I was fortunate enough to meet him way back in the 1960s; what he has to say is still as relevant today as it was back then, perhaps even more so as most people seem to be desperately trying to conform to the currently “perceived wisdom” of normality!
Everything is counted in money. Did you notice that Hurricane Sandy was counted in money within 30 seconds of the news reader beginning to tell us about it? It’s been like this for a long while now – the tsunami was costed in money within minutes of the news being announced. We are so used to everything being about money that we think it’s normal … and appropriate! This is terrible!
Children are taught to do everything because of money; their education is chosen by how well it will help them “get on in the world” … meaning how much money can they earn. They go to university because it will help them get “a better job”, “earn more money” – although this is certainly not true – and that, to “have a good job” and “earn lots of money” is their whole ambition in life. This is terrible!
As Alan Watts says, we put ourselves in this prison, on this treadmill, of doing what doesn’t make our hearts sing, in order to earn more money, buy more things, and keep on having to do it to stay where we are. All retch and no vomit, as Watts says! And we rarely even consider just how insane this is. We take on and live in the shibboleths of our society and live our lives to conform to them; we are afraid to think for ourselves, to be ourselves. This is cutting off your toes and heels to try to fit your foot into the glass slipper as Cinderella’s sisters did.
Until this changes, until we learn to only do what makes our hearts sing and not to be swayed by what anyone else says we will all suffer and be miserable. Sickness and crime are largely caused by this, by greed for money, and trying to fit yourself into someone else’s script. Governments rely on us doing this in order to control us; business relies on us doing this so we buy what they tell us to and keep them rich; any hierarchical organisation relies on us conforming so we keep it in power. We believe the lies it tells us and have a go at anyone who does not conform … because they frighten us, they make something deep in our souls query our current lifestyle, they suggest we might be able to change too. Human beings are far worse than cats about change! Cats try to avoid it; humans actively and often viciously try to suppress it.
Try it, just for a day, try to do only what makes your heart sing.
How does it feel?
How hard is it to do?
What does it make you feel when you find yourself going at odds with those around you?
How do they treat you?
Does this experience tell you things about how “nice” and “kind” humans are to those who disagree with them ???
Life would be so very different if we all did only what makes our hearts sing …