Alan Watts Quotes: Random 50 Alan Watts Quotes to Ponder

We know that from time to time there arise among human beings people who seem to exude love as naturally as the sun gives out heat.

- Alan Watts

The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity and it is really impossible to tell whether something that happens in it is good or bad. Because you never know what will be the consequences of the misfortune. Or, you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.

- Alan Watts

There is nothing at all that can be talked about adequately, and the whole art of poetry is to say what can't be said.

- Alan Watts

Your world is all these elements. Of light and sound, of taste, smell, and touch, woven together in many dimensions on the fabulous loom of your brain. Your brain; the most complicated thing in the world, which you yourself grew...without even thinking about it.

- 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

Any systems approaching perfect self-control also approaches perfect self-frustration.

- Alan Watts

All that you see out in front of you is how you feel inside your head.

- Alan Watts

The style of God venerated in church, mosque, and synagogue seems completely different from the style of the natural universe.

- Alan Watts

Do you see yourself as a victim of the world, or do you see yourself as the world?

- Alan Watts

To the Taoist mentality, the aimless, empty life does not suggest anything depressing. On the contrary, it suggests the freedom of clouds and mountain streams, wandering nowhere, of flowers in impenetrable canyons, beautiful for no one to see, and of the ocean surf forever washing the sand, to no end.

- Alan Watts

When you look out of your eyes at nature happening out there...You're looking at you.

- Alan Watts

...mysticism and empiricism go together in opposition to scholasticism...they base themselves on the non-linear world of experience rather than the linear world of letters.

- 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

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

- Alan Watts

For we have never actually understood the revolutionary sense beneath them — the incredible truth that what religion calls the vision of God is found in giving up any belief in the idea of God.

- Alan Watts

In Hindu philosophy the whole creation is regarded as the Vishnu Lila, the play of Vishnu. Lila means dance or play. Also in Hindu philosophy, they call the world illusion; and in Latin the root of the word illusion is ludere, to play.

- Alan Watts

Enlightenment remains unrealized so long as it is considered as a specific state to be attained, and for which there are standards of success.

- Alan Watts

When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.

- Alan Watts

The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple.

- Alan Watts

We do not "come into" this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree.

- Alan Watts

There was never a time when the world began, because it goes round and round like a circle, and there is no place on a circle where it begins. Look at my watch, which tells the time; it goes round, and so the world repeats itself again and again.

- Alan Watts

Increasingly, the world around us looks as if we hated it.

- 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

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

- Alan Watts

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

Cows scream louder than carrots.

- Alan Watts

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

- Alan Watts

Spiritual awakening is the difficult process whereby the increasing realisation that everything is as wrong as it can be flips suddenly into the realisation that everything is as right is it can be. Or better, everything is as It as it can be.

- 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

The fools standpoint is that all social institutions are games. He sees the whole world as game playing. That's why, when people take their games seriously and take on stern and pious expressions, the fool gets the giggles because he knows that it is all a game.

- Alan Watts

The anitya doctrine is, again, not quite the simple assertion that the world is impermanent, but rather that the more one grasps at the world, the more it changes.

- 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

This is what Zen means by being detached–not being without emotion or feeling, but being one in whom feeling is not sticky or blocked, and through whom the experiences of the world pass like the reflections of birds flying over water.

- 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

Just what should a young man or woman know to be 'in the know'? Is there, in other words, some inside information, some special taboo, some real lowdown on life and existence that most parents and teachers either don't know or won't tell?

- Alan Watts

The hallucination of separateness prevents one from seeing that to cherish the ego is to cherish misery. We do not realize that our so-called love and concern for the individual is simply the other face of our own fear of death or rejection. In his exaggerated valuation of separate identity, the personal ego is sawing off the branch on which he is sitting, and then getting more and more anxious about the coming crash!

- Alan Watts

The source of all light is in the eye.

- 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

Beyond positive and negative, what is Reality?

- 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

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

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

- 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

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

It is obvious that the only interesting people are interested people, and to be completely interested is to have forgotten about "I".

- 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

Here is the vicious circle: if you feel separate from your organic life, you feel driven to survive; survival -going on living- thus becomes a duty and also a drag because you are not fully with it; because it does not quite come up to expectations, you continue to hope that it will, to crave for more time, to feel driven all the more to go on.

- Alan Watts

To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are thinking, “I am listening to this music,” you are not listening.

- Alan Watts

And people get all fouled up because they want the world to have meaning as if it were words... As if you had a meaning, as if you were a mere word, as if you were something that could be looked up in a dictionary. You are meaning.

- Alan Watts

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

- Alan Watts