Alan Watts on waking up to the real you:
When you’re ready to wake up, you’re going to wake up, and if you’re not ready you’re going to stay pretending that you’re just a ‘poor little me.’ And since you’re all here and engaged in this sort of inquiry and listening to this sort of lecture, I assume you’re all in the process of waking up. Or else you’re teasing yourselves with some kind of flirtation with waking up which you’re not serious about. But I assume that maybe you are not serious, but sincere – that you are ready to wake up.
So then, when you’re in the way of waking up, and finding out who you really are, what you do is what the whole universe is doing a the place you call here and now. You are something that the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing… The real you is not a puppet which life pushes around; the real, deep down you is the whole universe.
So then, when you die, you’re not going to have to put up with everlasting non-existance, because that’s not an experience. A lot of people are afraid that when they die, they’re going to be locked up in a dark room forever, and sort of undergo that. But one of the interesting things in the world is–this is a yoga, this is a realization–try and imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up. Think about that.
Children think about it. It’s one of the great wonders of life. What will it be like to go to sleep and never wake up? And if you think long enough about that, something will happen to you. You will find out, among other things, it will pose the next question to you. What was it like to wake up after having never gone to sleep? That was when you were born.
You see, you can’t have an experience of nothing; nature abhors a vacuum. So after you’re dead, the only thing that can happen is the same experience, or the same sort of experience as when you were born. In other words, we all know very well that after other people die, other people are born. And they’re all you, only you can only experience it one at a time. Everybody is I, you all know you’re you, and wheresoever beings exist throughout all galaxies, it doesn’t make any difference. You are all of them. And when they come into being, that’s you coming into being.
You know that very well, only you don’t have to remember the past in the same way you don’t have to think about how you work your thyroid gland, or whatever else it is in your organism. You don’t have to know how to shine the sun. You just do it, like you breath. Doesn’t it really astonish you that you are this fantastically complex thing, and that you’re doing all this and you never had any education in how to do it? Never learned, but you’re this miracle?
Note: Much of the above talk is included in a much more in-depth article by Alan Watts titled “The Nature of Consciousness.”