William Liao

April 3, 2021

Life is not a journey

British Philosopher Alan Watts uses dance and music as analogies for life:

Unlike traffic where the goal is to get from A to B as quickly as possible, we don’t aim to get to a certain point in the room when we’re dancing.

We simply dance to dance.

Watts applies the same reasoning to music: the point of a composition isn’t to get to the end quickly. If that were the case, orchestras would be playing pieces as fast possible. Or worse: compositions would only include finales and nothing else.

We compose to compose.

It is possible to see life as pilgrimage, where you can only be happy and whole at some distant point in the future.

Or, in the words of Watts, can see life as “a musical thing, where you [are] supposed to sing, or to dance, while the music [is] being played”.