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    Alan Watts and Martin Luther King, Jr. on Nuclear War

    Featured below is a video I put together using iMovie and featuring excerpts from Alan Watts lectures and Martin Luther King, Jr. Speeches.  The background song is First Snow by Emancipator.  The Alan Watts excerpts are from three different lectures titled The Myth of the Automatic Universe, The Veil of Thoughts, and Do You Do It, or Does It Do You?  The Martin Luther King audio excerpts are from two different speeches: Love Your Enemies and The Drum Major Instinct.  I dropped the initial project which involved transcribing a portion of the Do You Do It, or Does It Do You?  lecture, but since I transcribed it already I figure I may insert in this journal entry since it’s featured in the iMovie.  The excerpt can be starts around the 19 minute point of the lecture.



               At the moment we stand at a time in history where we’re beginning to think of the great countdown at the end of the human race.  Terrifying possibility, that through atomic energy we may obliterate this planet and turn the whole globe into a star.  Maybe that’s the way all the stars started.  Imagine, you know, this great thing coming up, the countdown at the end: seven, six, five, four, three, two, one… Paaarrrrrummm!!  Poof! (sucking sound) Poosh!  Where have you heard that before? When you sit on the seashore and you hear the waves going in and out, and you don’t stop to think: that’s what you are doing.  That’s what the whole business is doing, and there are places where the wave mounts and mounts and it gets too big for its boots or whatever and it spills and breaks.  We could do just that.  But uh, it’s very important to realize that that’s what you are doing because then you don’t get panicky about it.  And the person who’s going to press that button is a person who is going to be in panic.  So if you realize that that’s what it is and it doesn’t really matter if the whole human race blows itself up, then there’s a chance that it won’t do it.  That’s the only chance we have not to do this thing which attracts us like a kind of vertigo, like person who looks over a precipice and is all set to throw himself over, or a person who jumps out of a plane and they’re skydiving and forgets to pull the parachute ring because he gets fascinated with a target – it’s called target fascination – he just goes straight at it, you see?  So we can get absolutely fascinated with disaster, with doom.  Or you know… all the news in the newspaper is invariably bad news.  There is no good news in the newspapers, people wouldn’t buy a newspaper consisting of good news.  Even the free press is full of terrible news, except the San Francisco Oracle. 

               The fascination, you see, for this doom might be neutralized if we would say, “Well, why bother about that?  It’s just another fluctuation in this huge, marvelous, endless chain of our own selves and our own energy going own.”  See here’s the problem, because of our myopia, because of our… the way we’ve, as it were, restricted consciousness to focus upon just that certain little area of experience that we call voluntary action – that’s us, and everything else happens to us.  Now that’s obviously absurd.  Let’s suppose you take in your hand one of those toys, a gyroscopic top.  And you suddenly notice the minute you get this in your hand that it has a kind of vitality to it.  It seems to resist you, it starts pushing you in a certain way, see?  And sometimes you’re with it, and following it, and then sometimes you see… It just as if you’ve held a living animal in your hand.  You know, you pick up a hamster, you know, or a guinea pig, and you hold this little thing and your hand – it’s always trying to escape.  So the gyroscope always seems trying to escape your hold.  Now in exactly the same what, what you’re experiencing all the time – all sorts of things are getting out of control and doing this you don’t expect – it’s trying to escape your hold.  Alright then don’t grab it so hard.  And you’ll discover that this living thing that you’re feeling – like the gyroscope top – it’s your own life.  

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