All quotes from Alan Watts’

It is quite fundamental to Indian and a great deal of Chinese thinking that space equals consciousness. In other words, what actually we are experiencing as the all-inclusive space in which things happen is your mind. And your mind, of course, is not something inside your head—that is a great mistake to make. Your head is something in your mind.

Since the functioning of the mind in the process of thinking depends upon an outside community, you begin to see that your mind is a network.

What you see outside you and feel outside you is the way you feel inside your skin.

Did you realize how fascinating that is? That if you were God, wouldn’t it be fascinating to see myriads? To know yourself in terms of myriads of reproductions of yourself, all different? And really different! Like other people’s need to be different from you. And they’ve got a secret in them; you don’t know what they’re going to do next. See? So they are alive.

In order to realize, in order to experience the ground of being, you need to be free from images. That is to say, you need to suspend the activity called thinking.

Most people imagine that if they stop thinking, that’s sort of the end: the life of the mind instantly curls up and dies. But this isn’t the case, because there’s a lot more to the mind than thinking. There is this direct apprehension of the world, unmediated through concepts or thoughts.

If you understand that this whole universe is one energy and you’re it, you don’t really have any much in the way of further problems. I mean, you have some few practical problems, like how to make a good table or a beautiful dress or whatever it is that you’re after. But you don’t have any more metaphysical problems when you see that.

We are at the moment looking at space as something to be entered by the tremendous thrust of a rocket. Because that is the attitude of attacking the unknown. And that causes us not to realize that we are already on the most magnificently equipped spaceship which could hardly be improved upon. It has got a source of temperature and energy just at the right distance from it. It’s beautifully equipped with oxygen, with food supplies, with all kinds of delightful things to do while on the journey. And it’s traveling through space at a colossal speed. And it’s called the planet Earth. The art of exploring from the planet Earth depends not on conquering space with rockets and bombs, but on developing greater sensitivity in the place where we are.

Mind and soul and spirit were always vague and formless. And matter, by contrast, was very rugged; craggly. And how these two ever influenced each other, nobody ever could decide. Because all properly behaved ghosts walk straight through brick walls without disturbing either the bricks or the ghost. And so how can a mind incarnate in a material body move that body in any way? This was always a puzzle.

You get a curious, fascinating picture of how things are operating underneath the surface. This is what’s so valuable about studying some science. Take a very so-called simple science, like elementary botany—or, best of all, a kind of elementary course in ecology: plant, microbe, organism relationships—and what you see is this: you see a developing pattern in which everything that happens gets integrated into the whole thing that’s going on.

This is really the whole thing about illusion. Where the ordinary person sees a battle, the enlightened person sees a cooperation between two sides.

An aspect of that—not letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing—is the way we identify ourselves with what’s inside the skin and not with what’s outside it. We identify ourselves as reality with the solid things that we can see, and all the rest is space, and that’s nothing, you see? We characteristically take sides in a situation where both sides are aspects of the situation. Who would take this side? Will you have this or that? Choose. But the sage doesn’t choose, because he says, “Well, there’s no choice here.” He might choose for the sake of going along. You know, like, somebody says, “Well, what would you like to do today? We can go into town and do some marketing or we can stay out here and go swimming.” You don’t care which you do, so you just say one in order to satisfy your host.