On Not Withdrawing

Hands clasping

The soul or personality lives just to the degree that it does not withdraw, that it does not shrink from the full implications of being one with the body and with the whole realm of natural experience. The integrity of personality is far better preserved by the faith of self-giving than the shattering anxiety of self-preservation.

Alan Watts
Nature, Man and Woman (1958)

Photo: A mother holds her dying child’s hand in a scene from Barry Lyndon (1975)

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