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Forum Post: Do you recognize yourself in this description? (Alan Watts on Nonconformists)

Posted 12 years ago on Jan. 17, 2012, 10:30 p.m. EST by occupypuppies (71)
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They live a lot along here and they are mostly not working class people, they are people who dropped out of college, because they saw that it was stupid. And they're that sort of people, we would call them perhaps beatnicks. The city doesn't like them because they don't have lawns and they aren't using lawnmowers. They don't use appliances, they don't need them. They wear blue jeans and so the local dress shops feel put out. They live very simple. Well, you musn't do that. You must live in a complicated way. You must have the sort of car that identifies you as a person of substance and status and all that...There's always a very inconsiderable minority of this "non-joiners" or people who check out of the game. But insecure societies are the most intolerant of those who are non-joiners. they are so unsure of the validity of their game rules, that they say "everyone must play!" Everybody's responsible in a republic. You may try to avoid it and say oh let the senators take care of it an the president, but theoretically everyone's responsible. Now that's terrifying...It's in your hands and you say "what are we gonna do? well i think this way and he thinks that way etc." and thereby we become more and more conformism because people get scared. Herd together, compounded with industrial society, mass production, etc, they all wear the same clothes, and they're sensible clothes, and we get duller and drabber, with the exception of the Californian revolution. The reason is that democracy as we have tried it, started out on the wrong foot. Equality is a mystical utterance. From the standpoint of God, all people are divine, and are playing their true functions. And that is something that is true on a certain plane of consciousness, but come down the step and try to apply the mystical insight to everyday affairs and you get a parody, the idea that all people are equally inferior. That's why police are rude and you must wait in lines. Everybody is a crook, everyone is equally inferior, and that becomes the parody of democracy. This quickly becomes fascism because of the terror of outsiders. Now a free and easy society loves outsiders. It's a little bad for the outsider's integrity. The outsider becomes a holy man. People make him salons, give him food, they really take care of the outsider. Because they know that man is doing for us what we haven't got the guts to do. That outsider who lives up there in the mountain is at the highest peak of human evolution. His consciousness is one with the divine. And great just that there is someone like that around! It makes you feel a little better. He has realized, he knows what it's all about. And so we need a number of those people. Even though they don't join our game, they tell us, you see, "what you're doing is only a game. It's ok, I'm not gonna condemn you, but it is only a game and we up on that mountain top are watching you, we love you, we have compassion for you, but excuse please, we aren't going to join." And that gives the community strength because it tells the government, in no uncertain terms that there is something more than government.



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[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 12 years ago

Allan Watts is describing an aquarian mindset, which is rather apt, as we, as a planet, are moving into the age of aquarius.

It appears that simply questioning the status quo by pitching a tent in a public space is reason for the masses to condemn.

Questioning the need for a ruling class is reason for the masses to condemn.

Questioning why there are clearly two sets of laws, when we are supposedly all equal, is reason for the lawmakers to condemn.

It appears that the real problem is with questioning. Apparently it is not right to be questioning anyone about anything? Is that where modern society has led us? To be unthinking and aghast at the questioning?

[-] 3 points by occupypuppies (71) 12 years ago

They know they're wrong and they're scared.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 12 years ago

I'm allergic to hypocrisy, so I'll be keeping on questioning everything I don't like, or understand.

Oh, and I'll continue to camp anywhere on this earth, where I'm not being a burden to anyone else.

[-] 1 points by occupypuppies (71) 12 years ago

Hell yeah, amen to that.

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

I don't know. To a certain degree I understand that there is something to be said for refusing to play and doing as you choose; learning that to some degree it is all a game is in fact quite liberating. I would also say that the question then becomes "OK; it's a game. Now what do I choose to do with that knowledge?" I choose to play, but for a particular set of reasons. I choose to play because I value the interaction I get that way, and because it allows me to make a very nice life for myself within that world.

Your comments on democracy are interesting; the problem lies with the fact that a democracy is only as healthy and intelligent as the people it is comprised of. If you have a citizenry that's fairly unified and disciplined (this is not necessarily the same as conformity; the former is internal and developed through purpose and pride while the latter is external and brought about by fear) then it's possible to play the game to everyone's benefit. Otherwise, things don't work out so well.

[-] 1 points by occupypuppies (71) 12 years ago

Also: a comment i wrote for another thread: You are still stuck in the Protestant mindset that every action needs to have a purpose and a result. The Protestant tradition tells us that everything must have a reason. But we can just live.

I think an important piece that’s missing from this plan is play. How will we play? We are running the risk of taking ourselves much too seriously. Aren’t the best moment of the movement when something unexpected happens? When something spontaneous happens?

Let’s not overplan the future. Let’s just let it happen and try to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously, or else we'll make everything suck for everyone else.

We don’t have to predict or even really plan out the future, it will come, and if we try to enjoy it, we will be setting an example.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

That really depends on the situation. To a certain degree pure spontaneous pleasure is something else; to this day I've only experienced it a few times and there's nothing quite like it. That said, in order for that to work you need to keep the rest of your life secure and stable enough that you have the freedom to hunt for that pleasure, and too many people aren't there yet.

[-] 1 points by occupypuppies (71) 12 years ago

so true. You have to have some structure to give meaning to the playing.

[-] 1 points by occupypuppies (71) 12 years ago

I learned that it was a game by taking LSD, and as I wrote in another comment on this forum, I feel lonely and out of place mostly everywhere because I have seen the truth and it does not resemble what people are working towards in any way. It is about play and enjoyment, not work and oppression. We really don't have to have these systems of oppression, they only benefit those at the top, while crushing the majority. It's sad.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 12 years ago

For me; I don't really know. There are times when everything is great, and there are times when I just need to be alone and think about things. I'm not particularly comfortable with the idea of using LSD to learn about the universe (mostly because I like having my wits about me at all times) but I can accept that it worked for you. I look at OWS as a chance to change the rules so that everyone benefits rather than let things continue to slide the way they are now.

[-] -1 points by smartcapitalist (143) 12 years ago

There is a thick fat line between non-conformist and dumbass and Occutards are on the dumbass side of the line