You get out of grade school and you go to high school, and its revving up – the thing is coming. Then you go to college, and then maybe grad school. And when you’re through with graduate school you go out and join the world. Then you get into some racket where you’re selling insurance. And then you have that quota to make, and you’re going to make that. And all the time the thing is coming, its coming; that thing, the great success you’re working for. Then when you wake up one day when your about forty years old, you say ‘my god, I’ve arrived.’I’m there! And you don’t feel very different than what you’ve always feel. And there’s a slight let down because you feel there is a hoax. And there was a hoax - a dreadful hoax. They have made you miss everything; by expectation.
Look at the people who live to retire and put those savings away. And then when they’re 65 they don’t have any energy left. They are more or less impotent and they go and rot in an old people’s senior citizens community; and because we’ve simply cheated ourselves the whole way down the line. Because we thought of life by analogy with a journey – with a pilgrimage. Which had a serious purpose at the end and the thing was to get to that end; success or whatever it is or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing and to dance while the music was being played. But you had to do that thing, you didn’t let it happen.
— Alan Watts (via liberatingreality)