“So then, the principle is—the more you give it away, the more it comes back." - Alan Watts, British Philosopher
Human beings are naturally ambitious.
We want things. Not only that, but we want things to happen the way we want, or the specific way we planned it out in our heads.
Often times, we take this ambition too far to the point where it is the only thing we can think of. It is this one thing that we obsess over so much to the point that we push it away, demonstrating a sense of undeserving lack to God (or the Universe).
Maybe it's a certain grade on a test, a score on a video game, a particular house you want to buy, a friendship to last, or a certain college you want to get accepted to. Whatever it is, we easily get too attached and obsessed with these things that we really want, more specifically the outcome of these things.
And as usual, whenever we want something that bad, is when we never get it.
Alan Watts described this obsession. He said, "you’re wasting energy all the time in self defense…trying to manage things, trying to force things to conform to your will."
Right after, he said, "the moment you stop doing that, that wasted energy is available. Therefore you are, in that sense-- having that energy available—you are one with the divine principle, you have the energy."
If you know anything about Alan Watts, he heavily studied Taoism, a Chinese Philosophy filled with meditation, lessons on letting go, and inner peace. A popular saying in Taoist philosophy is "being like water".
Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, said “Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.”
Water, is just water. That's why it has an infinite amount of divine energy. It's solely itself, not trying to be anything else.
In nature, water always wins. It nurtures everything alive, but doesn't claim it does. It's just water. It flows effortlessly while eroding the hardest of rocks, regardless of how long it takes.
Pretty much, the essence of "being like water" is letting go. Specifically, letting go of the outcome of that thing we really want.
This doesn't mean we shouldn't work for what we want. This is farthest from the truth. We still work for what we want, but we stay in the present moment as we effortlessly work on the task at hand, free from thinking of the outcome. Our souls become consumed in trusting our Qadr, Divine Destiny in Arabic.
No matter how much time we waste thinking about the outcome, we become rigid and hard, thus the outcome will not change. As an alchemist, it is necessary to understand that all things have their Qadr. What is meant to happen will always happen, no matter how impossible it seems. And what is never meant to happen will never happen, no matter how much effort is put into it.
So let go of the outcome. Understand that when you "act as if you were God, that is to say you don’t trust anybody and you are the dictator, and you have to keep everybody in line—you lose the divine energy.", as Alan Watts said.
But when you choose to let go, as much of a paradox it is, this thing will manifest itself to you, and you'll realize that this Divine Destiny was on your side all along. Mentally give it away, and it will come back to you.
I'd like to end this article with the entire quote in which Alan Watts explains this phenomena.
"And the principle is, that, any time you voluntarily let up control, in other words, cease to cling to yourself, you have an access of power. Because you’re wasting energy all the time in self defense…trying to manage things, trying to force things to conform to your will…the moment you stop doing that, that wasted energy is available. Therefore you are, in that sense-- having that energy available—you are one with the divine principle, you have the energy. When you are however, to act as if you were God, that is to say you don’t trust anybody and you are the dictator, and you have to keep everybody in line—you lose the divine energy. Because what you are doing is simply defending yourself. So then, the principle is—the more you give it away, the more it comes back." - Alan Watts, British Philosopher