Thoughts on: “The Wisdom of Insecurity” by Alan Watts

I’m focusing on notes this time around!

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Watts does a really great job at explaining ideas that seem to be at the core of most religious and spiritual teachings.

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📝 The Law of Reversed Effort. ”When you try to stay on the surface of water, you sink; but when you try to sink you float. When you hold your breath, you lose it— which immediately calls to mind an ancient and much neglected saying, “Whosoever would save his soul shall lose it.”

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📝 There is a contradiction between the desire of being secure and fact of change. We want to be separate from the life of flux and change to feel secure and that, paradoxically, create the sense of loneliness and fear. “The desire for security and the fear of insecurity are the same thing”.

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📝 “You want to escape the pain, but the more you struggle to escape, the more you inflame the agony”.

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📝 “Look!”

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📝 Money is as a token for wealth. “In somewhat the same way, thoughts, ideas and words are “coins” for real things”. They represent them but are not those things. Words are fixed while what they represent change.

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📝 “When each moment becomes an expectation life is deprived of fulfillment, and death is dreaded for it seems that here expectations must come to an end”.

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📝 “So long as there is the motive to become something, so long as the mind believes in the possibility of escape from what is at this moment, there can be no freedom”.

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🤯 Is the brain really good for us? Or is it taking on a destructive evolutionary specialization by our focus on trying to predict the future?

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⚖️ This book is a given in the library of the spiritually minded reader, alongside modern classics like the works of Eckhart Tolles, and timeless classic like Bhagavad Gita and Tao Te Ching.

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5/5

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This Years Obsession Reveals itself!

For me each year comes with it’s own discoveries and obsessions!


2015 it was Stoicism.


2016 was filled with New Age and miscellaneous woo woo books. (Eckhart Tolle, Bhagavad Gita, Spiral dynamics etc..)


2017 was the year of Buddhist teachings. (Siddhartha, Beginners Mind, Hardcore Zen, Marathon Monks etc..)


2018 looks like it’s going to be the year of Jungian psychology. An interest triggered by Dr. Jordan Peterson’s “12 rules for life” and followed by “Man and His Symbols” by the man himself. And I’m looking forward to it!


What’s your latest obsession? 😀🤔

Thoughts on: “Wherever You Go There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn

What does the expression “Wherever you go, there you are” point towards?

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Wherever you travel you always bring yourself with you. It’s easy to think that with a new job at a new company will finally make you happy. A few months later, after scoring that new job, you start to think: “if only I could escape this small town and move to a big city, then I will be happy.

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Believing that external circumstances will bring inner peace is a trap. You will re-live the same pattern over and over again til you die. OR you start to appreciate where you are right now, come to terms with yourself, and surrender to the present moment. When we are fully present, the world in which we live becomes extraordinary.

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I’m have definitely not mastered this myself, but I think I have caught glimpses of it, and I believe these yogi people might be on to something!

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📝 “So at the beginning, you might want to stay with your breath, or use it as an anchor to bring you back when you are carried away. Try it for a few years and see what happens”

Quite a different timeline from the “10-min abs” and “get rich quick”-schemes you see everywhere! 😎

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📝 In ancient times, when it got dark people gathered by the fires. There was not enough light to continue doing stuff and we got a natural break for stillness. Today we don’t have to be limited by daylight and we can be kept busy 24-7.

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📝 “The joy of non-doing is that nothing else needs to happen for this moment to be complete”

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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:

“Going to 10 day meditation retreats might not be a big deal for some, but when you decide to start a family it gets harder.”

See the children as your practice and teachers! They will test your mindfulness and selflessness and push all your limits. It’s like a 18 year retreat!

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This is a great book for inspiring the already initiated, but there are better alternatives for people not yet familiar with the topic of mindfulness and meditation . Eckhart Tolles “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth” will teach you the same concepts, but in a more powerful way in my opinion.

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3/5

Check out my reading lists for more great books!