Tuesday, December 11, 2012
A Bit of Jesus, Alan Watts, and Reality
As an orator, Alan Watts is mystical and unforgettable. Listening to his talks are very difficult for me because I always seem to get lost in his mellow voice. His ideas, moreover, are also extraordinary. A introspective practitioner of Zen Buddhism and very knowledgeable about all religion in general.
As I was driving home from school, I listened to his commentary on Jesus. In a speech recorded as Jesus and His Religion, Watts notices a "good news" that transcends most petty, immature beliefs about the text:
"The real gospel - the real good news - is not simply that Jesus of Nazareth was the son of God. He was a powerful son of God who came to open up everybody's eyes to the fact that you are too. This is perfectly plain. If you go to the tenth chapter of St. John, verse 30, there the passage says, 'I and the father are one.' There are some who are not intimate disciples around and they are horrified, and they immediately pick up stones to stone him. [Jesus] says, 'Many good works I have shown you from the father, and which of these do you stone me?' They said, 'For a good work we stone you not, but for blasphemy because you being a man make yourself God.' [Jesus] replied, 'Isn't it written in your law I have said you are Gods?' He's quoting the 82nd Psalm..."
He observes a more subtle profoundness to what Jesus said. Watts notices that Jesus, makes himself - and all others - Gods. They are Gods in the sense that they are the sole controllers of their personal subjective reality.