Listening to some wonderful podcasts from Alan Watts. In the current series, Images of God, which is made up from talks given during his lifetime, he is delivering all kinds of angles on the divine.
In the third installment of this series, he was talking about school, journeys and the dance. The point of a dance or a piece of music, is not the end, says Watts. If it was, then we would only have composers that wrote finales and audiences would only go to hear great final chords, or see people in their final positions.
No, the point of a piece of music is the way one experiences time. It’s all about the journey, the movement from here to there, the texture of moments that music or dances imparts.
From this he draws a parallel with schooling. We school in this society as if there is an end in sight, a point at which we are heading. In so doing, we teach people to sacrifice the moment for the delayed gratification of the end. And of course the end never comes. One grade finishes and the next begins. High school ends and university begins. University ends and work begins and work is simply more of the same, chasing promotions, until at some point one wakes up and realizes that one has arrived. And in fact one has always arrived and always been arriving, but we miss it constantly, and we school our children and ourselves into missing it completely as well.
Life as dance. Life as the middle phrase of the middle movement of a violin concerto, moving right on to the next one..
[tags] alan watts, unschooling[/tags]