“The heart of the matter is that we are living in a culture which has been hypnotized with symbols- words, numbers, measures, quantities and images- and that we mistake them for, and prefer them to, physical reality. We believe that the proof of the pudding is in the chemical analysis, not in the eating. This is largely the result of an educational system which is overwhelmingly literary and mathematical, which prepares everyone to be clerks and bureaucrats, and provides apprenticeships in arts of material competence only reluctantly- for those considered too stupid for intellectual advancement.

This is not sentimentalizing about the “dignity of labor.” it is saying that a culture is hardly a culture at all when it does not provide for the most sophisticated training in the fundamental arts of life: farming, cooking, dining, dressing, furnishing, and love-making. Where these arts are not cultivated with devotion and skill, time to spare and money to spend are useless. The shops are empty of all but trash, thrown together by slaves working joylessly for cash with one eye on the clock. Thus there are virtually no jobs to be had for those who delight in expert workmanship in producing the necessities of life. The jet air craft and the scientific instruments are marvelous, but houses, cars, fabrics, lighting fixtures are simply phenomenal failures of human imagination.”

-Alan Watts, Murder in the Kitchen.


2 thoughts on “

  1. I comletelly agree, our culture it lowering our life quality, I mention that fact in several of my post, because I consider it a very important thing to think about. You have written a great post, interesting way of putting your thoughts. Let me just leave you with a wanderful quote from einstein:

    As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

  2. I love Alan Watts. He would make a fine computer programmer or physicist or doctor or ANYTHING… but writing and lectures as a teacher is as he admits is his strongest ‘skill’. Which he uses obviously well.

    To Alan though, and I would have to agree, is that we are inseparable from the universe… therefore we ARE the universe and therefore a God of sorts. We just do not know it or are not taught it. But, more and more people are beginning to think there are forces that wish to make the inseparable into separate, else people will wake up to the fact there really are no boundaries and that the institutions we have set up do not have to be followed.

    Alan Watts was trying to let the cat out of the bag without provoking bad feelings from those that would appose the idea of letting the cat out of the bag.

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