As it’s Friday, today’s post is something a bit different – perhaps a bit controversial. Learning is best when it's a natural part of being, rather than something 'other', an objective or a target. Alan Watts’ distinctive voice takes you to a different rhythm of being, if you let it. Though the philosopher died in 1973, his message is profoundly relevant in our hectic, ‘driven’ 21st century lives.
Essentially his point, beautifully made in this video, is that we must savour every day. Life is not a journey to a fixed point. At work we strive, we learn, we produce, we deliver, we achieve, we arrive … “It’s coming, it’s coming, that great thing. The success you’re working for.”
But we need to take care that we do not accidentally forget what matters. A life lived on a treadmill is even worse than a journey. And life cannot be solely about striving to reach a destination… The ‘end game’ does not really exist and we risk losing out on something far more valuable.
“… we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.”
While, of course, we often do need to focus intently and intensely, we also need to look up and out. Alan Watts’ joyful reminder that life is like music, and each moment matters, is a heartening lesson. Particularly for a Friday.
(I’m off to get the train home. Sometimes it actually is about the journey!)