[it is ridiculous] to feel so inhuman as to never feel the regrets of the passing of time and life.
It’s likewise inhuman, not to have the paradise fantasy, of that mysterious place , round the corner, just over the crest of the hill just behind the island in the distance. Because that place is really a big joke. It’s you. That’s why, you will find once you get up the last step, the last Tori, you’re liable to be confronted with a mirror.
Everybody is seeking, seeking, seeking, for that thing you gotta have.. well you’ve got it! And nobody’s going to believe you but there it is! The real thing that you are is the paradise land you’re looking for, and it’s far more reliable than any kind of external scene that you could love or hold onto.
But of course, the whole fascination of life is that this seems perfectly incredibly.
The Uncarved Stone, Unbleached Silk, Alan Watts — 1978
Though Watts is describing the gardens in the city of Tokyo – with winding staircases veering off into mysterious and curious places – his underlying meaning is applicable to the existential anxiety felt within.
The true source of that intense pleasure or fantastic goody sought, is not found in the attainment of an achievement, milestone, or life goal, but instead within one's self.
That thing is a reflection of a part of who we are — be it feeding the hungry, building an enterprise or painting white canvas.
It’s only when one looks back on the trials and tribulations that the illusion of an ultimate answer, paradise, or fulfillment is revealed. At which point the entire situation becomes comical – no better put, “perfectly incredibly.”
The insight of course, comes from the fact that one may take the idea with a tray of sour milk, stale bread, and subject themselves to a dark corner while life flows by; or one may just as readily jump in, join the music and dance to the magnificent tune a la joie de vivre.
The beauty of it all lies in the purity of decision.