The Way of Zen

Reading Notebook #21: I Am Fleeting and Intangible

From The Way of Zen by Alan Watts (which I find myself re-reading and re-reading for fuller comprehension): We learn, very thoroughly though far less explicitly, to identify ourselves with an equally conventional view of “myself.” For the conventional “self” or “person” is composed mainly of a history consisting of selected memories, and beginning from the […]

My Most Valuable & Destructive Physical Possession

I’ve been keeping a journal off and on ever since I was about 12 years old. The earliest journals, written in hand, survive. During high school, for a brief period, I switched to disk, and promptly lost every disk by the time I graduated. So I got smarter, and started a habit of only journaling […]

The Way of Zen

Reading Notebook #20: Humanness Is Superior to Righteousness

From The Way of Zen by Alan Watts: It was a basic Confucian principle that “it is man who makes truth great, not truth which makes man great.” For this reason, “humanness” or “human-heartedness” was always felt to be superior to “righteousness,” since man himself is greater than any idea which he may invent. There are […]

Reading Notebook #19: Death As Liberation

From “Letting Go” by Atul Gawande in The New Yorker (August 2, 2010): Almost all these patients had known, for some time, that they had a terminal condition. Yet they—along with their doctors—were unprepared for the final stage. … Surveys of patients with terminal illness find that their top priorities include, in addition to avoiding […]