Alan Watts

Alan Watts

Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. 

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You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.

Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience.

Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.

Just as true humor is laughter at oneself, true humanity is knowledge of oneself.

This is the real secret of life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.

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

Society is our extended mind and body.

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

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.

We are, therefore, out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. 

We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. 

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

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

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. 

The question “what shall we do about it” is only asked by those who do not understand the problem.

Omnipotence is not knowing how everything is done, it's just doing it.

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

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.

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

Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.

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