30 Alan Watts Quotes That Will Blow Your Mind Wide Open

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alllan 30 Alan Watts Quotes That Will Blow Your Mind Wide Open

Alan Watts was a British philosopher who spoke about Asian philosophies for a Western audience. He wrote over 25 books and was an excellent orator on topics such as the meaning of life, higher consciousness, the true nature of reality and the pursuit of happiness.

Below we look at some of his most potent quotes on various topics. At the bottom, I’ve also included one of my favorite YouTube videos of Alan Watts discussing “the real you”. Enjoy!

On Suffering

Man takes seriously 30 Alan Watts Quotes That Will Blow Your Mind Wide Open

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

“Your body does not eliminate poisons by knowing their names. To try to control fear or depression or boredom by calling them names is to resort to superstition of trust in curses and invocations. It is so easy to see why this does not work. Obviously, we try to know, name, and define fear in order to make it “objective,” that is, separate from “I.””

On the Mind

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“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.”

On the Present Moment

secret of life 30 Alan Watts Quotes That Will Blow Your Mind Wide Open

“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.”

“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.”

“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 infintesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. 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. 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 sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.”

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

past and future are illusions 30 Alan Watts Quotes That Will Blow Your Mind Wide Open

“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.”

“…tomorrow and plans for tomorrow can have no significance at all unless you are in full contact with the reality of the present, since it is in the present and only in the present that you live.”

On the Meaning of Life

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“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.”

On Faith

“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.”

Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Artists

“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.”

On Change

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

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

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

“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.”

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

On Love

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

On You

“What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon 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. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.”

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

“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.”

“The source of all light is in the eye.”

On Technology

“Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe.”

On the Universe

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

“Only words and conventions can isolate us from the entirely undefinable something which is everything.”

“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.”

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

On Problems

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

On Zen

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

Love yourself first and everything else falls into place

It may sound conceited or narcissistic to focus on loving yourself first. But it’s not.

The point isn’t to believe you’re better than others or to accept things about yourself that you really do need to change.

It’s about developing a healthy and nurturing relationship with… you!

Loving yourself is about committing to who you are, understanding the many different nuances to your identity, and showing yourself a level of care and intimacy that we usually reserve for other people.

Unfortunately, we’re not taught how to love ourselves from an early age. And we end up caring about what others think of us rather than focusing on what we need at a more fundamental level.

This is why we partnered with Rudá Iandê to produce a free masterclass on transforming our relationships through the practice of self-love.

It’s currently playing on The Vessel (one of our partners) but only for a limited time.

<< The Art of Love & Intimacy with Rudá Iandê >>

Thousands have attended and told us that the masterclass has completely transformed their relationships for the better.

It’s a must-watch and we couldn’t recommend it more highly.

 

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