Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

263 Inspiring Quotes by Alan Watts

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Alan Watts.

Wikipedia Summary for Alan Watts

Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British writer and speaker known for interpreting and popularising Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism for a Western audience.

Born in Chislehurst, England, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. He received a master's degree in theology from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and became an Episcopal priest in 1945. He left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies.

Watts gained a following while working as a volunteer programmer at the KPFA radio station in Berkeley. He wrote more than 25 books and articles on religion and philosophy, introducing the emerging hippie counterculture to The Way of Zen (1957), one of the first bestselling books on Buddhism. In Psychotherapy East and West (1961), he argued that Buddhism could be thought of as a form of psychotherapy. He considered Nature, Man and Woman (1958) to be, "from a literary point of view—the best book I have ever written." He also explored human consciousness and psychedelics in works such as The New Alchemy (1958) and The Joyous Cosmology (1962).

starry night over butte

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

--Alan Watts

black textile in close up photography

Basically, there is simply nothing to worry about, because you yourself are the eternal energy of the universe.

--Alan Watts

woman standing on beachfront

The state of nirvana means the blown-out state -- the relieved state - the sigh of relief. Nirvana may be translated into English as "WHEW!"

--Alan Watts

person walking on snowfield

One is a great deal less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious.

--Alan Watts

person standing on top of mountain

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

--Alan Watts

Longer Version:

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.


brown and white butterfly on purple petaled flower

Cultural renewal comes about when highly differentiated cultures mix.

--Alan Watts



red and pink flowers

When you find out that there was never anything in the dark side to be afraid of … Nothing is left but to love.

--Alan Watts

empty brown concrete stairs beside green grass under starry sky long-exposure photography

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

--Alan Watts

Longer Version:

We do not "come into" this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean "waves," the universe "peoples." Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.


mountains covered with fog

The Greek word for sinning means to ‘miss the point;' The point is eternal life which is here and now.

--Alan Watts

green leafed tree on body of water under starry sky

The difficulty of describing things for Western ears is that people in a hurry cannot feel.

--Alan Watts


forest trees photograph

Enlightenment or awakening is not the creation of a new state of affairs but the recognition of what already is.

--Alan Watts

stars across the sky view at the desert

The essential principle of business -- of occupation in the world -- is this: figure out some way in which you get paid for playing.

--Alan Watts




silhouette photo of aurora borealis

To really do nothing, with perfection, is as difficult as doing everything.

--Alan Watts

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

Buddha's doctrine: man suffers because of his craving to possess and keep forever things which are impermanent.

--Alan Watts

green palm tree during daytime

Dispelling dread isn't a matter of trying to forget about washing dishes. It is realizing that in actual fact you only have one dish to wash, ever: this one; only one step to take, ever: this one. And that is Zen.

--Alan Watts

chocolate

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

sunset

A life full of goals or endpoints is like trying to abate one's hunger by eating merely the two precise ends of a banana.

--Alan Watts

plain

A chest of gold coins or a fat wallet of bills is of no use
whatsoever to a wrecked sailor alone on a raft.

--Alan Watts

boat docked near house

You can't get wet from the word 'water.'

--Alan Watts




man and woman kissing under blue sky during daytime

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


green palm plant during daytime

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


green grass field with smoke

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

white flowers in brown stem

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


person standing on rock beside body of water between green trees

We tend to regard ourselves as puppets of the Past, driven along by something that is always behind us.

--Alan Watts



grassland landscape

The desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing.

--Alan Watts

blue and white abstract painting

Irrevocable commitment to any religion is not only intellectual suicide; it is positive unfaith because it closes the mind to any new vision of the world. Faith is, above all, openness -- an act of trust in the unknown.

--Alan Watts

clear wine glass with red wine

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


grassland landscape

A myth is an image in terms of which we try to make sense of the world.

--Alan Watts

city lights from hill

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

--Alan Watts

silhouette photography of trees and sky

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

--Alan Watts

man in black tank top standing near tree under starry night

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

Longer Version:

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... within I don't know how many years, but in not too long a time, it's going to become basic common sense that you are not some alien being who confronts an external world that is not you, but that almost every intelligent person will have the feeling of being an activity of the entire universe.


black dragonfly perched on green grass in close up photography during daytime

Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we're not alone.

--Alan Watts

shallow focus photography of books

The destination of life is this eternal moment.

--Alan Watts

group of people waving their hands

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

--Alan Watts

aerial photo of foggy mountains

If we are not totally blind, what we are seeking is already here. This is it.

--Alan Watts


stainless steel key on brown rod

The psychotherapist... tries to help the individual to be himself and to go it alone without giving unnecessary offense to his community, to be in the world (of social convention) but not of the world.

--Alan Watts

pink flowers in tilt shift lens

Everything in the world is gloriously meaningless.

--Alan Watts

rock formation surrounding by body of water

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

--Alan Watts

silhouette of man standing on hill during starry night

A certain amount of doing nothing, and stopping rushing around, would cool everything.

--Alan Watts

person in black and white mask

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

--Alan Watts




minimalist photography of open door

Stop measuring days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence.

--Alan Watts

blue rose with water droplet

Buddhism has in it no idea of there being a moral law laid down by some kind of cosmic lawgiver.

--Alan Watts


elephant play with brown sand

Nothing satisfies an individual incapable of enjoyment.

--Alan Watts

landscape photography of mountain hit by sun rays

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


green-leafed plant

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

--Alan Watts

man playing soccer during daytime

I find that the sensation of myself as an ego inside a bag of skin is really a hallucination.

--Alan Watts

gray wooden house on green plains near mountain range at daytime

Everything is perpetually becoming new.

--Alan Watts

black fawn pug playing with plush toy

If a flower had a God it would not be a transcendental flower but a field.

--Alan Watts

green and white painted wall

Lack of awareness of the basic unity of organism and environment is a serious and dangerous hallucination.

--Alan Watts

pink and white tulips on white surface

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

--Alan Watts

Longer Version:

There is no formula for generating the authentic warmth of love. It cannot be copied. You cannot talk yourself into it or rouse it by straining at the emotions or by dedicating yourself solemnly to the service of mankind. Everyone has love, but it can only come out when he is convinced of the impossibility and the frustration of trying to love himself. This conviction will not come through condemnations, through hating oneself, through calling self love bad names in the universe. It comes only in the awareness that one has no self to love.




white rose enclosed photograph

Increasingly, we're developing all kinds of systems for verifying reality by echoing it.

--Alan Watts



silhouette of grass under moonlight

The sound of the rain needs no translation.

--Alan Watts

Longer Version:

That's a waste of time. 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.



woman standing on forest

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

--Alan Watts

silhouette of couple

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

green pine trees near mountain under blue sky during daytime

Nirvana is where you are, provided you don't object to it.

--Alan Watts

closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers

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

--Alan Watts



lighted candle in dark room

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

silhouette of man standing on rock while looking in sky

The world is filled with love-play, from animal lust to sublime compassion.

--Alan Watts

white and yellow flower in close up photography

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

--Alan Watts

white wall paint beside white wall

No one is more dangerously insane than one who is sane all the time: he is like a steel bridge without flexibility, and the order of his life is rigid and brittle.

--Alan Watts

silhouette of off-road car

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

black fawn pug playing with plush toy

People sometimes fail to live because they are always preparing to live.

--Alan Watts





black mountain under blue sky during night time

LSD is simply an exploratory instrument like a microscope or telescope, except this one is inside of you instead of outside of you.

--Alan Watts


shallow focus photography of purple flower

To play so as to be relaxed and refreshed for work is not to play, and no work is well and finely done unless it, too, is a form of play.

--Alan Watts

blue sky and white clouds

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

aerial view of green trees

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


sunset

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

--Alan Watts

blue and white water waves

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

bunch of tulips flower on wooden surface

Meditation is the way in which we come to feel our basic inseparability from the whole universe, and what that requires is that we shut up.

--Alan Watts


pink petaled flower field

Don't hurry anything. Don't worry about the future. Don't worry about what progress you're making. Just be entirely content to be aware of what is.

--Alan Watts




Close-up of a white line on green grass in a soccer field

The freest of my actions just happen like hiccups inside me or like a bird singing outside me.

--Alan Watts

pink tulip in bloom close up photo

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

backdrop

You're not something that's a result of the big bang. You're not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe.

--Alan Watts

green leafed tree on body of water under starry sky

We identify in our experience a differentiation between what we do and what happens to us.

--Alan Watts

close up photo of tree

Faith is, above all, openness; an act of trust in the unknown.

--Alan Watts



rocky mountain

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



red rose in bloom during daytime

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

--Alan Watts

two white flowers

The knowledge of the past stays with us. To let go is simply to release any images and emotions.

--Alan Watts




sunset

We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.

--Alan Watts

silhouette of person wearing cowboy hat during sunset

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

--Alan Watts

blue sky and white clouds

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

white and blue ice in water

We must abandon completely the notion of blaming the past for any kind of situation we're in.

--Alan Watts

white stone woman sculpture

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

woman on seashore near island under blue sky

The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.

--Alan Watts

four wooden boat on teal sea

You are the universe experiencing itself.

--Alan Watts

gray and white concrete floor

The Godhead is never an object of its own knowledge. Just as a knife doesn't cut itself, fire doesn't burn itself, light doesn't illuminate itself. It's always an endless mystery to itself.

--Alan Watts

silhouette photography of person

Everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality.

--Alan Watts

white tulips in white background

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

--Alan Watts

group of people waving their hands

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

--Alan Watts

selective focus photo of brown and blue hourglass on stones

Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.

--Alan Watts

sunset

You don't look out there for God, something in the sky, you look in you.

--Alan Watts

full moon in the sky

For thousands of years human history has been a magnificently futile conflict, a wonderfully staged panorama of triumphs and tragedies based on the resolute taboo against admitting that black goes with white.

--Alan Watts

houses and trees during nighttime

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

--Alan Watts

stars across the sky view at the desert

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


silhouette of stones during golden hour

If you study the writings of the mystics, you will always find things in them that appear to be paradoxes, as in Zen, particularly.

--Alan Watts

landscape photography of mountains with cloudy skies during golden hour

Real religion is the transformation of anxiety into laughter.

--Alan Watts

black dog photography

The past and the future, are in the present.

--Alan Watts

blue boat on sand near body of water during daytime

We keep counting time. We have the sensation time is running out, and we bug ourselves with this. Time is nothing but an abstract measure of motion. We are living in an eternal now.

--Alan Watts



blue and white abstract painting

Life and Reality are not things you can have for yourself unless you accord them to all others. They do not belong to particular persons any more than the sun, moon and stars.

--Alan Watts


A view of the night showing stars

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

--Alan Watts

person holding white book

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


pen on brown board

In known history, nobody has had such capacity for altering the universe than the people of the United States of America. And nobody has gone about it in such an aggressive way.

--Alan Watts

woman doing yoga on rock platform next to body of water

To succeed is always to fail -- in the sense that the more one succeeds in anything, the greater is the need to go on succeeding. To eat is to survive to be hungry.

--Alan Watts

silhouette of person wearing cowboy hat during sunset

Inability to accept the mystic experience is more than an intellectual handicap.

--Alan Watts

Longer Version:

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.



red and yellow abstract painting

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

--Alan Watts



red strawberry fruit on red surface

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

--Alan Watts




group of camels walking on desert lake at daytime

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

galaxy wallpaper

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

--Alan Watts

pink tulips in close up photography

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



white and blue ice in water

The only alternative to a shuddering paralysis is to leap into action regardless of the consequences.

--Alan Watts

None

To go out of your mind at least once a day is tremendously important. By going out of your mind, you come to your senses.

--Alan Watts


sunset with rainbow

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

--Alan Watts




yellow and white abstract painting

The greater part of human activity is designed to make permanent those experiences and joys which are only lovable because they are changing.

--Alan Watts

purple and green light digital wallpaper

Like love, the light or guidance of truth that influences us exists only in living form, not in principles or rules or expectations or advice, however widely circulated.

--Alan Watts

woman standing on beachfront

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

person holding red and beige twin bell analog alarm clock

Duality is always secretly unity.

--Alan Watts


Arizona landscape

Inner emptiness is not a void to be filled with comforts; it is a window to be looked through.

--Alan Watts


red flower in white background

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

silver bell alarm clock

No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.

--Alan Watts

crack in wall

The only serious side-effect of marijuana is that you might get arrested.

--Alan Watts

wall

The self-styled practical man of affairs who pooh-poohs philosophy as a lot of windy notions is himself a pragmatist or a positivist, and a bad one at that, since he has given no thought to his position.

--Alan Watts


green palm tree during daytime

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

top view of green succulent plants

Thought is a means of concealing Truth.

--Alan Watts

grayscale photography of mountain surrounded by trees

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

--Alan Watts



closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers

The best way to convince someone is by making him realize that what you speak came from his own mind.

--Alan Watts

person holding red and beige twin bell analog alarm clock

Courage is the goal of cowards.

--Alan Watts

green textile

Truly great companies are built on ideals, not just deals.

--Alan Watts

blue wooden door opened

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

--Alan Watts

landscape photography of trees

The mundane and the sacred are one and the same.

--Alan Watts

silhouette of mountains under blue sky during daytime

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

--Alan Watts

man holding brown violin

Money is a way of measuring wealth but is not wealth in itself.

--Alan Watts


clear liquid on leaf

Every explicit duality is an implicit unity.

--Alan Watts

sunset

When you're ready to wake up, you're going to wake up. And if you're not ready, you're going to stay pretending you're just "poor little me."

--Alan Watts

red wallpaper

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. You are not a stranger here.

--Alan Watts

pair of white lace-up shoes

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






tree and pink sky painting

We are the eyes of the cosmos. So that in a way, when you look deeply into somebody's eyes, you're looking deep into yourself, and the other person is looking deeply into the same self.

--Alan Watts

desert grassland

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

--Alan Watts

cloudy sky

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

--Alan Watts

yellow sunflower

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

yellow flowers blooming at field

Just as the highest and the lowest notes are equally inaudible, so perhaps, is the greatest sense and the greatest nonsense equally unintelligible.

--Alan Watts



red flower in white background

We get such a kick out of looking forward to pleasures and rushing ahead to meet them that we can't slow down enough to enjoy them when they come.

--Alan Watts


long black haired woman smiling close-up photography

All I'm saying is that minerals are just a rudimentary form of consciousness whereas the other people are saying that consciousness is a complicated form of minerals.

--Alan Watts

yellow and purple flower with white background

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

person using laptop computer

Taoism is a way of liberation, which never comes by means of revolution, since it is notorious that most revolutions establish worse tyrannies than they destroy.

--Alan Watts

white and yellow flower in close up photography

We need, above all things, to slow down and get ourselves to amble through life instead of to rush through it.

--Alan Watts

solid background

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


low angle photography of purple sky

The truth is revealed by removing things that stand in its light, an art not unlike sculpture, in which the artist creates, not by building, but by hacking away.

--Alan Watts



round analog watch with black leather strap on top of white wooden surface

There is always something taboo, something repressed, unadmitted, 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


solid background

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

man on running field

How could you say the best form of government is a republic if you think the universe is a monarchy?

--Alan Watts

closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers

To have order, you must have randomness, because where you have no randomness order cannot manifest itself.

--Alan Watts

yellow and red color textile

Without birth and death, and without the perpetual transmutation of all the forms of life, the world would be static, rhythm-less, undancing, mummified.

--Alan Watts


yellow bee beside purple petaled flower during daytime

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

--Alan Watts

purple textile with white line

If, then, my awareness of the past and future makes me less aware of the present, I must begin to wonder whether I am actually living in the real world.

--Alan Watts

Longer Version:

If my happiness at this moment consists largely in reviewing happy memories and expectations, I am but dimly aware of this present. I shall still be dimly aware of the present when the good things that I have been expecting come to pass. For I shall have formed a habit of looking behind and ahead, making it difficult for me to attend to the here and now. If, then , my awareness of the past and future makes me less aware of the present, I must begin to wonder whether I am actually living in the real world.


tilt shift lens pink fetal flowers

Anxiety is the fear that one of a pair of opposites might cancel the other. Forever.

--Alan Watts

forest trees photograph

What the devil is the point of surviving, going on living, when it's a drag? But you see, that's what people do.

--Alan Watts

blue, white, and pink petaled flowers on gray surface

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

black and white abstract illustration

To feel that life is meaningless unless "I" can be permanent is like having fallen desperately in love with an inch.

--Alan Watts

sunset

The religious idea of God cannot do full duty for the metaphysical infinity.

--Alan Watts

silhouette of a woman with pink and purple sky

The problem is to overcome the ingrained disbelief in the power of winning nature by love, in the gentle (ju) way (do) of turning with the skid, of controlling ourselves by cooperating with ourselves.

--Alan Watts

starry night in Texas

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

man and woman with dog on woods

The menu is not the meal.

--Alan Watts


white brick wall planning

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

white

Buddhism ... is not a culture but a critique of culture, an enduring nonviolent revolution or "loyal opposition" to the culture in which it is involved.

--Alan Watts

purple textile in close up photography

But the disappearance of the effort to let go is precisely the disappearance of the separate thinker, of the ego trying to watch the mind without interfering.

--Alan Watts

yellow sunflower

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


white concrete building

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

blue and white abstract painting

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

jumping on snow covered mountain during daytime

You can't live at all unless you can live fully now.

--Alan Watts

blue sky with stars during night time

A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So he loses touch with Reality, and lives in a world of illusion.

--Alan Watts


lights pattern swirls

Religion is not a department of life; it is something that enters into the whole of it.

--Alan Watts


blue wallpaper

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

--Alan Watts


white tulips with green leaves

The materialism of modern civilization is paradoxically founded on a hatred of materiality, a goal-oriented desire to obliterate all natural limits through technology, imposing an abstract grid over nature.

--Alan Watts

photo of gray moon

Carried to its final extreme, the logical end of this type of reaction to life is suicide. The hard-bitten kind of person is always, as it were, a partial suicide; some of himself is already dead.

--Alan Watts



blue and white abstract painting

Although 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

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