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Power of Space and Reincarnation with Alan Watts (preview 2)

We are pleased to present this excerpt from "The Power of Space and Reincarnation" by Alan Watts.  What is space and can we measure it in the same way we measure our physical world? We are always looking for the answers, can we find them?

I began by reviewing two possible concepts of the nature of space.  One that it is simply an abstraction, and projected upon the physical world in rather the same way that we project measurements.  Lines of latitude and longitude or the cutting up of another abstraction called time into divisions like hours, minutes and seconds, which are there only on the dial of a clock. The earth in its rotation doesn't tick and time is of course thus seen simply as a measure of change as between two changing processes,  The changing process of the clock, and the changing process of say a person’s running around.

It is out of that relationship, in other words, that you get a concept of time. And similarly, through being able to measure distances, in a similar way, we get a concept of space. You see, this is one point of view, that it’s an abstraction because force would be lent to this point of view by the fact that space itself isn’t really there. Space is just absence, and you must be very careful, as Whitehead would have said, not to make a thing out of something that isn’t there at all.

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Power of Space and Reincarnation with Alan Watts (preview 1)

We are pleased to present this excerpt from "The Power of Space and Reincarnation" by Alan Watts.  Space and time are always questionable. Come take a look at how life all comes together because of space and how big we really are in this otherwise overwhelming universe.

It’s curious how, past the middle of the 20th century, there is very strong evidence of a revival in western philosophy of what used to be called idealism.  Not in the moral sense, but in the metaphysical sense.  

That is to say, of the feeling that the external world is, in some way, creation of the mind. Only we come to this point of view with very different assumptions than were held by people like Hegel, or Berkeley, or Bradley.  Great idealists of the European metaphysical tradition and probably rather more akin to similar trends in Buddhist philosophy emerging from India about 400 A.D.  The difference of approach, the difference of the way in which today this thing arises and the way in which it arose in the thought of the man like Bishop Berkeley, is that the new idealism has a kind of curiously physical basis. When one would argue, everything you know is in your mind, and the distance, the feeling of externality between you and other objects and people, is also the content of consciousness, and therefore it’s all in your consciousness. This of course created all sorts of weird feelings.

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Reality, Art and Illusion with Alan Watts

We are pleased to present this excerpt from "Reality, Art and Illusion by Alan Watts.  Come as he takes a look at how we, as people, view human beings and view the universe.

There was an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York some years ago, called ‘The New Image of Man’, and these things didn’t look like human beings at all. Some of them did, but, but that’s because ‘What does a human being look like?’; That depends on your point of view. You see, if you are prejudiced that a human being is only what is inside his skin, then you think that, when anybody paints a human being beyond those boundaries, that he has lost the image of man.

He hasn’t necessarily lost it at all. You see, there’s an old feeling that the shape of the universe is the shape of man. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard that said. That man is the microcosm, and that the universe as a whole is the macrocosm. Now, as you plumb out into the universe and explore it astronomically, it gets very strange. You begin to see things in the depths that, at first sight, seem utterly remote. How could they have anything to do with us? They are so far off, and so unlikely, and in the same way, when you start probing into the inner workings of the human body, you come across all kinds of funny little monsters, and wiggly things, that bear no resemblance to what we recognize as the human image.

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Excerpt From Star Talk Radio: Neil Degrasse Tyson - Season One: A Universe of Inspiration (Part 2)

We are happy to present part two of this excerpt from Star Talk Radio season one with Neil Degrasse Tyson as he continues the discussion of how creativity is inspired by the universe and every type of artist there is.  It's not just about painters and sculpters.  Let's take a look:

Peter I understand the universe inspires you. Is that a recent phenomena, or does it go far back?

It started when I was about 10, hmm, 7 years old living in China, and I was near Tibet and I met an older man who started talking to me “Do you know about the stars and the planets?”, and I had no clue, and every day we would talk about it, and by the time I think 5, 6, or 10 days went by, that’s all I would think about, and I would go to sleep dreaming about it, thinking about it.

So, it took only a week for it to just infiltrate to your mind and body?

Yes, to jumpstart that, and believe in that. It just grew and grew and grew. There is not a single day in my life where I’m not preoccupied with things about planets, stars, the universe. What is this whole thing? There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about it. I wake up in the morning, and it’s amazing like some cosmic alarm clock talking, opens my eyes and I think about the universe. I don’t think about the bed I’m sleeping in, I don’t care what day it is, I don’t care what it is I have to do today, the first thing is the universe, the cosmos, then I’ve got to calm this down, and then I look at my sheet of what I’ve got to do today. So, the first thing is the universe.

So, you’ve got it bad?

I’ve got it bad.

You’ve got it so bad it’s good.

Yeah. It’s unbelievable. That’s why when I’m with you, see you on TV, talk to you, even hear your name, forgive me, but I get so inspired by that.

He’s so nice to me.

Forgive me, he says. That’s so beautiful. You’re his muse.

He didn’t have to say that. It was, that was so nice.

If you remember Peter Max he wrote all those love posters from the 60s, and yeah. And it’s like he was the artist of a generation.

Oh my gosh, you still see all the t-shirts that have the peace sign and the hearts, the big hearts that he did. I wanted to say, what he said, I thought was so sweet about waking up and how the universe inspires him, like he doesn’t think about his bed. That’s what I’m saying, like artists are so neat, because they think in such a bigger…..

A bigger canvas.


And the universe I think is inspirational because it’s infinite.


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The Neil deGrasse Tyson StarTalk Radio Collection