This is an excerpt from a lecture of Alan Watts. There are numerous gems of his floating around out there on youtube, and I definitely recommend giving them all a listen. This particular little clip really strikes a chord with me. Take 3 minutes out to really listen to this. Really, listen. No, don't click onto a new tab and scroll through your facebook homefeed at the same time. For 3 minutes just let your mind focus on only listening, because this might just cause a little shift in your perspective.
For me, perhaps it's the age I'm at, having recently graduated from college and not necessarily pursuing a definable 'career', this feels very relevant. I often notice this recurring question from peers and elders, that I think most of us will be quite familiar with. "What are you doing?" What plans have you got, where are you headed, what ladder are you on, and so on. I think if I could take a map out and show them exactly where my points are plotted through life, they might finally be satisfied. People like to get the measure of each other by judging their journey. We are all so concerned with what's next, where are we going, that we tend to miss what's around us right now.
I think this is a kind of cultural tendency, for example, when we study history we often frame events as a sequence of linear development, always heading towards an improved end point. But of course this is not necessarily the only or best way to view history, and I think it tells us more about our desire to see things in linear development, and why we tend to imagine our lives having similar structure. But, as Alan Watts suggests, life and the universe, is playful. There is no master plan for the us or the universe, none of it is 'necessary'. However the process of life unfolding can be beautiful.
"The whole point of dancing is the dance", not to arrive at one particular point in the room, otherwise we could just walk there. Don't be fooled by the hoax, don't miss everything. It's not a race to get to the end.
Sing and dance while the music is still playing!
For more Alan Watts, listen here. These are just clips from his longer lectures, but if his words resonate with you, take the time to listen to some of his longer lectures.