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Awakin Readings

Every week, we post a reading from various wisdom traditions, to provoke insights and deeper reflection. Each thought is also accompanied by an illustration and an audio recordings (and often translations in other languages). Explore and enjoy!

You Play the Piano

--by Alan Watts (Feb 20, 2017)

The existence, the physical universe is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It isn’t going anywhere. That is to say, it doesn’t have some destination that it ought to arrive at.  But it is best understood by analogy with music, because music, as an art form is essentially playful. We say, “You play the piano.” You don’t work the piano. Why? Music differs from, say, travel. When you travel, you are trying to get somewhere. In music, though, one doesn’t make the end of the composition the point of the composition. If that were so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest. And there would be composers who only wrote finales. People would go to a concert just to hear one crackling...

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