On Seeking God – Alan Watts

Posted by Tania Rodriguez on

For more from Alan Watts on seeking god and more, visit the Alan Watts Electronic University

“It is surely absurd to seek God in terms of a preconceived idea of what God is. To seek thus is only to find what we know already, which is why it is so easy to deceive oneself into all manner of “supernatural” experiences and visions. To believe in God and to look for the God you believe in is simply to seek confirmation of an opinion. To ask for a revelation of God’s will, and then to “test” it by reference to your preconceived moral standards is to make a mockery of asking. You knew the answer already. Seeking for “God” in this way is no more than asking for the stamp of absolute authority and certainty on what you believe in any case, for a guarantee that the unknown and the future will be a continuation of what you want to retain from the past—a bigger and better fortress for “I.” Ein feste Burg!

If we are open only to discoveries which will accord with what we know already, we may as well stay shut. This is why the marvelous achievements of science and technology are of so little real use to us. It is in vain that we can predict and control the course of events in the future, unless we know how to live in the present. It is in vain that doctors prolong life if we spend the extra time being anxious to live still longer. It is in vain that engineers devise faster and easier means of travel if the new sights that we see are merely sorted and understood in terms of old prejudices. It is in vain that we get the power of the atom if we are just to continue in the rut of blowing people up.”

– Alan Watts, excerpt from The Wisdom of Insecurity

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