Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Strained Muscle

Now, if you want to find an intelligent solution to a problem, your brain can do the work. You have all the necessary intelligence inside the bone in your skull. However, most people never use their brains; they use their minds instead, and they use their minds the same way they use their muscles. You can strain your head just as if it were a muscle, and work very hard trying to arrive at an answer, but it doesn't really work that way.
~ Alan Watts in Taoism: Way Beyond Seeking ~
What is this bloke talking about? Brain? Mind? Two words that mean the exact same thing, right? He's making a distinction where none exist!
When you really want to find an answer to something, what you need to do is contemplate the problem. Visualize your question as well as you can, and then simply wait. If you don't, and if you instead try to find the solution through brute mental strength, you may be disappointed, because any solution that comes in that way is likely to be wrong. But when you have waited for a while, the solution will come of itself.
~ more from Taoism: Way Beyond Seeking ~
The man's crazy! In our highly competitive world, you gotta strike first, while the iron is hot. Ya know, the early bird catches the worm. Those who tarry often fail. Hurry. Hurry. Hurry.
That is how to use your brain, and it will work for you in the same way your stomach will digest your food for you without your having to supervise it consciously. Our attempts to supervise everything consciously have all led to consequences that aren't too good for our stomach, and the reason for that is quite simple. Conscious attention, which employs words, cannot think of very much. We are forced, therefore, to ignore almost everything while we are thinking. We think along a single track, but the world doesn't proceed along a single track. The world is everything happening altogether everywhere, and you just can't take all that into consideration because there isn't time. However, your brain can take it all into consideration because it is capable of handling innumerable variables at once, even though your conscious attention cannot.
~ more from Taoism: Way Beyond Seeking ~
Me thinks Alan Watts was a very wise man indeed! Like with Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu before him, he said and wrote things that, on the surface, sounded nonsensical. However, if you do not allow your prejudices to interfere and listen to the whole thought, it makes a lot of sense! If you pay attention with your mind, but allow your brain to process the information, then it rings oh so true.


  1. Whenever I'm working on a project and can't seem to find a solution to a problem, I let it rest for awhile and the answer usually pops into my head. I have even dreamed the solution.

  2. I've often dreamed of solutions too!


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