Present Experience

We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized

by the illusion of time,

in which the so-called present moment

is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline

between an all-powerfully causative past

and an absorbingly important future.

We have no present.

Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied

with memory and expectation.

We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be

any other experience than present experience.

We are therefore out of touch with reality.

We confuse the world as talked about,

described, and measured

with the world which actually is.

We are sick with a fascination

for the useful tools of names and numbers,

of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.


~Alan W. Watts

(1915-1973, British Zen Buddhist teacher)

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