In these 2 videos, Alan Watts gives us his incites into death and the acceptance of death.
“If you are afraid of death, be afraid. The point is to get with it, to let it take over – fear, ghosts, pains, transience, dissolution, and all. And then comes the hitherto unbelievable surprise; you don’t die because you were never born. You had just forgotten who you are.”
Now, there really isn’t anything radically wrong, with being sick, or with dying. Who said you’re supposed to survive? Who gave you the idea that it is aghast to go on and on and on? And we can’t say that it’s a good thing for everything to go on living for the very simple demonstration that if we enable everybody to go on living… we overcrowd ourselves. So therefore… one person who dies in a way that is honourable is because he’s making room for others. We can also look further in to it and see…
that if our death could be indefinitely postponed… … we would not actually go on postponing it indefinitely. Because after a certain point we would realise that that isn’t the way in which we wanted to survive. Why else would we have children? Because children arrange for us to survive in another way… by as it were, passing on a torch so that you don’t have to carry it all the time. There comes a point where you can give it up and say now you work. It’s a far more amusing arrangement for nature to continue the process of life
through different individuals, then it is always with the same individuals. Because, as each new individual approaches life, life is renewed. And one remembers how fascinating the most ordinary everyday things are to a child. Because they see them all as marvellous, because they see them all in a way that is not related to survival and profit. When we get to thinking of everything in terms of survival and profit value as we do then the shapes and scratches on the floor cease to have magic and most things in fact cease to have magic. So therefore in the course of nature, once we have ceased to see magic in the world anymore we’re no longer fulfilling nature’s game of being aware of itself.
There’s no point in it anymore. and so we die. And so something else comes to birth which gets an entirely new view. It is not therefore natural for us to wish to prolong life indefinitely but we live in a culture where it has been rubbed into us in every conceivable way that to die is a terrible thing and that is a tremendous disease from which our culture in particular suffers.
I have a friend a girl who’s very intelligent and articulate and she was born blind and she hasn’t the faintest idea what darkness is the word that means is little to her as the word light so if you went to sleep you’re not aware of darkness when you’re asleep and so if you went into sleep into unconsciousness for always and always and always it wouldn’t be at all like going into the dark it wouldn’t be at all like being buried alive it would be as if as a matter of fact you had never existed at all not only you but everything else as well you would be in that state as if
you had never been and there of course there would be no problems there would be no one to regret the loss of anything you couldn’t even call it a tragedy because there would be no one to experience it as a tragedy it would be simple nothing at all for ever and for never because not only would you have no future you would also have no past and no present now you would think that that was the point where we’d say well let’s talk about something else but I’m not content with that I demur because this makes me think of two other things this state of nothingness makes me think
first of all if they’re the only thing I get anywhere in my experience that’s close to nothingness is the way my head looks to my eyes because I seem to feel that there is a world out there as it were confronting my eyes and then behind my eyes there isn’t a black spot there isn’t even a hazy spot there’s nothing at all I’m not aware of my head as it were as a black hole in the middle of all this luminous visual experience it doesn’t even have very clear edges because the field of vision isn’t open and if I run my fingers along my field of vision it’s like this and this is the point where my fingers just disappear from sight they edged but then
behind this oval revision there is nothing at all just from the sense of sight because if I use my fingers and touch I can feel something behind my eyes but if I use the sense of sight alone there’s just nothing there at all now nevertheless out of that blankness I see well that’s the first thing it makes me think of now the next thing it makes me think of is this if when I’m dead I am as if I never had been then that’s the way I was before I was born because just as if I try to go back behind my eyes and find what is there I come to a blank if I try to remember back and back and back and back I’ve got my earliest memories and
then behind them nothing total blank but just as I know there’s something behind my eyes by using my fingers on my head so I know through other sources of information that before I was born there was something going on there were my father and my mother and their fathers and mothers and the whole material environment of the earth in its life out of which they came and behind that the solar system and behind that the galaxy and behind that all the galaxies and behind that another black space.