deep wisdom (or the writer's idea of deep wisdom)

It seems to me to be wisdom, and I've experienced what he's saying, so if nothing else, it's relatable to me.

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