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As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.

The Taboo Against Knowing Yourself The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego.

On seeing through the illusion of the ego, it is impossible to think of oneself as better than, or superior to, others for having done so.

In every direction there is just the one Self playing its myriad games of hide-and-seek.

The first step is to understand, as vividly as possible, how the hoax begins.

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Instead, we play the game of Black-versus-White or, more usually, White-versus-Black. It is a fight — a fight haunted by a sense of chronic frustration, because we are doing something as crazy as trying to keep the mountains and get rid of the valleys.

The inside information is that yourself as “just little me” who “came into this world” and lives temporarily in a bag of skin is a hoax and a fake.

The fact is that because no one thing or feature of this universe is separable from the whole, the only real You, or Self, is the whole.

In addition to the gutsily titled The Book, I’ve also included a short summary in excerpts from , which he experienced at Druid Heights, a Northern Californian oceanside utopia he helped to build.

Timothy Leary’s foreword compares The Book with Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, but with an additional sensitivity to the “love aspects of mystical experience.” Below are seven excerpts from Watts’ two books, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966) and The Joyous Cosmology (1962).

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