I’m Chase Reeves. I collect and develop thoughts on how to make and live matterfully.

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What Alan Watts Calls Himself

“… fake, rascal, philosophical entertainer, ego inside a bag of skin. ”

What Alan Watts Called Himself

How his friends remember him:

“He saw the true emptiness of all things. He taught us to be free. To see through the multiplicities and absurdities to the Great Universal Personality and Play. He gave us the Dharma Eye of a new age…”

“Wide Mind, Joyous Mind, Careful Loving Mind. For the true life is beyond life and death, origination, and extinction. We are with you in the many paths you opened for us…”

“Alan Watts was a philosopher, a poet, a calligrapher, a lover, a friend, a dharma reveler, a revealer, a great founder of the spirit for all of us…”

Alan Watts is one of those lights in my life. I want to learn more about him. I understand there’s some scandal in how he ended his days, but this recount of his life makes me wonder how much is true.

Dude was a badass mystic trickster.

Alan Watts on Good Government

“Chuang Tzu (Lao Tzu’s successor) put it this way: ‘people who speak of having good government without its correlative — misrule — or right without it’s correlative — wrong — do not understand the basic principles of the universe. One might just as well speak of having yang without yin. Such people must be either naves or fools.’ Of course, how would we know we were wise if there weren’t naves and fools? ”

Alan Watts

Bo Burnham on Who’s Qualified to Talk About Something

“I think the problem is that oftentimes, the only people that are qualified to talk about something are people that, were they to talk about it, they’d be hypocrites. I don’t think I would know certain things if I hadn’t benefited from it. So I feel like it’s sort of my job to just pull the rug out from under something.”

Bo Burnham

Still sort of reeling from watching his “Make Happy” special on Netflix. This video came out showing the final song of the show… that line about giving the audience what he can’t give himself. Damn. Got me.

Here’s another quote from this article that I liked:

“I’ve always just been very confused about how comedy is supposed to be about honesty, how everyone would always say to me, ‘You got to be more honest up there,’ but honestly what I’m feeling is: this is strange. That’s the first thing I’m thinking. That me standing up here is super weird. This is all very weird and us pretending this isn’t weird, pretending like I’m your best friend, just a cool guy at a party getting up making jokes, is really strange.”

Chogyam Trungpa on the Wisdom of Emotions

“We have to be brave enough to actually encounter our emotions, work with them in a real sense, feel their texture, the real quality of the emotions as they are. We would discover that emotion actually does not exist as it appears, but it contains much wisdom and open space. The problem is that we never experience emotions properly. We think that fighting and killing express anger, but these are another kind of escape, a way of releasing rather than actually experiencing emotion as it is. The basic nature of the emotions has not been felt properly.”

Chogyam Trungpa

Bo Burnham on Performing and Living Without an Audience

Bo Burnham Make Happy Audience quote

As a blogger, podcaster, marketer, wannabe comedian, entrepreneur person this was a really powerful thing to watch. Here’s the quote in text:

“I was born in 1990 and I was raised in America when it was a cult of self expression. And I was just taught, you know, express myself and have things to say and everyone will care about them. And I think everyone was taught that and most of us found out no one gives a shit what we think. So we flock to performers by the thousands cuz we’re the few who have found an audience. And then i’m supposed to get up here and say ‘follow your dreams’ as if this is a meritocracy? It is not, OK. I had a privileged life and I got lucky and I’m unhappy. They say it’s like the “me generation.” It’s not. The arrogance is taught, or it was cultivated. It’s self-conscious, that’s what it is; conscious of self. Social media is just the market’s answer to a generation that demanded to perform. So the market said, ‘here, perform everything to each other all the time for no reason.’ It’s prison. It’s horrific. It is performer and audience melded together. What do we want more than to lay in our bed at the end of the day and just watch our life as a satisfied audience member. I know very little about anything, but what I do know is that if you can live your life without an audience you should do it. And now you’re thinking, ‘how the fuck are you gonna dig the show out of this weird hole?’”

Bo Burnham

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives… There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet.”

Annie Dillard

Emerson on Quit Bitching & Be Yourself

“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance, that imitation is suicide, that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion—that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


More from this:

“Ah, that he could pass again into his neutral, godlike independence! Who can thus lose all pledge and, having observed, observe again from the same unaffected, unbiased, unbribable, unaffrighted innocence, must always be formidable, must always engage the poet’s and the man’s regards. Of such an immortal youth the force would be felt. He would utter opinions on all passing affairs, which being seen to be not private but necessary, would sink like darts into the ear of men, and put them in fear.”

“The Master said, ‘There is nothing I can do with a man who is not constantly saying, “What am I to do? What am I to do?”‘”

Confucius

The “King of Cashmere” on Profit & Dignity

“I wanted to manufacture a product with dignity. I wanted a profit with dignity. Because the press all talk about the moral ethics of profit. Why can’t we have a dignified profit then?”


Also in this article:

“We need a new form of capitalism, a contemporary form of capitalism. I would like to add “humanistic” to that equation.”

“You buy this product and you feel better, you feel at peace, because you bought a product that, although very expensive, there is work and respect for the work that goes into the product. I do not buy a specific product if I know you have made preposterous amounts of profit out of it. That’s exactly where, in my view, the new capitalism lies.”

How to Think Like a Scientist More Often

“So if we want to think like a scientist more often in life, those are the three key objectives—to be humbler about what we know, more confident about what’s possible, and less afraid of things that don’t matter.”

Tim Urban


From the same article:

“To swing the balance, we need to figure out how to lose respect for the general public, your tribe’s dogma, and society’s conventional wisdom. We have a bunch of romantic words for the world’s chefs that sound impressive but are actually just a result of them having lost this respect. Being a gamechanger is just having little enough respect for the game that you realize there’s no good reason not to change the rules. Being a trailblazer is just not respecting the beaten path and so deciding to blaze yourself a new one. Being a groundbreaker is just knowing that the ground wasn’t laid by anyone that impressive and so feeling no need to keep it intact.”

How to Notice Your Own Evolution

“You can’t get rid of the fog, and you can’t always keep it thin, but you can get better at noticing when it’s thick and develop effective strategies for thinning it out whenever you consciously focus on it. If you’re evolving successfully, as you get older, you should be spending more and more time on Step 2 and less and less on Step 1.”

Tim Urban


From a really wonderful read about religion for the non religious.

Lewis Lapham on the Uses of Money

“Let men employ money as energy made by mortal men for the use of mortal men—as the active and productive wealth underwriting Hamilton’s projections of the public good, in the form of the Medici loans floating the speculation of the Renaissance—and money enlarges the sum of man’s humanity to man.”

Lewis Lapham emphasis added


From the same article:

“Andrew Carnegie would have seconded Wharton’s motion. The builders of America’s nineteenth-century industrial colossus, among them John D. Rockefeller and J. P. Morgan, tended to take money less seriously than did their heirs and publicists. As often as not, they were more interested in something else—an idea or a contraption or a problem in geography. Money was a secondary consequence, accumulating in the hall with the flowers, the dachshunds, and the art collection. ‘The amassing of wealth,’ Carnegie regarded as ‘one of the worst species of idolatry.’”