Alan Watts という人のことを知っている人は少ないと思うのですが、1915年生まれで1973年に亡くなったイギリス人です。主な活動はアメリカで、東洋の思想を西洋に広める役割を果たしました。特に仏教、禅宗をよく解釈していて、Wikipediaの冒頭にあり面白いのは、
Watts proposed that Buddhism could be thought of as a form of psychotherapy and not a religion.Alan Watts - Wikipedia
- Amazon で "Alan Watts" で検索すると英語の本がたくさんと、日本語の書籍が1冊出てきます。
- 日本語書籍は、一番売れた本である"TheBook: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are"という本の翻訳書である『ラットレースから抜け出す方法』というのがありますが、2020年4月では売り切れで、中古の本が12,599円が最安値になっています。
- Amazon Audibleでは、英語で聞けます。
- 講演の音声コンテンツは、Alan Watts Talks & Lectures – Alan Watts Electronic Universityで購入ダウンロードできますが、なんならAudibleのほうが無料枠があるのでおすすめかもしれません。
Life has no destination の書き起こし、翻訳、その解説
Now it is my contention and my personal opinion – this is my basic metaphysical axiom, shall we put it that way – that existence – the physical universe – is basically playful.
There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It isn’t going anywhere. That is to say, it doesn’t have some destination that it ought to arrive at.
But it is best understood by analogy with music. Because music, as an art form, is essentially playful. We say you play the piano. You don’t work the piano. Why?
Music differs from, say, travel. When you travel, you are trying to get somewhere. And of course we, because being a very compulsive and purposive culture, are busy getting everywhere faster, and faster, and faster, till we eliminate the distance between places.
I mean, with modern jet travel you can arrive almost instantaneously, and what happens as a result of that is that the two ends of your journey become the same place. So you eliminate the distance, and you eliminate the journey. The fun of the journey is travel, not to obliterate travel.
In music, though, one doesn’t make the end of a composition. If that were so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest. And there would be composers who wrote only finales. People go to a concert just to hear one crashing chord. Because that’s the end!
Say when dancing. You don’t aim at a particular spot in the room that’s where you should arrive. The whole point of dancing is the dance.
Now, but we don’t see that as something brought by our education into our everyday conduct. We’ve got a system of schooling which gives it a completely different impression.
It’s all graded. And what we do is, we put the child into the corridor. With a kind of, “Come on, kitty kitty kitty” and they all go to kindergarten, and that’s a great thing because when you finish that, you get to the first grade. And then, come on, first grade leads to second grade, and so on and then you get out of grade school, you go to high school, and it’s revving up, the thing is coming, then you’re going to go to college. And by Jove, you get into graduate school, and when you’re through with graduate school, you go out to join the world.
Then you get into some racket where you’re selling insurance. And they’ve got that quota to make, and you’re gonna make that. And all the time that “thing” is coming. It’s coming, it’s coming. That great “thing.” The success you are working for.
Then when you wake up one day about 40 years old, you say “My God, I’ve arrived.” And you don’t feel very different from what you’ve always felt. And there’s a slight letdown because you feel there’s a hoax. And there was a hoax! A dreadful hoax. They made you miss everything by expectation.
Look at the people who live to retire. They put those savings away. And then when they’re 65 they don’t have any energy left. They are more or less impotent. And they go rotten in an old people’s- senior citizen’s community.
Because we simply cheated ourselves the whole way down the line.
We thought of life by analogy with a journey, with a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end and the thing was to get to that end, success or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after your death.
But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing or dance while the music was being played.