Alan Watts on Specialization

Juli Kearns Everyday Stories Leave a Comment

“The price that we pay for specialization in conscious attention is ignorance for everything outside its field…for if you concentrate on a figure you tend to ignore the background. You can, therefore, see the world in a disintegrated aspect. You take separate things and events seriously, imagining that these really do exist, when actually they have the same kind of existence as an individual’s interpretation of a Rorschach blot. They’re what you make out of it. In fact, our physical world is a system of inseparable differences. Everything exists with everything else. But we contrive not to notice that…what is noticed by us is what appears to be significant and the rest is ignored…and as a result of that we select from total input…of our senses a very small input and this causes us to believe that we are separate beings, isolated by the boundary of the epidermis, from the rest of the world. This is also the mechanism in not noticing that black and white go together…and what goes on inside your skin is inseparable from what goes on outside.”

Alan Watts – “The Coincidence of Opposites #1”

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