Alan Watts – How To Attract: Money, Love & Women

How To Attract: Money, Love & Women – Alan Watts: In this lecture Alan Watts shares his thoughts on how to manifest anything in your life!


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now i consider that i myself am a successful man in business i hate business i hate everything to do with it accounting uh figuring adding up numbers because they’re all arid they don’t smell of anything sometimes there’s an interesting smell to the ink on a checkbook but by and large all this figuring is a completely colorless occupation i don’t like it so i have to hand it over to accountants and lawyers and people who seem to like it but i don’t know whether they really do the essential principle of business of occupation in the world is this figure out some way in which you get paid for playing

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when i was uh quite young i forget the exact age i made a solemn vow which was that i would never accept a job i would always be my own employer and curiously there are very few roles in life which uh provide this possibility the successful artist writer and sometimes musician sometimes the independent consultant can occupy this role i mean he may be a scientific consultant but by and large almost everybody seems to be compelled to take a job with a corporation it’s very difficult indeed these days to run a small business where you’re your own boss because you have to employ an enormous staff

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of people to keep track of the paperwork i know a person for example who has a farm where he raises avocados and the department of commerce visited him with a stack of forms this thick which he had to full of to fill in well he got tough and said i have the faintest idea what to fill into these forms he said to the agent of the department of commerce you fill them in and he made that man sit down and go through the whole procedure filling in these forms because he said i don’t have the time i’m raising avocados that’s my business and as to all this paperwork what to hell with it and the same situation prevails not only in business but also in the university and in the hospital one of my favorite

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doctors told me the other day that he spends only one third of his working hours practicing medicine the rest is in recording accounting filling in reports and it’s the same in every hospital paperwork endlessly because the record of what you do is more important than what you do write it down and then it’s real so for the same reason a lot of people don’t believe they exist until they see their activities reported in the newspaper a lot of juvenile delinquents commit crimes just to get attention they’ll get recorded it’s like you go to a party you know it’s a picnic on the beach and it’s great fun and somebody says what a shame it is that nobody has a camera

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well now i should talk because at this moment we are recording what’s going on both on tape record and on tv and remember that it takes as long to view it or to listen to it as it does to do it now who’s going to listen to all this over and over again so there’s something fundamentally wrong here and which the businessman of all people needs to understand what the businessman needs to know equally what the army officer needs to know is the same what do you really want i have proposed that there’d be an

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entirely new kind of college entrance examination in which instead of answering a lot of silly questions you write for about 20 pages on your idea of paradise it can be any kind of paradise you want it can be very spiritual it can be very sensuous but spell it out what do you want to happen in life then you will hand this thesis in to an assigned tutor on the faculty and he’ll read it over and examine you closely as to whether this is what you really want do you realize for example what goes with the things you say you desire i mean for example you uh want to marry a certain kind of beautiful woman and you specify in your paper the characteristics she should have but says the tutor you said absolutely

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nothing about her mother and her mother because every girl goes with a mother i mean unless she’s an orphan and you must also specify what kind of mother-in-law you want well then you have to stop and think about that and that’s just an illustration of going into detail and being very careful about what you desire because it’s a good saying be careful of what you desire you may get it so this is the problem of thinking out carefully where it is that you want to go now let’s take the war in vietnam which is supposed to be concluded what on earth was it all about if we had gone with military pomp and might into vietnam for the express purpose of conquering the country and possessing

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it and carrying off the women into captivity it would have been understandable but as it was it was waged for some absolutely abstract end namely the estoppage of an ideology called communism nobody knows what communism is nor do we know what capitalism is but we can fight endlessly on the supposition that there are good guys and bad guys and when we fight on that supposition there is no possibility of compromise or of gentleman’s agreement as there is honor among thieves we are all thieves let’s face it there is a doctrine in the jewish religion that when god created adam he put into him

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a spirit which is called the yet zahara and that means the wayward spirit or what i call the element of irreducible rascality and that is in us all a little bit it’s not the whole of us it’s like just a pinch of salt in the stew and you don’t want the whole stew to be sold but you have to have just a touch of rascality to be human and i find it difficult to get along with people who don’t know that they have it people who come on that they’re all sincere all good all pure bore me to death and scare me [Laughter] as they they’re unconscious of themselves and therefore they suddenly do terrible things without warning either to themselves or to others they make promises that they’re never going

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to fulfill because they want to talk right and so if i do business with someone who is not really aware that he’s a rascal i know he’s impossible to do business with he’ll suddenly cheat me completely but if i’m aware that he’s a bit of a shyster i feel comfortable and i let him know that i am too then we’re human then we can let our hair down then we can say look let’s work this out and the this is what i want and i know what you want and if we can get that clear we can work out a reasonable agreement we can compromise we have a little play

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of give and take but if you don’t have that you’re absolutely snarled now look at it this way you can’t operate business nowadays without a whole team of lawyers and what is the function of lawyers they have to write down the rules of the game so that we have what is called the rule of law a lot of people talk today about law and order and uh how it’s got to be upheld now what does that actually mean it means that all organizations uh business corporations bureaucratic government corporations even churches are going by the book

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they are operating according to a manual and in many corporations uh individuals have constantly to consult some sort of manual to know what they should do instead of using their own good sense this doesn’t work it means that an organization is entirely different from an organism you each one of you are an organism a very very complicated organism which your nervous system uh facilitates let’s use that nasty word and you don’t know how you do it you couldn’t begin to describe how your nervous system works

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and even neurologists don’t know how it works and yet it works reasonably well because your brain can handle an unknown number of variables a variable is any identifiable process such as breathing such as the circulation of the blood such as the secretions of the glands such as the digestive system and so on and so on now you operate those all day without knowing how you do it there are no there’s no book of rules according to which you do this so in the same way if a corporation is to be a true organism as distinct

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from an organization it must be based on the principle of mutual trust and not on law because if you can’t trust other people you cannot have a community not even a corporation it’s risky very risky to trust other people because they may let you down but on the whole if you do trust them the chances are perhaps what 60 to 40 maybe a little more maybe 75 to 25 that the system will work simply because they’re trusted

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and as soon as you’ve got a system where for example in a supermarket there are mirrors all over the place tv cameras watching everything all kinds of checks on the cashiers that they won’t sneak off with something you’ve got a system that increasingly won’t work because nobody will want to work there one of the major reasons for hippies and dropouts is that human beings don’t want to work under conditions like that because they are mechanical conditions and the mechanism is quite distinct from the organism because the mechanism is arranged on linear plans the book whereas the organism transcends that we don’t know how that means we can’t write down how because it’s more complicated than any form of writing can express

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now the computer speeds up linear calculation to a terrific extent but it still comes nowhere near the capacity of the human brain and so this is something that has to be recognized as a principle now let me give another illustration of it every corporation employs a number of people in research let’s take ibm they have a huge center down near san jose where they have a research staff and one of the first things they had to recognize is that you can’t put creative research

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people under the clock you’ve got to trust creative research people to fool around to sit about drink coffee or maybe whiskey and scratch their heads and look at blackboards and uh play and then suddenly zingle some interesting result will occur but if you make them punch clocks and if you say these are the things that you’ve got to discover it won’t work so the corporation has to make an act of faith in its research personnel it has to say we recognize you have a an amazing gift called brains we don’t know what these are but it seems that in the past you’ve been fruitful and so we’re going to employ you to do your thing whatever that happens to be

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and we’ll make an act of faith in you and invariably if they make that act of faith it will work some fantastic idea will come out not perhaps the idea you expected in fact it may not even apply to your particular business but you could always sell it to somebody else now then let me go this is a fundamental principle if there cannot be community there cannot be cooperation and therefore they cannot be commerce which really broken down means being merciful to each other there cannot be commerce without mutual trust i mean there are even insurance companies called mutual trust [Laughter] but it just can’t happen the society at the moment is mutual mistrust and therefore it becomes increasingly

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difficult to do anything business is inhibited by the lack of free enterprise well that sounds very right-wing but actually fascist states corporate states totalitarian states are utterly against free enterprise so let’s push this a little further saint paul said that the laborer is worthy of his hire and i as a philosopher mere philosopher um you know dealing in higher things always insist that i be paid for my work and i get the highest fee i can get and people say well you’re just out for money i say that’s none of your business

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because i give most of it away my own needs being extremely simple although i enjoy good food i don’t even own a television set and you know it’s a very simple life but i’ve got enough and enough is as good as a feast you see a lot of people don’t feel happy unless they have another thing beyond money which is called status and status to a very large extent in our economy consists in conspicuous consumption in having this thing and that thing and the other thing and having a swimming pool a ferrari a certain kind of clothes and a certain kind of house with an enormous round style picture window and so on and

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so on and so on and we think we need all that because we’ve been persuaded by a certain kind of propaganda that that’s how we ought to live because we haven’t asked ourselves whether that was what we really wanted in other words we’ve been propagandized into thinking what we wanted i remember my daughter when she was in high school number one daughter who’s now become very sensible uh insisted that she had to have a certain number of cashmere sweaters in those days i couldn’t afford them i said my dear do you really want these or is it just that um you’ve been reading ads in the magazine or listening to the other children because you see schools are places where you send your child to be brought up by other children and therefore they get a kind of lowest common denominator of culture

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they all think they’ve got to have this they’ve got to have that and they don’t really want it if they sat back and considered do i need all that is this trip really necessary they would come to the conclusion that it wasn’t and that would be very important because they would save energy you all know of course that we are nearing an energy crisis that there is not enough physical energy going to be available for all the things we think we’re supposed to do to go rushing around and so on so we need to take towards commerce a more relaxed attitude

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