Most of us have the sensation that “I myself” is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body , a center which “confronts” an “external” world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion. “I came into this world.” “You must face reality.” “The conquest of nature.”
The first result of this illusion is that our attitude to the world “outside” us is largely hostile. We are forever “conquering” nature, space, mountains, deserts, bacteria, and insects instead of learning to cooperate with them in a harmonious order.
The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.
We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.
~ Alan Watts
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