Alan Watts Quotes: Random 50 Alan Watts Quotes to Ponder

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

Wars based on principle are far more destructive... the attacker will not destroy that which he is after.

- Alan Watts

If we want justice for minorities and cooled wars with our natural enemies, whether human or non-human, we must first come to terms with the minority and the enemy in ourselves and in our own hearts, for the rascal is there as much as anywhere in the "external" world - -especially when you realize that the world outside your skin is as much yourself as the world inside.

- Alan Watts

...[W]ords can be communicative only between those who share similar experiences.

- Alan Watts

When you feel that you are a lonely, put-upon, isolated little stranger confronting all this, you are under the influence of an illusory feeling, because the truth is quite the reverse. You are the whole works, all that there is, and always was, and always has been, and always will be.

- Alan Watts

The wake doesn't drive the ship

- Alan Watts

Our view of reality is like a chart of the sea - the truer it is, the less likely we will become lost.

- 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

To resist change, to try to cling to life, is therefore like holding your breath: if you persist you kill yourself.

- Alan Watts

The mind's the standard of the man.

- Alan Watts

The difficulty for most of us in the modern world is that the old-fashioned idea of God has become incredible or implausible.

- 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

Psychedelic experience is only a glimpse of genuine mystical insight, but a glimpse which can be matured and deepened by the various ways of meditation in which drugs are no longer necessary or useful. If you get the message, hang up the phone. For psychedelic drugs are simply instruments, like microscopes, telescopes, and telephones. The biologist does not sit with eye permanently glued to the microscope, he goes away and works on what he has seen.

- Alan Watts

But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.

- Alan Watts

Western religions are more concerned with behavior, doctrine, and belief than with any transformation of the way in which we are aware of ourselves and our world.

- 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

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

But nirvana is a radical transformation of how it feels to be alive: it feels as if everything were myself, or as if everything---including "my" thoughts and actions---were happening of itself. There are still efforts, choices, and decisions, but not the sense that "I make them"; they arise of themselves in relation to circumstances. This is therefore to feel life, not as an encounter between subject and object, but as a polarized field where the contest of opposites has become the play of opposites.

- Alan Watts

Of what use is the universe? What is the practical application of a million galaxies? Yet just because it has no use, it has a use - which may sound like a paradox, but is not. What, for instance, is the use of playing music? If you play to make money, to outdo some other artist, to be a person of culture, or to improve your mind, you are not really playing - for your mind is not on the music. You don't swing. When you come to think of it, playing or listening to music is a pure luxury, an addiction, a waste of valuable time and money for nothing more than making elaborate patterns of sound.

- Alan Watts

The harder we try to catch hold of the moment, to seize a pleasant sensation..., the more elusive it becomes... It is like trying to clutch water in one's hands - the harder one grips, the faster it slips through one's fingers.

- Alan Watts

Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.

- 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

A holy person is someone who is whole; who has, as it were, reconciled his opposites.

- Alan Watts

You, yourself, are the eternal energy which appears as this Universe. You didn't come into this world; you came out of it. Like a wave from the ocean.

- Alan Watts

You will never get to the irreducible definition of anything because you will never be able to explain why you want to explain, and so on. The system will gobble itself up.

- 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

We have allowed brain thinking to develop and dominate our lives. As a consequence, we are at war within ourselves. The brain desiring things which the body does not want, and the body desiring things which the brain does not allow; the brain giving directions which the body will not follow, and the body giving impulses which the brain cannot

- Alan Watts

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

- Alan Watts

The idea of the Universe being ruled by that marvelous old gentleman, is no longer plausible. It isn't that anybody has disproved it, but it just somehow doesn't go with the vast infinitude of the Universe.

- Alan Watts

...the habitual dualist's solution to the problem of dualism: to solve the dilemma by chopping off one of the horns.

- Alan Watts

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

- Alan Watts

I seem to be a brief light that flashes but once in all the aeons of time a rare, complicated, and all-too-delicate organism on the fringe of biological evolution , where the wave of life bursts into individual, sparkling, and multicolored drops that gleam for a moment... only to vanish forever.

- Alan Watts

There is a peculiar contradiction in trying to be a member of a republic while believing that the universe is a monarchy.

- Alan Watts

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

- 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

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 trouble with many religions, accused of wishful thinking, is that they are not wishful enough. They show a deplorable lack of imagination.

- Alan Watts

It's time to question a job or career move when it seems like most energy is devoted to making things appear other than what they really are.

- 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

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

- Alan Watts

For the price of intelligence as we now know it is chronic anxiety, anxiety which appears to increase–oddly enough–to the very degree that human life is subjected to intelligent organization.

- 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

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

- 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

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

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

The individual may be understood as one particular focal point at which the whole universe expresses itself - as an incarnation of the self, or of the Godhead, or whatever one may choose to call it.

- Alan Watts

Perhaps there is no other knowing than the mere competence of the act. If at the heart of one's being, there is no self to which one ought to be true, then sincerity is simply nerve; it lies in the unabashed vigor of the pretense. But pretense is only pretense when it is assumed that the act is not true to the agent. Find the agent.

- Alan Watts

As a human being it is just my nature to enjoy and share philosophy. I do this in the same way that some birds are eagles and some doves, some flowers lilies and some roses.

- Alan Watts

No one's mouth is big enough to utter the whole thing.

- Alan Watts