Alan Watts argues with equal parts conviction and compassion that "the prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a biag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science, nor with experimental philosophy-religions of the East." He explores the cause and cure of that illusion in a way that flows from profound unease as we confront our cultural conditioning into a deep sense of lightness as we surrender to the comforting mystery and interconnectedness of the universe.  At the heart of the human condition, Watts argues, is a core illusion that fuels our deep-seated sense of loneliness the more we subscribe to the myth of the sole ego, one reflected in the most basic language we use to make sense of the world.  Watts writes:


    "We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms.  Most of us have the sensation that 'I myself' is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body -- a center which 'confronts' an 'external' world of peole and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange.  Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion.  'I came into this world.' 'You must face reality.' 'The conquest of nature.'


    "This feeling of being lonely and very temporary vistors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences.  We do not 'come into' this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree.  As the ocean 'waves,' the universe 'peoples.'  Every individual is an express of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.  This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals.  Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated 'eos' inside bags of 'skin'."

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