Notes from The Book on the taboo against knowing who you are? — Alan Watts

My Question before I read the book

· Why is knowing yourself a taboo?

· What does knowing yourself mean?

· What should I use as my life’s compass? can this book help?

· Should I print books?


· Ocean waves, universe peoples.

· The book doesn’t have any page numbers. I had printed the book and didn’t bind the pages. When I began, wind blew away many of the pages. I was left with pages all over the garden without any numbering. But I read through and sort of jigsaw puzzled the whole book. The game of jigsaw puzzle book. Would someone after reading a book be able to sequence the pages correctly?

· There is no other, but the opposites are the poles of same things.

· The more I try to separate myself my poles, the more I suffer. Because its simply impossible or artificial, like trying to break a magnet into half. But it would never happen and I would madden myself trying to do it. Like getting rid of my lazier, impulsive side.

· You rather believe in god, because if he does exist then you are on the winning side, and if he doesn’t — it doesn’t matter.

· One day I was grinding red chilli and mixed it up with my bare palms. It burned my palms for next 3 hours. I tried water, flour, mud, oil, sugar, Vaseline, soaps and what not. For those 3 hours my attention was narrowed down to solving that one problem. I only thought from the frame of the pain in my palms. I conclude this is how the focused attention of humans works. It keeps moving from one thing to other. It cant focus on he whole, but only the part. Now if we were to create the super AI, it would be able to be conscious of everything. But how the super AI do that — one way would be that it would assign different scripts/processing power for each field. That is what each human is right? Through each human the universe explores it self. We are part of the same super AI. We cant be the super AI because we are limited by our body and brain.

· If you repeat something too may times, brain forms a memory and starts repeating that.

· Rainbow needs three things to exist, sunlight, prism and human perception. So for anything to exist or happen, it requires human perception as a matter of saying.

· The game of one-upmanship is futile. Repeat. Repeat again. Don’t engage in that.

· Everybody is part of the same thing of which I am also the part.

· The universe is a game. That ‘God is playing with itself’. This thing is a automatic taboo, because it disrupts the game. But when the game becomes too violent, it is important to remind the players. This form of spirituality may actually be useful in controlling the violent players in the system.


My questions after reading

· Is Super AI the natural conclusion of humanity?

· How can I share the idea of disengaging from the game of one-upmanship?

· How do I stay away from the game of spiritual one-upmanship?

· What comes in the way of my truly believing and acting from the spirit that the universe is a game?

· If I shared the ideas of this book to a layman, a school teacher, a dalit worker, a rich startup guy, how would each one react?

Quotes from the book