from Alan Watts' "The Wisdom of Insecurity" (1951)
"The Christian mind has always been haunted by the feeling that the sins of the saints are worse than the sins of the sinners, that in some mysterious way the one who is struggling for salvation is nearer to hell and to the heart of evil than the unashamed harlot or thief. It has recognized that the Devil is an angel, and as pure spirit is not really interested in the sins of the flesh. The sins after the Devil's heart are the intricacies of spiritual pride, the mazes of self-deception, and the subtle mockeries of hypocrisy where mask hides behind mask behind mask and reality is lost altogether. The would-be saint walks straight into the meshes of this web because he would become a saint. His "I" finds the deepest security in a satisfaction which is the more intense for being so cleverly hidden--the satisfaction of being contrite for his sins, and contrite for taking pride in his contrition. In such an involved vicious circle the masks behind masks are infinite. Or, to put it another way, he who would stand outside himself to kick himself, must then kick the self that stands outside. And so on forever."
Evolving Ideas about Music and Approach: SUMMARY AND DESCRIPTION OF META-RISKS WITHIN THIS ARTISTIC APPROACH As
a performer and composer, reconciling the rational (skill acquisition,
planning, timing, communication) with the intuitive (imagination,
accessing innovative “break-through” ideas, comfort within uncertainty,
residing within the interconnectedness of all things) can either happen
some of the time by accident, or it can be a conscious yet
unpredictable path. The second path is characterized by great risk in
that one is faced with paradox and contradiction as every juncture.
For every decision involved in an artistic process, not deciding
becomes its own decision, and a definite decision might become a
A return to the natural diversity of nature and of
our own existence within nature might require a kind of letting go, a
sort of action-less action (wu wei), a conscious but not overly controlling
participation within the flow, the stream of perceived reality, what
has been referred to as the Tao, the Way, or tathata (suchness). A
music performance with this intention or approach at its core implies
extreme risk in that most of us have been indoctrinated within the
opposite direction for our entire waking lives.