“The way to become one with the Universe is to trust it.”
One day I had an urge to search for “how to trust the Universe” and this video came up. In it, among other things, Watts talks about achieving the state of desirelessness when one wants nothing. Watts says that the next stage is reflection, soul searching and trying out activities that one believes would bring them joy. This leads to the third stage – realisation that even what you thought your soul wanted is not that (neti, neti).
This is a bleak prognosis for the seekers (including me) who think they have achieved desirelessness and it will lead them to the next stage on their journey. We have worked to quieten our minds, to still ourselves, we practiced soul led decision making in the hope that the truth will reveal itself. Or at least we will see the next step on our path. Watts says there is no path and no next steps, just a loop of coming back to not that. He says it is impossible to know what one wants because it is impossible to know what one is. It is also possible that we already have what we seek, we just don’t realise it yet.
When one arrives at the state of desirelessness and non-doing, when one works to quieten their mind, “ceases to cling to themselves”, the extensive energy used for ego defences is released into the Universe. Instead of waiting to see what outcome this energy will lead to for ourselves, Alan Watts is suggesting to give up on the outcome and cease any seeking altogether because there is nothing to find (gasp). Instead he suggests that we live our lives the best we can and enjoy ourselves: “It is your sole duty to learn how to enjoy yourself.”
But what about the Truth! – screams the Seeker in me. Being the seeker is an ego play. You are nobody. And, says Watts, your ego is “seeking the truth” to be able to control the process, to figure out the uncertainty. Wanting to know is trying to control. Instead, surrender the seeking. Let go of knowing. Be the “I don’t know” sort of person.
Uncomfortable with not knowing? Me too. Well, it sounds like this is the recommended practice. Not knowing, yet trusting, and hence living happily in the unknown. Don’t seek anything. Have fun. Enjoy your life as much as possible. “It is only complicated if you start thinking about it.” Well. What do you think?