The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety

Hello my fellow bloggers and readers!

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This evening I would like to share with you a passage from one of my favourite books, The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety by Alan Watts.  I thought this to be a fitting passage to share because I often find myself worrying about the future and what I should be doing for my future self. It has been one of my greatest challenges to stay in the present moment and often I have had to step outside the constant thinking-mind and embrace the present stillness in order to appreciate the beauty of life. With that said here is some food for thought by Alan Watts:

“The “primary consciousness,” the basic mind which knows reality rather than ideas about it, does not know the future. It lives completely in the present, and perceives nothing more than what is at this moment. The ingenious brain, however, looks at that part of present experience called memory, and by studying it is able to make predictions. These predictions are, relatively, so accurate and reliable (e.g., “everyone will die”) that the future assumes a high degree of reality — so high that the present loses its value.

But the future is still not here, and cannot become a part of experienced reality until it is present. Since what we know of the future is made up of purely abstract and logical elements — inferences, guesses, deductions — it cannot be eaten, felt, smelled, seen, heard, or otherwise enjoyed. To pursue it is to pursue a constantly retreating phantom, and the faster you chase it, the faster it runs ahead. This is why all the affairs of civilization are rushed, why hardly anyone enjoys what he has, and is forever seeking more and more. Happiness, then, will consist, not of solid and substantial realities, but of such abstract and superficial things as promises, hopes, and assurances.”

-ParParV

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m pretty sure I need to read this book now. Thanks for sharing! If you’re ever interested in some awesome book reviews and musings, be sure to follow! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. parparvan says:

      Thank you for reading the passage! I highly recommend this book- will be sure to follow 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. wharmbyg says:

    I have never heard this passage before or read the book…I will be purchasing ‘today’ !!! Personally, passages like these have therapeutic value and give added meaning to being ‘mindful’. Thank you Parparv for another golden nugget and know that what you write and share has value.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. parparvan says:

      Wow!! what a wonderful comment to read! thank you so much for taking the time to write that, it just gave me a whole new burst of energy to keep blogging. As for the book, I highly recommend it! Mine has highlights and page marks all over it because there are a lot of passages that are strong, powerful and as you said therapeutic! Thank you again and let me know what you think of the book 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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