When we think of our world all too often we think of it, ourselves, and our systems as an ordered thing. We make these maps, in our minds and in the minds of our organisations as places made up of ordered linear, perhaps even hierarchical constructs of straight lines and hard edges. An image we try to understand, but that in no real way reflects the nature of reality.
For reality is far different, it's dynamic, it shifts, and it's not straight at all. Much is invisible, and what we see is simply a glimpse of a surface of what may be true. Nature is astounding both in its complexity and in its simplicity. It is one.
Those boundaries we draw or even perhaps feel are in fact just constructs of our mechanical minds in a world craving order from chaos. But what if, Watts asks, those boundaries don't even exist at all?
'Reality is a marvellous system of wiggles'. And trying to straighten them out to fit into our need for order simply creates a false map that is no reality at all.
Watts was a renowned thinker of the 20th Century. He is widely known for his discussions on philosophy and our human existence, bringing the Zen of Eastern philosophy into the thinking of the Western world. He would always ask us to remember our own great power and yet consider our minuteness in the infinite, beautiful complexity of the universe.
This video from Alan Watts explores how and why we are failing to make sense of reality, and what we can do about it.
(Introduced by Emma Loftus)