Alan Watts: There Are No Wrong Feelings

Artwork: "Tree of Knowledge II" (modified), Eduardo Rodriguez Calzado, 2018 (source)
"...the mystic is the one who feels that everything that happens, is in some way harmonious, is in some way right, is in someway, an integral part of the universe. Now when we transplant or translate that into... the sphere of human conduct, the equivalent is this: there are no wrong feelings.

There maybe wrong actions, in the sense of actions contrary to the rules of human communication. But the way you feel toward other people, loving, hating, etc, etc, there aren't any wrong feelings." ~ Alan Watts
No Wrong Feelings - Alan Watts ft. The Tree of Life
8m
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdypUZjPFvA
Mysticism and Morality – Pt. 2
Alan Watts
https://alanwatts.org/1-4-10-mysticism-and-morality-pt-2/
Excerpt
"...In the metaphysical sphere, 
the mystic is the one who feels, 
that everything that happens, 
is in some way harmonious
is in some way right,
is in someway,
an integral part, 
of the universe.

Now when we transplant or translate that into the moral sphere,
the sphere of human conduct,
the equivalent is this:
there are no wrong feelings.

There maybe wrong actions, 
in the sense of actions contrary to the rules of human communication.
But the way you feel toward other people,
loving, hating, etc, etc,
there aren't any wrong feelings.

And so to try and force one's feelings 
to be other than what they are, 
is absurd,
and furthermore, dishonest.

But you see,
the idea that there are no wrong feelings,
is an immensely threatening idea
to people who are afraid to feel in any case.

And this is one of the peculiar problems of our culture.
That we are terrified of our feelings.
Because they, they take off on their own!

And we think that if we give them any scope,
and if we don't immediately beat them down,
they will lead us into all kinds of chaotic and destructive actions.

It's so funny that we in our western culture today say that kind of thing.
We who do more chaotic and reckless kind of action than anybody ever did.

But if, 
for a change, 
we would allow our feeling,
and look upon their coming and goings
as something 
as beautiful and as natural and necessary as
changes in the weather,
the going of night and day,
and the four seasons:
we would be at peace with ourselves.

Because what is problematic for western man,
is not so much his struggles with other people,
and their needs and their problems,
as his struggle with his own feelings.

What he will allow himself to feel,
and what he won't allow himself to feel.

He is ashamed to feel really profoundly sad.
So much so, that he could cry.
It is not manly to cry.

He is ashamed to loathe somebody.
Because you are not supposed to hate people.

He is ashamed to be so overcome with the beauty of something,
whether it be a natural landscape,
or a member of the opposite sex,
that he goes out of his mind with this beauty.

Because all that kind of thing is:
"not being in control old boy",
"not, kind of, having your hand on the wheel"

But it is because, you see, 
we don't go with that,
that we are not in control.

That we try to pretend that our inner life
is different.

So I think this is the most releasing thing 
that anybody can possibly understand:
That your inner feeling is never wrong.

That's to say,
what you feel,
it's never wrong that you feel that way.

It may not be a right guide to what you should do.
In other words,
if you feel that you hate someone intensely,
it isn't necessarily the right way of dealing with that feeling to go out and cut his throat.
But it is right,
that you should have the feeling of hating,
or of being sad,
or of what, frightened, terrified, 
whatever it is.

For you see,
when a person comes to himself,
he comes to be one with his own feeling.
And that is the only way of being in a position to control it.

...Well it's in exactly that same sense,
that a person has to keep going with his own feeling,
because that's his own essential self.

...So, to sum up,
What the mystic primarily feels,
is the divinity the glory of whatever is.
And when we apply that to the moral sphere,
what is, 
is what one feels genuinely.
The recognition the acceptance of what is honestly felt,
is the moral equivalent of the vision that whatever exists is a manifestation of the divine."
 ~ Alan Watts

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