Alan Watts Quotes: Random 50 Alan Watts Quotes to Ponder

The agnostic, the skeptic, is neurotic, but this does not imply a false philosophy; it implies the discovery of facts to which he does not know how to adapt himself. The intellectual who tries to escape from neurosis by escaping from the facts is merely acting on the principle that “where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise.

- Alan Watts

The menu is not the meal.

- 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 Watts

We see what we believe rather than what we see.

- Alan Watts

For the world is an ever-elusive and ever-disappointing mirage only from the standpoint of someone standing aside from it–as if it were quite other than himself–and then trying to grasp it. But a third response is possible. Not withdrawal, not stewardship on the hypothesis of a future reward, but the fullest collaboration with the world as a harmonious system of contained conflicts–based on the realization that the only real "I" is the whole endless process.

- Alan Watts

Sex is no longer a serious taboo. Teenagers sometimes know more about it than adults.

- Alan Watts

We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time

- 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

I have no other self than the totality of the things of which I am aware.

- Alan Watts

Do not let the rapidity with which these thoughts can change deceive you into feeling that you think them all at once.

- Alan Watts

These people, as far as I can see, do not congregate in the notorious centers of the movement, like the North Beach in San Francisco or Greenwich Village, or Venice, California.

- Alan Watts

What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself.

- 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

And the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on.

- 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

You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are.

- Alan Watts

The myths underlying our culture and underlying our common sense have not taught us to feel identical with the universe, but only parts of it, only in it, only confronting it - aliens.

- Alan Watts

We are sick with fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas. Meditation is therefore the art of suspending verbal and symbolic thinking for a time, somewhat as a courteous audience will stop talking when a concert is about to begin.

- Alan Watts

Total situations are, therefore, patterns in time as much as patterns in space.

- Alan Watts

The Universe is the game of the self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever.

- Alan Watts

What we have to discover is that there is no safety, that seeking is painful, and that when we imagine that we have found it, we don’t like it.

- Alan Watts

The destination of life is this eternal moment.

- Alan Watts

I am amazed that Congressmen can pass a bill imposing severe penalties on anyone who burns the American flag, whereas they are responsible for burning that for which the flag stands: the United States as a territory, as a people, and as a biological manifestation. That is an example of our perennial confusion of symbols with realities.

- Alan Watts

so, the whole idea, you see, is that everything's falling apart, so don't try and stop it. when you're falling off a precipice, it doesn't do you any good to hang onto a rock that's falling with you. see? but everything is doing that. and so, again, this is another case of our completely wasting our energy in trying to prevent the world from falling apart. don't do it. and then you'll be able to do something interesting with the free energy.

- Alan Watts

Although profoundly "inconsequential," the Zen experience has consequences in the sense that it may be applied in any direction, to any conceivable human activity, and that wherever it is so applied it lends an unmistakable quality to the work.

- Alan Watts

People often say to me, 'I understand what you are talking about intellectually, but I don't really feel it, I don't realize it,' and I am apt to reply, 'I wonder whether you do understand it intellectually, because if you did you would also feel it.'

- Alan Watts

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

- Alan Watts

Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.

- Alan Watts

You are the universe experiencing itself.

- Alan Watts

Faith...is letting go and trusting oneself to the unknown.

- Alan Watts

So the bodhisattva saves all beings, not by preaching sermons to them, but by showing them that they are delivered, they are liberated, by the act of not being able to stop changing.

- Alan Watts

The mind's the standard of the man.

- Alan Watts

To look at life without words is not to lose the ability to form words- to think, remember, and plan. To be silent is not to lose your tongue. On the contrary, it is only through silence that one can discover something new to talk about. One who talked incessantly, without stopping to look and listen, would repeat himself ad nauseam. It is the same with thinking, which is really silent talking. It is not, by itself, open to the discovery of anything new, for its only novelties are simply arrangements of old words and ideas.

- Alan Watts

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

- Alan Watts

No worthwhile life can be lived without risks, despite current American superstitions to the contrary.

- Alan Watts

To know that you are God is another way of saying that you feel completely with this universe. You feel profoundly rooted in it and connected with it. You feel, in other words, that the whole energy, which expresses itself in the galaxies, is intimate. It is not something to which you are a stranger, but it is that with which you, whatever it is, are intimately bound up. That in your seeing, your hearing, your talking, your thinking, your moving, you express that which it is that moves the sun and other stars.

- Alan Watts

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

- Alan Watts

The source of all light is in the eye.

- Alan Watts

Inability to accept the mystic experience is more than an intellectual handicap. Lack of awareness of the basic unity of organism and environment is a serious and dangerous hallucination. For in a civilization equipped with immense technological power, the sense of alienation between man and nature leads to the use of technology in a hostile spirit–-to the “conquest” of nature instead of intelligent co-operation with nature.

- Alan Watts

Altough we all realize that monotony is boring, almost every form of industrial work- banking, accounting, mass-producing, service- is monotonous, and most people are paid for simply putting up with monotony

- 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

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

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 we saying when we say now, something is holy? That means you should take a different attitude to what you are doing than if you were, for example, doing it for kicks.

- Alan Watts

Life is like music for its own sake. We are living in an eternal now, and when we listen to music we are not listening to the past, we are not listening to the future, we are listening to an expanded present.

- Alan Watts

Zen is a liberation from time. For if we open our eyes and see clearly, it becomes obvious that there is no other time than this instant, and that the past and the future are abstractions without any concrete reality.

- Alan Watts

We are at war between consciousness and nature, between the desire for permanence and the fact of flux. It is ourself against ourselves.

- Alan Watts

The more we try to live in the world of words, the more we feel isolated and alone, the more all the joy and liveliness of things is exchanged for mere certainty and security. On the other hand, the more we are forced to admit that we actually live in the real world, the more we feel ignorant, uncertain, and insecure about everything.

- Alan Watts

We think that the world is limited and explained by its past. We tend to think that what happened in the past determines what is going to happen next, and we do not see that it is exactly the other way around! What is always the source of the world is the present; the past doesn't explain a thing. The past trails behind the present like the wake of a ship and eventually disappears.

- Alan Watts

You must not be afraid of playing wrong notes. Just forget it, play it wrong! But play!

- Alan Watts