I’ve heard that phrase a lot now.
In fact, I just watched a great video done with an Alan Watts speech, where he says these three words exactly: “You are everything.” You are… people being born, people that have already died. You are the sun and everything around you.
Here is what I DO understand:
We exist only right now. The past is an illusion, the future is an illusion. “Now” is the only thing we can have. We share that with everything else on the planet. Existence at this moment bonds everything. And understanding that is key to an enlightened existence. However-
This is what I DON’T understand:
This concept of you are everything. You are every person/experience/organism. I was wondering if anyone could possibly explain their interpretation of this concept to me? I find it very difficult to wrap my mind around.
Here’s a way I try to understand it : (Although it’s less something I know and more something I try and feel whenever I can)
This may come from Alan Watts as well his ideas have sort of melted together in a big pot in my mind…
Measuring “you”, with everything you do, everything you might be able to measure as “you”, is just that…a measurement. A way of category. You could organize all the possessions and furniture in your house by different criteria, (size…or color…or function) but if you kept on making up categories eventually you would notice that there are categories that keep the chair and the table as a set…one thing…”the dining room set”, or the cell phone and the music one thing…”pass me the spotify”, or the floor and the ceiling one thing…”the living room”.
Now, the only thing that’s keeping you in certain methods of categorization, is a choice. You have chosen, or rather we have chosen with our culture, to categorize people by, let’s say biological form, or a narrative-structured-thought etc. etc. But those categories are no more “real” than any other category. And in ONE of those categories, the same thing that YOU are… is also everything..
Yeah I’ve been stumbed by alot of those Alan Watts videos as well.. and I’m not saying I’ve got the final answer but one day after contemplating exactly the same thing this view came to mind..:
Some backgound-thought behind it is the “fact” that everything in the universe (to the best of our knowledge) is made up of atoms (and their even smaller constituents) – what we clearly have a problem with in todays science is figuring out what makes up that energy that makes some atoms “alive” (a human body) compared to something that per say isn’t (a stone – some may argue that a stone is just as much alive as you and me, but for the sake of the argument lets just leave that alone..). Conscienceness / life what you wanna call it..
But what I think he’s putting forward is, that whatever that energy is – and that energy is what “you” actually are (the conscienceness/being able to percieve/exist) – it is the universe itself ! therefore what “you” (as in the energy making the atoms alive) are, is the universe.. “you” are the universe.. “you” are everything.. the you (as in this person/body) is what you have control over, what this energy has manifested in, but what “you” are, bottomline, is the energy of the universe..
Basically it’s a belief that life is the universe exploring itself. You (as in your body) is in the universe, a part of the universe, made up of the universe, therefore is the universe as much as your heart/brain/whatever body part you wanna use, is a part of you, is you..
Hope this makes any kind of sense ;-)
When I read or listen to Alan Watts it seems to me that he is using words, obviously to express his ideas but also in an attempt to catalyze an experience in the minds of those listening to him. His words sometimes seem to me like brush strokes in a great painting where every brush stroke is essential to the whole but no single brush stroke has a singular meaning. If you focus too much on the parts you become blind to the whole. When Alan Watts says “You are everything” it is in the context of recognizing how we are habituated to think of ourselves as separate from everything and everyone…to think of ourselves as beings who were somehow placed in a world like ceramic dolls made by a creator …rather than Being born out of the world in which we live…truly belonging and related to and a part of the whole.