25th // perspective

"if you are aware of a state which you call “is”--or reality, or life--this implies another state called “isn’t”. or illusion, or unreality, or nothingness, or death. there it is. you can’t know one without the other. and so, as to make life poignant, it’s always going to come to an end. that is exactly, don’t you see, what makes it lively?

liveliness is change, is motion. so you see, you are always at the place where you always are. and you think, ‘wowie, a little further on and we will get there, i hope we don’t go further down so that we lose what we already have.’ but that is built into every creature’s situation, no matter how high, no matter how low. so in this sense all places are the same place. and the only time you ever notice any difference is in the moment of transition; when you go up a bit, you gain, when you go down a bit you feel disappointed, gloomy, lost. you can go all the way down to Death. somehow there seems to be a difficulty in getting all the way up. death seems so final. nothingness seems so very, very irrevocable and permanent.

but then if it is, what about the nothingness that was before you started? on the contrary, it takes nothing to have something. ‘cause you wouldn’t know what something was without nothing. you wouldn’t be able to see anything unless there was nothing behind your eyes. the most real state is the state of Nothing. that’s what it’s going to all come to."

                                                                                                                           - alan watts