Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Quote by: Alan Watts

The message of the preacher, 52 Sundays a year, is “Dear people: be good”. We’ve heard it ad nauseum. Or: “Believe in this…” he may occasionally give a sermon on what happens after death, or the nature of God, but basically the sermon is “be good”. But how? As St. Paul said, “To will is present with me, but how to do that which is good I find not for the good that I would, that I do not, and the evil that I would not, that I do”. How are we going to be changed? Obviously there cannot be a vitality of religion without vital religious experience, and that’s something much more than emoting over singing “Onward Christian Soldiers”. But you see, what happens in our ecclesiastical goings-on is that we run a talking-shop. We pray, we tell God what to do, or give advice (as if he didn’t know). We read the scriptures – and remember, talking of the bible, Jesus said, “you search the scriptures daily, for in them you think you have life”. St. Paul made some rather funny references about the spirit which giveth life, and the letter which kills. I think the bible ought to be ceremoniously and reverently burned every Easter. We need it no more because the Spirit is with us. It’s a dangerous book, and to worship it is, of course, a far more dangerous idolatry than bowing down to images of wood and stone, because nobody in his senses can confuse a wooden image with God, but you can very easily confuse a set of ideas with God, because concepts are more rarified and abstract... So with this endless talking in church, we can preach, but by and large preaching does nothing but excite a sense of anxiety and guilt. And you can’t love out of that. No scolding, no rational demonstration of the right way to behave is going to inspire people with love. Something else must happen. You say “well what are we going to do about it?” DO about it?? You have no faith? Be quiet! Even Quakers aren’t quiet; they sit in meeting and think (at least some of them do). But supposing we are really quiet, we don’t think. Be absolutely silent through and through… You say, “Well, you’ll just fall into a blank!” Oh? Ever tried?
-Alan Watts


Andrew said...

Yeah, the SP guys did his stuff

Mindvalley said...

Nice article.Really you write wonderful stuff.

Alan Watts