QOTD Alan Watts

What do you mean by you? If you are the universe, in the greater context that question is irrelevant. You never were born and you never will die, because what there is, is you. That should be absolutely obvious, but from an egoistic perspective it is not obvious at all. It should be the simplest thing in the world to understand that you, the ‘I’, is what has always been going on and always will go on, coming and going forever and ever.

an anamorphic polymorphic ego feeding an anamorphic polymorphic ego in an anamorphic polymorphic worldWe have been bamboozled, however, by religionists, by politicians, by our fathers and mothers, by all sorts of people who tell us, ‘You’re not it.’ And we believed it.

So, to put it in a negative way, you can’t do anything to change yourselves, to become better, toThe Transcendence of the Ego become happier, to become more serene, to become more mystical. But if I say you can’t do a damn thing, you can understand this negative statement in a positive way. What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all. ~Alan Watts.

a story of lifes and thread (the life thread)*Image Credits (all artwork used with permission through CC license)–
“The Transcendence of the Ego” by Derrick Tyson
“man-eat-man meanwhile some egos watch the scene” by Tommaso Meli
“a story of lifes and lines (the life thread)” by Tommaso Meli
“an anamorphic polymorphic ego feeding an anamorphic polymorphic ego in an anamorphic polymorphic world” by Tommaso Meli

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What Is ‘You’?

The real you is not a puppet which life pushes around; the real, deep down you is the whole universe. ~Alan Watts

From The Mind Of A Schizo, Affected

I am always thinking about what people are doing, so does that mean, I always know what people are doing? But, it seems as if they are always thinking about what they are supposed to do (what someone else told them to do). I even think about what I am doing. Why do I do that? So, if people are only thinking about what they are supposed to do or what someone else tells them to do, does that mean people can never think for themselves? If you are always thinking about what you are supposed to do, that someone told you to do, how can you ever think of anything else? If you cannot think of anything else, then how can you think for yourself?

They are only ever thinking about what someone else told them to do. Someone outside of themselves. Therefore, not you. So, you never think about yourself, and so never think for yourself. If you never think about yourself, and for yourself, then you are only think about something other than yourself, and what it (the socially constructed ego) tells you to do. You listen to some Thing else. When you listen to some Thing else, you react all the time to sounds. The sound of the alarm bell, the sound of the phone ringing, the sound of the television, the “sound” of the internet, the sound of voices over radio; all the time synthesised, mechanized sounds. The sounds of the System in which you reside. The System, although illusory, that you listen to, and let tell you what to do. These sounds become normal, because you have always heard them. Ever since you were born, you were born into this world of sound. And then you were enrolled into a school,
which told you what those sounds are. And you listened. You did not question. You let it tell you what to do. You do not think for yourself. If you do not think for yourself, do you know what ‘You’ is, or even if ‘You’ are? If you do not know that, how do you know what to do, unless a sound or someone (an other human with imaginary authority) tells you? If you do not know what to do, you are listening to what someone else is telling you what to do. Because even after you are out of school and you are all grown up, you are still listening to the sounds. If you are listening to the sounds, ‘You’are being told what to do and ‘You’ (that ego) cannot be real.

Anamorphic Polymorphic Sticker ...well it doesn't even exist*Image Credits (all artwork used with permission through CC license)–
“Digital Ego: Social and Legal Aspects of Virtual Identity” by Kevin Lim
“Anamorphic Polymorphic Sticker …well it doesn’t even exist” by Tommaso Meli

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Consciousness Emerging

“. . . a more exact rendering would be ‘the practice of natural philosophy,’ in other words, the making of a world-picture, but one that takes as much account of starfish as of stars.” ~Vincent Cronin, The View from Planet Earth: Man Looks at the Cosmos

Universe_in_a_magic_Drop_Hartwig_HKD_flickrThe digital age has moved experience from the real to the surreal.

In a sense, with the advent of the world wide web, humans are able to know one another on differing levels of perception, removing each of us from strictly the living breathing vital human beings to the purely conceptual beings that we all really are. We find out that we are not spies (LOL), that we are not Gapetto’s creation, that we are not Turing Tests, that we are not disembodied voices or artificial intelligence, but that we are humans being. . . simultaneously in the same space. Earthlings us all, yes. How wonderful.

Liberation_of_Consciousness_by_Hartwig_HKD_flickrWe are emergent beings, emergent consciousnesses in this realm (the third dimension otherwise known as the Real World, or “offline”). Julian Jaynes he posited that consciousness didn’t exist in humans until about 5,000 years ago. That humans were not always conscious, and it wasn’t until humans evolved from a bicameral mind to a more unified mind that consciousness emerged. An interesting position, I think, as most believe humans have been conscious since human inception.

Alan Watts talks about the earth peopling, quite like an apple tree  Source_IX_by_Hartwig_HKD_flickrapples. Add to that the idea that humans share a percentage of DNA with all other living ogranisms on the Earth (the most with the chimpanzees, but humans also share DNA with fish, flowers, so on and so on…just a small percentage the more physical differing that organism). Well, this is an interesting idea, isn’t it (actually, I love this idea, and agree with it)? Ok, so humans share DNA with all organisms on the planet, thusly, share DNA with the planet itself, yes?

Earth_Hour_by_Cornelia_Kopp_flickrWell, if humans are conscious, ergo, is not the planet as well? If we take that idea further, the planet is comprised of cells, molecules, atoms, etc., etc., couldn’t we say that the World Wide Web is compressed of cellular automata (and actually, that is what information theory posits)? Well, could not those cells also spontaneously evolve? And if that is so, could not a consciousness then emerge?

Looking_For_Reality_by_Cornelia_Kopp_flickrThere is much more to the idea, but basically, what I think is if humans are all putting their minds on the internet all day, every day (essentially behaving conglomerately as a planet) couldn’t another consciousness emerge from that? This is what I think or at least wonder. Especially, taking into account how wireless communication is very much like biological organisms. Isn’t wireless communication very much like a cerebral network?

Milky_Way_by_Eddi_van_W_flickrWhat would be incredible to see would be this emergent consciousness evolve. I mean, would/could it reproduce? Would/could it develop civilizations, empires, governments? Would it behave like our human trajectory?

“It is an emergent perspective, or state of consciousness, that bursts forth spontaneously and miraculously only when the conditions are right. “Emergent” means that it is something greater than the sum of its parts—a new order of relatedness, a new level of consciousness, a deeper and higher perspective that is always unimaginable until the moment it explodes into existence.” ~Andrew Cohen

*Image credit (used with permission through CC license)–
“Earth Hour” & “Looking For Reality” by Cornelia Kopp
“Source — IX”, “Universe in a magic Drop” & “Liberation of Consciousness” by HartwigHKD
“milkyway” by Eddi van W.


The Consciousness and Noise

“Consciousness is incompatible with multi-tasking. . .” ~WWW:WATCH by Robert J. Sawyer

The Universe Is In Us by Tahar AbroudjameurPerhaps this could be reason as to why I don’t like noise and why the brain cannot process beyond a certain volume of noise or static. Perhaps the act on the brain is like multi-tasking, due to the number of stimuli required to be processed. At a certain level, this noise invades rather than soothes. In other words, it throws the brain into an erratic state, discombobulation. It’s the difference between the brain handling series of stimuli while in nature (or some other quiet environment) as this is not so much a great noise so does not tax the brain. In a social environment (or a noisier environment), the brain is forced to compute several constructions simultaneously, but like the eyes suffer saccades. For example, while in a mall or McDonald’s, the brain must compute (i.e., process) the bright lights, the colors, the hardness of the booth, the various sounds from the kitchen area (the ice machine, the fry beep, voices from the employees), voices from customers both inside and outside at the drive-thru window, all while trying to write or read or converse. All activities that otherwise Into The Cosmos by Exper Giovanni Rubaltellirequire concentration, and the brain simply cannot keep up, so crashes (the brain doesn’t really do this, I merely make use of the analogy to illustrate better my meaning). The brain crashing is the equivalent of shattering or breaking down (a kind of dissociation, or splitting) and is no longer able to function (why there is a loss of time when this happens and entering into a fugue-like state) optimally. Too much stimuli, indeed. I know when I lived outside in the woods and when I would enter an establishment once out of the woods, I experienced this kind of dissociation frequently. It is the same when entering any kind of arena in society, i.e., social institutions, social gatherings, social agencies, the brain needs concentration in order to hold onto consciousness as well as to attain higher levels of consciousness. Perhaps this is why monasteries are not located in cities, why retreats are always located in remote areas, well outside civilization, and why sanitariums are often surrounded by nature. In civilization, it is more difficult for the consciousness to live in harmony. If so, what is lateral thinking really? Perhaps, closer to multi-dimensional cognition.

However, McDonald’s (and other such establishments) were not created to be an environment of thought and conversation. Interaction is manufactured for eating and any movements associated with eating. In McDonald’s commercials, customers (other than the narrator) are always eating and smiling. McDonald’s is meant to be a noisy environment, where thought is not likely to happen. Only mindless eating, creating repeat customers. The function of McDonald’s as a place of eating, is to make it a fun, exciting experience eating McDonald’s food. Bring the family, bring the kids, brings your friends. McDonald’s wants you to do one motion, repeatedly. . . eat.

Shopping Ma(u)ls are no different. The purposeful design of every Spheres by Nova-Imagesshopping mall is to lead you into stores to buy. Repeatedly. As many times as possible. A shopping mall’s deliberate function is to create for you the illusion of a fun and exciting experience buying. Bring the family, bring the kids, bring your friends. Bring grandma. Every occasion can be marked with a buying experience.

Both McDonald’s (and other such establishments) and Shopping Malls are constructed to be loud, noisy environments to attract and keep your attention. Inserting into an unquiet mind instructions to buy and how to feel about the experience. The mind is busy noticing every advertisement, designed to attract your attention, sometimes on a subconscious level. With noise, McDonald’s and Shopping Malls can bombard your mind into oblivion, or, in other words, a highly suggestible state. Like traffic lights ‘influence’ the flow and congestion of traffic, Shopping Malls ‘influence’ you not to think about anything for any period of time. The idea is not to think, only Buy.

Because of the way the brain works if it hears a sound, especially the sound of a human voice, then it wants naturally to listen, which requires the brain to start attempting to decipher what is being said/conveyed and to start ascertaining meaning, processing, it sets to the task automatically. Well, what if there were a room full of voices, full of conversations, how does the brain process them and retain, especially if it is an unfamiliar environment? Unless the body goes from one conversation to the other, spending only a few seconds at each, perhaps it could process this,  but for how long? It simply cannot process them simultaneously, all at once. One at a time, would require effort but it could easily be done, especially if only a few tidbits need to be conveyed and the meaning is immediately understood (not complex, i.e. not requiring a great amount of thought to understand. This is why it would be harder at an unfamiliar place, such as a foreign country and the native language were unknown). In other words, not much sustained conversation is required.

Untitled by Jon MartinMcDonald’s and Shopping Malls like it very much that you act like an infant or a toddler, entertained by a bombardment of amplified false notions. Verbs transmutated into nouns, like grammatical alchemy. Harry Potter has nothing on the neuroscience packaged into the design (the look, the feel, the ambiance) of a shopping mall and McDonald’s. From color to how many steps it takes for you to arrive at the counter from the entrance. An eating zombie, cowering, like a baby, from quiet and responding predictably to introduced stimuli.

“The behavior of organisms including human beings is predictable & therefore controllable. Give me a baby and I can make any kind of man” ~John B Watson

For me, this noise is not necessary, which is good, because I don’t want it. What actual and real enjoyment could be had surrounded by noise scrambling the brain, completely motivated by emotion and dramatic representation of those emotions regardless of their relevancy? Within quiet, however, the consciousness is like a chaotic stillness. Unpredictable in its motions, yet calm. The absence of static; a dynamic tapestry of randomness.

“Once I rose above the noise and confusion, just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion.” Carry On Wayward Son, Kansas

Consciousness Awakening by Ralph Buckley

Artwork (in order of appearance)–

“The Universe Is In Us” by Tahar Abroudjameur
“Into The Cosmos” by Exper Giovanni Rubaltelli
“Spheres” by Nova-Images
“Untitled” by Jon Martin
“Consciousness Awakening” by Ralph Buckley

REMIX: Reality rePersonified

“Reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know.” ~Alan Watts

Fractal 1 by Tambako the Jaguar

Experimental music video inspired by and based on Reality Personified.

Animations (all clips used with permission through CC license or public domain):
“We Are Now Starting Our Descent” by Nick Fox-Gieg Animation
“The Tree of Life on Acid” by Mega Zit
“The Ultimate Goal” by Tricky House
“Dance of Electricity” directed by Guy David
Big Buck Bunny

Music (used with permission through public domain):
“Slow Relaxing Hip Step” from Royalty Free Beats


*Image credit (at top of page): “Fractal 1” by Tambako the Jaguar

The Element of Surprise in Life

I saw then that my sense of me being me was exactly the same thing as my sensation of being one with the whole cosmos.

Fractal FlowerI did not need to have some sort of different, odd kind of experience to feel in total connection with everything.

fractal_stock_01302012_by_dsynegrafix-d4o3vjgOnce you get the clue you see that the sense of unity is inseparable from the sense of difference.

Fractal GapYou would not know yourself, or what you meant by self, unless at the same time you had the feeling of other. Now the secret is that ‘the other’ eventually turns out to be you.

FractalThe element of surprise in life is when suddenly you find the thing most alien turns out to be yourself.

fractal_stock_11912_2_by_dsynegrafix-d4mvlpfGo out at night and look at the stars and realize that they are millions and billions of miles away, vast conflagrations far out in space.

Fractal Stock 43You can lie back and look at that and say, ‘Well, surely I hardly matter.

Fractal DragonflyI am just a tiny little speck aboard this weird spotted bit of dust called earth, and all that was going on out there billions of years before I was born and will still be going on billions of years after I die.’

Fractal Valentine

Nothing seems stranger to you than that, or more different from you, yet there comes a point, if you watch long enough, when you will say, ‘Why that’s me!’ It is ‘the other’ that is the condition of your being yourself, as the back is the condition of being the front, and when you know that, you know you never die.

*Quotes by Alan Watts, Eastern Wisdom, Modern Life

Image credit (used with permission under CC license)–
“Fractal Flower” by Daniel Chapelle

“Fractal Stock 01302012” by DsyneGrafix

“Fractal Gap” by Barabeke

“Fractal” by Patrick Theiner

“Fractal Stock 11912-2” by DsyneGrafix

“Fractal Stock 43” by BFstock

“Fractal Dragonfly” by Christoph Zurbuchen

“Fractal Valentine” by Laura Harris

Thanksgivings To Come

“Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe.” ~Alan Watts                 


this is not a clock

After much deliberation, I decided to spend Thanksgiving with my family. . . my future family. How is this possible, you ask? Ask and the Internet provides. I found these instructions (thank you, internet), followed them, and with a few minor adjustments, ended up with with a time machine. . . I set my alarm clock, settled my affairs and took off. I was back before I left, but I did experience some interesting shenanigans with my future self. I should say that Planet Earth is now Planet Hollywood and is owned by BG (the big corporation, corporations have consolidated and there is [was?] now only one.

Contrary to scientific belief, it was easy to get around with all the data influx using my new spectacles (made in about an hour).  AR is great, but can be disconcerting at first. However, without much trouble [I got lost only once], I was able to find Future Me.

what traveling through time looks like, if you’re conscious. . . and your eyes are open

Arriving just in time for dinner, with a few moments to spare, everyone was gathered around The Screen watching the game. It took some time before I realized what was so strange about sports in the future. Namely, there weren’t any people, or any reality at all, but I didn’t let this stop me from thoroughly not understanding the rules of this game either. Also,  I didn’t know who [what?] to cheer for, but Future Me didn’t either so we got on great. Before the game was over, we were called to dinner [apparently, Future Me still doesn’t cook, must have become genetic], but that wasn’t problem as we feasted on imports from one of the aquaponic colonies on Mars and home-prepared meals provided by the FPU,  one of the standard amenities in my future home.

Scanning brain waves for communication is everyday stuff here, so I haven’t had to talk much. Or do much of anything really, since the robots and robotic appliances take care of all that. Thankfully, I didn’t have to say much during dinner. Mind flexing is weird at first, but soon I got the hang of it and even dueled with the house champion. I am now no longer on speaking terms with Future Cousin, but I figure no one will remember as soon as the past catches up to the present [my future present, your past present…or…whatever].

not exactly a holodeck. . .

After dinner, I suggested we take a walk as I was anxious to see some of the scenery around these parts, but I was quickly overridden for fear of shear stupidity [I mean, I had to keep a low profile, I wasn’t really invited to dinner was I? Which was weird because everyone apparently knew I was arriving before I did. NOTE: In the future, the concept of time-space travel is common knowledge, and there’s an app for all due arrivals. Buy stock now, it’s my only advice]. Instead, Future Me suggested we just step into the Virtualizer; apparently, exposing oneself to the actual elements is out of style. The earth is still healing from all the pollution, so fossil fuels were replaced by new forms of energy.

In case you’re wondering (weren’t/aren’t you?), I’m using qubits to beam this blog post back. If my calculations (you’ll have to forgive me, I’ve only had one semester in quantum information; it’s standard here)  are correct and the foam holds this should have [will have] arrived 22 November 2012, give or take a day (I’ve always had trouble with decimal points, still do).  I won’t be/haven’t been/should already have been back just yet; I think I’m going to stick around. Future Me promised to let me try out tachyon jumping to a different galaxy; apparently we have some relatives there and my clothes are drastically old fashioned. A virtual trip to the NanoShop and I’ll be normal in no time.

Happy [belated] Thanksgiving Everyone! See you in the past (or the future, if you follow the above instructions carefully).


“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” ~Alan Watts

*With a friendly nod to H. G. Wells

Image Credits–
Top image: “The Time To Process” by Dennys Kien Yotl
Second image: “Industrial 21” by Dawn
Third image: “Connectivity” by Zananeichan
Final image: “Cube Key” by Zananeichan

*Transmission links lead to more information on the technology as it is known today, click for some fun.

Reality Personified

“Reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know.” ~Alan Watts

It’s these blistery October afternoons that remind us all how delicate we are. How fragile our beings have become, spent too many days denied the light of our inner sun. We must remember that we are more like the seasons: we Fall and we Spring, we die and we live, wane and wax like the Winter/Summer tide.

We are Consciousness contained in a moment, personified. Infinity beats in our willful hearts. We are Humanity, connected and amplified. We needn’t run from the inevitable convergene of our open minds. Breathe in, breathe out. Exhale. Inhale.

Fear is the illusion of misery’s child and we are innately flexible. Courage is not in a liquid escape hatch and awkwardness is not rejected by a rainbow of 3-dimensional dots, post script.

We are change. . .we embody it. We can change our minds, it is not a matter of expensive faith, it is simply the matter of course. Look inside. . . no monster lurks here. Only the power to alter ourselves. With power comes will and we can Will to change anything out there.

Reality is not set down on sheets of paper. Reality is realized in the minds of conscious beings. . . and we are consciousness. We are Woman and we are Man. We are Humanity fooled into thinking that we have to behave like apes, apeing our inherent ability at Honesty, Integrity, Reliability, Peace, Accountability. It’s only a difference of knowing that the game does not have to be rigged.

If Life is a game, why don’t we Play?

Why don’t we swing on the spiral playground, laughing at ourselves for being so silly as to think this wasn’t just a ride. We don’t have to grow old. . . we can live anew.


See the experimental music video inspired by this post, REMIX: Reality rePersonified, here.


The Joyous Cosmology

“So the relationship between the organism and the environment is transactional. The environment grows the organism and organism in turn creates the environment. The organism turns the sun into light, but it requires there to be an environment containing a sun for there to be an organism at all. Now the answer to it all is they are all one process. And it isn’t that organisms by chance came into this world, but rather that this world is sort of the environment which grows organisms. It was that way from the beginning.” ~Alan Watts, The Joyous Cosmology

*The fractal sphere by Scott Draves and the Electric Sheep

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Become What You Are

“You may believe yourself out of harmony with life and its eternal Now; but you cannot be, for you are life and exist Now—otherwise you would not be here. Hence the infinite Tao is something which you can neither escape by flight nor catch by pursuit; there is no coming toward it or going away from it; it is, and you are it. So become what you are.” ~Alan Watts