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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Read more about Alan Watts on Wikipedia.

I owe my solitude to other people.

Faith is a state of openness or trust.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance.

How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain, can experience itself anything less than a god.

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.

Saints need sinners.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

Peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love.

We must abandon completely the notion of blaming the past for any kind of situation we’re in and reverse our thinking and see that the past always flows back form the present. 

What we have forgotten is that thoughts and words are conventions, and that it is fatal to take conventions too seriously. 

Jesus Christ knew he was God. So wake up and find out eventually who you really are. In our culture, of course, they’ll say you’re crazy and you’re blasphemous, and they’ll either put you in jail or in a nut house (which is pretty much the same thing). However if you wake up in India and tell your friends and relations, ‘My goodness, I’ve just discovered that I’m God,’ they’ll laugh and say, ‘Oh, congratulations, at last you found out.

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.

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