Since I first learned of Alan Watts his words have been an inspiration to me. I was very into Zen philosophy when I was in high school, and it still has an impact on my life today. I still read from my copy of Zen Flesh Zen Bones, the first book I ever really had on the subject. I owe a lot of who I am to the many philosophers that belong to this school of thought.
Alan Watts was just one of the more recent names on that list, but that doesn’t make his teachings any less important. When I think of this quote, I cannot help but be inspired to do the things I have always wanted to do, to drop all the bullshit that society throws my way and sit down and write, find a pottery class, take up drawing again. Admittedly, I still have a long way to go to let go of what society expects of me, but I am working on it.
I had coffee with my uncle this morning, and he was talking about something very similar to this idea. He spoke of how he was always boxing himself in with his perceptions of how the world was, that he was refusing to let himself be part of the larger picture because he was walled off to the world. Until he learned to step outside of the box and see his situation from an outside perspective. It was then that he truly began to gain control of his life. I had gone through a similar experience just a couple years ago, but somehow the way he put it just explained it better than I had ever been able to.
The important thing to remember is this; life is meant to be lived, not survived. If you are not doing the things you want to be doing, then you are not truly living, and are in fact wasting what you have available to you. Don’t spend your life doing the work for someone else to live their dream, work for yourself. Do what you want and desire. Live.
It only takes one step outside the box to begin to see the larger picture.
This comic was drawn by the wonderful artist who runs http://www.zenpencils.com. Check out his website by clicking the image above. If you liked this piece I can guarantee you will like the rest of his work.