Dispelling dread isn’t a matter of trying to forget about washing dishes.
Alan Watts @AlanWattsDaily It is realizing that in actual fact you only have one dish to wash, ever: this one; only one step to take, ever: this one. And that is Zen.
It might be interesting to funnel all of our discussion questions today through the "one dish" filter, and ask what would Alan say?
- Can you confirm the claim that we always recur to our happiness set-point? Have you experienced unsustained highs or lows? Do you think you've raised your personal set-point, over the course of your life? Are you working to do so?
- Do you anticipate a "mellow" future? Do you dread the prospect of senescence?
- Are we really "visceral egoists"? And isn't it an error to include Adam Smith (as opposed to some free-marketeers who think they're following him) as one of these? ("There is nothing is Adam Smith to support a 'greed is good' mentality,"write Solomon & Higgins.) Are you an altruist?
- Have you personally experienced the phenomenon of (un-)happy contagion?
- If schaudenfreude can be explained in evolutionary terms, can cooperation and the spirit of mutual support be similarly explained?