I really wanted to like Alan Watts speech, but it only managed to sadden me in a kind of soothing calm way.
I can feel the intent and the clear destination of his speech even when he is talking a lot about bypassing the idea of getting to an end or destination in life. Alan Watts abhors the linearity of time and space, that for sure. He seems to love improvisation and probably he loves the stream of consciousness as a literary writing style.
The problems I often find with philosophical ideas (and I am not exempted from such errors) is that they can be expressed with such elegance to resemble both, sounding common sense and sounding scientific assertions, but they often falter in both.
As Alan Watts entertain himself in the elegance and "free flow" of his words to match the content of something that is actually meaningful he is not being accurate.
The physical universe is not predetermined, it does not have a plan or conscious destiny. We agree on that, yet, the physical universe, the one we know so far, is going somewhere and it is very important for us to know that.
The physical universe is slowly decaying away by the laws of entropy and that says something fundamental about us which Alan Watts kept overlooking in his speech as he measures up our pressures with time and grades.
Dance, music and many other crafts are just a form of order that we put back into a universe as it continues to increase in disorder while the arrow of time is heading in one direction.
The universe is not only best understood by analogy with music or dance, but the universe is also best understood by analogy with any human craft which shows excellence and resonance with the totality of its existence.
Not all music and dance is what Watts wishes for. There is some kind of music and dance which require initial steps and finales, Watts knows that, he is just contentiously ignoring it.
In music, many times you are trying to get somewhere as you learn and when you travel you not always do it to get somewhere, sometimes you do it to run away from somewhere or literally go anywhere.
The whole point of many dances is to learn the basic steps so that you can improvise later. Many dances and many musical compositions are not based on pure improvisation as Watts wants us to believe. Learning is very important even when it is not everything and each of us should learn our own way.
It is ok that the schooling system is graded, it just needs to consider each child as an individual who does not learn at the same pace nor learns in the same way as every other child.
It is true, we should live more in the moment, in the now, but I am afraid that the fact that we set the wrong scope to value our destination shouldn't hinder one bit our eagerness to foresee our own future and prepare for it.
Alan Watts, we as biological spiritual entities are fighter of entropy, but we need to physically recognize that it exists and it tends to increase linearly for us to really create all the dance and music you are so much fond of.
NONSENSE BAG OF TRICKS.
Nonsense is not really the opposite of sense, it is just a sensical way of questioning sense, generating a differential that manifests sense as truly fluid, as truly out of sense, there where even nonsense becomes nonsensical.
Sense is to nonsense what a moving object is to a stationary object: They are both moving and they are both stationary but in relation to different objects.
IN MADNESS LIES SANITY, RIGHT?
We don't know... We do know... We don't know... We do know...
One thing Alan Watts knows: How to play with ambiguity as he slightly and cautiously leans towards his own certainty while the listener is left puzzled in the unknown, but marvelled at Alan Watts wisdom, which by the way say little, but definitely say something: He knows.
The truth of the matter: You always know and you often don't know. It all depends on your ability to quantify knowledge and stop applying a general rule for everything.
There is a power in oxymorons, and Watts is definitely playing with them, in which the universe through utterances and as utterances, is dissolved beyond us leaning more towards a final utterance of "letting go" of "surrender" and of "having power".
What Watt misses is that both, "holding on" and "letting go" are "oscillators" or a "wave function" of the physical and of the spiritual world of utterances and both create our bond with the universe.
We are born both, "holding on" to life and "letting go". As we "take" "hold on" to a breath of life out of the uterus, we also start a process of oxidation and "letting go" free radicals that push us toward decay.
The airy and subtle feeling I got as I listened to Alan Watts is that we have to surrender to the natural entropy of the universe. He actually referred to entropy and even when he doesn't say it explicitly his words to me favour the weak forces in the universe, which are the weak forces of radioactivity and decay.
Four fundamental forces govern all matter in the universe:
Gravity, electromagnetism the strong and the weak force.
Alan Watts idea of "letting go" and not "holding on" feels to me favouring the weak forces of decay in the universe. I do resist that and it doesn't mean I am trying to "hold on" in a way "out of touch" with the natural processes of the universe. On the contrary, "holding on" is as natural as "letting go". It is in the "weaver", "modulator" and "oscillator" that life has brought into this universe what precisely put us "in touch" with this universe as we know it and act on it.
Not "holding on" too much, not "letting go" too much sometimes. Other times, "letting go" enough and other times, "holding on" with passion and vehemently. That is the "weaver" and also the "waver".
We don't "let go" because after all everything is dissolving. We don't "let go" because at the end we are going to die. It is not the awareness of death and of decaying away what could give us a better understanding of our lives. On the contrary, it is bringing more quality life to life beyond and through our individual existence what could allow us to live a life worth living regardless of whether we are going to die or not, regardless of whether things are decaying away or not.
The fact that we are decaying away can't be a foundational principle for "letting go" and living a life worth living. There is a contrived sadness and an non vital dictum in such principle.
I'm not that much fond of Alan Watts, but in this video I let his voice in without resistance.