Alan Watts quotes

By | 26.06.2022
alan-watts-quotes

Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command. Alan Watts

We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain. Alan Watts quotes

Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth. Alan Watts

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. Alan Watts

Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone. Alan Watts

Life exists only at this very moment, and in this moment it is infinite and eternal, for the present moment is infinitely small; before we can measure it, it has gone, and yet it exists forever…. Alan Watts

Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun. Alan Wilson Watts

What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all. Alan Watts

Once you’ve learned to think you can’t stop. And an enormous number of people devote their lives to keeping their minds busy and feel extremely uncomfortable with silence. Alan Watts

There will always be suffering. But we must not suffer over the suffering. Alan Watts

We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society. Alan Watts

You don’t look out there for God, something in the sky, you look in you. Alan Watts

But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything. Alan Watts

Nothing is more creative than death, since it has the whole secret of life. It means that the past must be abandoned, that the unknown cannot be avoided, that ‘I’ cannot continue, and that nothing can be ultimately fixed. When a man knows this, he lives for the first time in his life. By holding his breath, he loses it. By letting go he finds it. Alan Watts

Every individual is a unique manifestation of the Whole, as every branch is a particular outreaching of the tree. Alan Watts

The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves. Alan Wilson Watts, The Culture of Counter-Culture: Edited Transcripts

You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean. Alan Watts

If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Alan Watts

You know that if you get in the water and have nothing to hold on to, but try to behave as you would on dry land, you will drown. But if, on the other hand, you trust yourself to the water and let go, you will float. And this is exactly the situation of faith. Alan Watts

This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. Alan Watts

But to me nothing – the negative, the empty – is exceedingly powerful. Alan Watts

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. Alan Watts

We are the eyes of the cosmos. So that in a way, when you look deeply into somebody’s eyes, you are looking deeply into yourself, and the other person is looking deeply into the same self, which many-eyed, as the mask of Vishnu is many-faced, is looking out everywhere, one energy playing myriads of different parts. Alan Watts

When you get free from certain fixed concepts of the way the world is, you find it is far more subtle, and far more miraculous, than you thought it was. Alan Watts

Philosophy is man’s expression of curiosity about everything and his attempt to make sense of the world primarily through his intellect. Alan Watts

Our pleasures are not material pleasures, but symbols of pleasure – attractively packaged but inferior in content. Alan Watts

This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. Alan Watts

Hospitals should be arranged in such a way as to make being sick an interesting experience. One learns a great deal sometimes from being sick. Alan Watts

There is always something taboo, something repressed, un-admitted, or just glimpsed quickly out of the corner of one’s eye because a direct look is too unsettling. Taboos lie within taboos, like the skin of an onion. Alan Watts

Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to. Alan Wilson Watts

But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything. Alan Watts

The menu is not the meal. Alan Watts

So what is discord at one level of your being is harmony at another level. Alan Watts

A living body is not a fixed thing but a flowing event, like a flame or a whirlpool: the shape alone is stable, for the substance is a stream of energy going in at one end and out at the other. We are particularly and temporarily identifiable wiggles in a stream that enters us in the form of light, heat, air, water, milk, bread, fruit, beer, beef Stroganoff, caviar, and pate de foie gras. It goes out as gas and excrement – and also as semen, babies, talk, politics, commerce, war, poetry, and music. And philosophy. Alan Watts

No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now. Alan Watts

But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be. Alan Watts

But when no risk is taken there is no freedom. It is thus that, in an industrial society, the plethora of laws made for our personal safety convert the land into a nursery, and policemen hired to protect us become selfserving busybodies. Alan Watts

You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself. Alan Watts

Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe. Alan Watts

You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing. Alan Watts

Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence. Alan Watts

If you really understand Zen… you can use any book. You could use the Bible. You could use Alice in Wonderland. You could use the dictionary, because… the sound of the rain needs no translation. Alan Watts

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is. Alan Watts

The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless. Alan Watts

Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to sleep. Alan Watts

The ego is nothing other than the focus of conscious attention. Alan Watts

How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself anything less than a god. Alan Watts

Only words and conventions can isolate us from the entirely undefinable something which is everything. Alan Watts

I owe my solitude to other people. Alan Watts

Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations. Alan Watts

But at any rate, the point is that God is what nobody admits to being, and everybody really is. Alan Watts

Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment. Alan Watts

Saints need sinners. Alan Watts

A scholar tries to learn something everyday; a student of Buddhism tries to unlearn something daily. Alan Watts

Zen is a way of liberation, concerned not with discovering what is good or bad or advantageous, but what is. Alan Watts

The sense of wrong is simply failure to see where something fits into a pattern, to be confused as to the hierarchical level upon which an event belongs. Alan Watts

Jesus Christ knew he was God. So wake up and find out eventually who you really are. In our culture, of course, they’ll say you’re crazy and you’re blasphemous, and they’ll either put you in jail or in a nut house (which is pretty much the same thing). However if you wake up in India and tell your friends and relations, ‘My goodness, I’ve just discovered that I’m God,’ they’ll laugh and say, ‘Oh, congratulations, at last you found out. Alan Wilson Watts, The Essential Alan Watts

Unless one is able to live fully in the present, the future is a hoax. Alan Watts

Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way. Alan Wilson Watts, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

The future is a concept, it doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as tomorrow. There never will be, because time is always now. That’s one of the things we discover when we stop talking to ourselves and stop thinking. We find there is only present, only an eternal now. Alan Watts

You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here. Alan Watts

We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infintesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas. Alan Wilson Watts

You are that vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes. Alan Watts

When we attempt to exercise power or control over someone else, we cannot avoid giving that person the very same power or control over us. Alan Watts

The ‘you’ who you think you are does not exist. Alan Watts

To be free from convention is not to spurn it but not to be deceived by it. Alan Watts

The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive. Alan Wilson Watts

In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all. Alan Watts

What you do is what the whole universe is doing at the place you call the here and now. You are something the whole universe is doing in the same way that the wave is something that the whole ocean is doing. The real you is not a puppet which life pushes around. The real deep-down you is the whole universe. Alan Watts

The more we struggle for life (as pleasure), the more we are actually killing what we love. Alan Watts

Everyone has love, but it can only come out when he is convinced of the impossibility and the frustration of trying to love himself. Alan Watts

So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself. Alan Watts

Love is not something that is a sort of rare commodity, everybody has it. Alan Watts

Wonder, and its expression in poetry and the arts, are among the most important things which seem to distinguish men from other animals, and intelligent and sensitive people from morons. Alan Watts

Life and love generate effort, but effort will not generate them. Faith in life, in other people, and in oneself, is the attitude of allowing the spontaneous to be spontaneous, in its own way and in its own time. Alan Watts

Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present. Alan Watts

Parts exist only for purposes of figuring and describing, and as we figure the world out we become confused if we do not remember this all the time. Alan Watts

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