Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What is meant when we use the word "I"?

Lost in thought
Photo by Stephan Guertler (click to see original on Flickr)
"I wonder what is meant when we use the word I. I have been very interested in this problem, and have come to the conclusion that what most civilized people mean by that word is a hallucination, a false sense of personal identity that is at complete variance with the facts of nature. As a result of having a false sense of identity, we act in a way that is inappropriate to our natural environment,... and when that inappropriate way of action is magnified by a very powerful technology, we see a profound discord begin to separate man and nature as is well known, we are now in the process of destroying our environment as a result of an attempt to conquer it and master it. We believe that our environment is something other than ourselves, and in assuming that, we make a great mistake and are now paying the price." ~Alan Watts.

1 comment:

MikeOdd said...

I have oft thought in a similar vein, yet never connecting to the concept of a false identity. Hmm. I'll have to agree, yet to figure out how to return to the 'real' or 'true-to-nature' selves is incredibly difficult in an instant, and may take generations before we could work/revert to a society of true "I's"