I hope this is useful to you. I really want to give you something here that to me feels very important and I don't think this is just vanity on my part but I think I have something to offer you that is important. I really am sincere about it. It's what's coming out of my own life, my 78 years of living. I wrote a poem when I was 21 years old, just out of college. I can remember sitting in my rented room and writing it at my table. it was a Saturday and all week I had been at my new job of being a teacher at a high school and I was sitting there and I was writing ... it just popped into my head ... and all my thinking has come to this. I had this image of the moonlight on the beach.
And all my thinking has come to this:
The moon lies bright across the shingle
My wave ________ flesh is all a tingle
Under the wind swept kiss.
That's all it is baby, there ain't no more. Don't make yourself sick trying to think up some other stuff. That's it. That's all there is to it, simply that. "That's too simple, it's gotta be more complicated?" No, it's not. That is the joke, it is not. I remember Alan Watts. He was lecturing at the University of Wisconsin and I was sitting in the audience. I had breakfast with him that morning. He was up there and he had a thousand people in the audience. They weren't all students. This was a public forum. Some of them were students, Milwaukee's elite intelligence. And Alan stood up there, a short man, a very slight build. He cocked his head back and you could tell he was sort of squinting his eyes and sizing them up, and he said very seriously, "All you good people, and I understand that there are over a thousand of you here, have come this morning and you are going to give up this day, and you have given up three dollars (this is how much this stuff cost in those days) in order to listen to me and spend your whole day listening to me for just one reason, because you think I know the secret of life. And you hope I will tell it to you. I will tell you the secret to it. The secret is: there is no secret." And then he laughed. That is how he started his lecture.
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