Alan Watts Quotes: Random 50 Alan Watts Quotes to Ponder

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 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

Life and love generate effort but effort will not generate them.

- Alan Watts

We are not clear as to the role in life of these chemicals; nor are we clear as to the role of the physician. You know, of course, that in ancient times there was no clear distinction between priest and physician.

- Alan Watts

It takes time for an acorn to turn into an oak, but the oak is already implied in the acorn.

- Alan Watts

One's life is an act with no actor, and thus it has always been recognized that the insane man that has lost his mind is a parody of the sage who has transcended his ego. If one is paranoid, the other is metanoid.

- Alan Watts

Change is an illusion because we're always at the place where any future can take us.

- Alan Watts

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

- Alan Watts

A less 'brainy-culture' would learn to synchronise its body rhythms rather than its clocks.

- Alan Watts

A living body is not a fixed thing, but a flowing event, like a flame or a whirlpool.

- Alan Watts

To go out of your mind once a day is tremendously important, because by going out of your mind you come to your senses. And if you stay in your mind all of the time, you are over rational, in other words you are like a very rigid bridge which because it has no give; no craziness in it, is going to be blown down by the first hurricane.

- Alan Watts

What keeps us from happiness is our inability to fully inhabit the present

- Alan Watts

It is a special kind of enlightenment to have this feeling that the usual, the way things normally are, is odduncanny and highly improbable. G.K.Chesterton once said that it is one thing to be amazed at gorgon or a griffin, creatures which do not exist; but it is quite another and much higher thing to be amazed at a rhinoceros or a giraffe, creatures which do exist and look as if they don't. This feeling of universal oddity includes a basic and intense wondering about the sense of things.

- Alan Watts

Just as the ocean is waving so each one of us is a waving of the whole cosmos, the entire works, all there is.

- Alan Watts

The hallucination of being a separate ego will not stand up to biological tests.

- Alan Watts

We all need to go out of our minds at least once a day. When we go out of our minds we quickly come to our senses.

- Alan Watts

If to enjoy even an enjoyable present we must have the assurance of a happy future, we are “crying for the moon.” We have no such assurance. The best predictions are still matters of probability rather than certainty, and to the best of our knowledge every one of us is going to suffer and die. If, then, we cannot live happily without an assured future, we are certainly not adapted to living in a finite world where, despite the best plans, accidents will happen, and where death comes at the end.

- Alan Watts

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

- Alan Watts

Stay in the center, and you will be ready to move in any direction.

- Alan Watts

A paradox is only a truth standing on its head to attract attention.

- 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

The soul is something which contains the body. The body doesn't contain the soul. The soul, if we put it into modern language, is the entire complex of relationships in whose context this organism exists.

- Alan Watts

I have suggested that behind almost all myth lies the mono-plot of the game of hide-and-seek.

- Alan Watts

Self-knowledge leads to wonder, and wonder to curiosity and investigation, so that nothing interests people more than people, even if only one's own person.

- Alan Watts

What are plants doing? What are plants all about? They serve human beings by being decorative, but what is it from its own point of view? It's using up air; it's using up energy. It's really not doing anything except being ornamental. And yet here's this whole vegetable world, cactus plants, trees, roses, tulips, and edible vegetables, like cabbages, celery, lettuce - they're all doing this dance.

- Alan Watts

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

- 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 a fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself as anything less than a god? And, when you consider that this incalculably subtle organism is inseparable from the still more marvelous patterns of its environment - from the minutest electrical designs to the whole company of the galaxies - how is it conceivable that this incarnation of all eternity can be bored with being?

- Alan Watts

Everybody is I, you all know you are you. And wheresoever's beings exist throughout all galaxies it doesn't any difference. You are all of them, and when they come into being that's you coming into being, you know that very well. Only you don't have to remember the past in the same way you don't have to think about how you work your thyroid gland. You don't have to know how to shine the sun, you just do it, like you breathe. Doesn't it really astonish you that you are this fantastically complex thing, and that you're doing all of this and you never had any education on how to do it.

- Alan Watts

You can't make love without art.

- Alan Watts

Just as money is not real, consumable wealth, books are not life. To idolize scriptures is like eating paper currency.

- Alan Watts

There is no formula for generating the authentic warmth of love. It cannot be copied.

- Alan Watts

The question is not what I should do in the future to get it, but rather, what am I presently doing that prevents me from realizing it right now?

- Alan Watts

The biggest ego trip is getting rid of your ego, and of course the joke of it all is that your ego does not exist.

- Alan Watts

Everything is perpetually becoming new.

- Alan Watts

For there is a growing apprehension that existence is a rat-race in a trap: living organisms, including people, are merely tubes which put things in at one end and let them out at the other, which which both keeps them doing it and in the long run wears them out. So to keep the farce going, the tubes find ways of making new tubes, which also put things in at one end and let them out at the other.

- Alan Watts

Essentially Satori is a sudden experience, and it is often described as a "turning over" of the mind, just as a pair of scales will suddenly turn over when a sufficient amount of material has been poured into one pan to overbalance the weight in the other. Hence it is an experience which generally occurs after a long and concentrated effort to discover the meaning of Zen.

- Alan Watts

We are all as much extraordinary phenomena 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.

- Alan Watts

As muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone, it could be argued that those who sit quietly and do nothing are making one of the best possible contributions to a world in turmoil.

- Alan Watts

We live in a culture where it has been rubbed into us in every conceivable way that to die is a terrible thing. And that is a tremendous disease from which our culture in particular suffers.

- Alan Watts

Zen... does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.

- Alan Watts

The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance. Like music also, it is fulfilled in each moment of its course. You do not play a sonata in order to reach the final chord, and if the meaning of things were simply in ends, composers would write nothing but finales.

- Alan Watts

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.

- Alan Watts

The sound of the rain needs no translation.

- Alan Watts

Everything in the world is gloriously meaningless.

- Alan Watts

In a certain sense, Zen is feeling life instead of feeling something about life.

- Alan Watts

We have somehow conned ourselves into the notion that this moment is ordinary. This now moment, in which I'm talking and you're listening, is eternity.

- Alan Watts

Do you have any control over being conscious? Do you know how you will?

- Alan Watts

The whole point of Zen is to suspend the rules we have superimposed on things and to see the world as it is

- Alan Watts

If you want to stay in a state of illusion, stay in it. But you can always wake up.

- Alan Watts

I want ... to consort with people whose emotions are not ... cold and standoffish.

- Alan Watts