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Best Quotes From Alan Watts To Remember [ecis2023]

[Ecis2023]

In a world obsessed with success, productivity, and the desire to be more, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. Alan Watts was a groundbreaking philosopher whose teachings made people realize there is so much more to life than merely seeking wealth and fame, or wasting time on trivial matters. These are some of the best quotes from Alan Watts, all designed to remind you to slow down and enjoy every moment.

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Alan Watts Quotes From The Book

Alan Watts Quotes From The Book

“We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.” – Alan W. Watts

“Life exists only at this very moment, and at this moment it is infinite and eternal, for the present moment is infinitely small; before we can measure it, it has gone, and yet it exists forever….” – Alan Watts

“We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” – Alan W. Watts

“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.” – Alan Watts

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

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

“Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.” – Alan Watts

“The sense of wrong is simply the failure to see where something fits into a pattern, to be confused as to the hierarchical level upon which an event belongs.” – Alan W. Watts

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

“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 to work, realize it is played.” – Alan Watts

“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.” – Alan Watts

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Top Famous Quotes By The Dalai Lama.

“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 W. Watts

“To put is still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath.” –Alan W. Watts

“Philosophy is man’s expression of curiosity about everything and his attempt to make sense of the world primarily through his intellect.” – Alan W. Watts

“Parts exist only for purposes of figuring and describing, and as we figure the world out we become confused if we do not remember this all the time.” – Alan Watts

“There will always be suffering. But we must not suffer over the suffering.” – Alan Watts

“Every individual is a unique manifestation of the Whole, as every branch is a particular outreaching of the tree.” – Alan Watts

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

“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 W. Watts

“When you get free from certain fixed concepts of the way the world is, you find it is far more subtle, and far more miraculous than you thought it was.” – Alan Watts

“Life and love generate effort, but the effort will not generate them. Faith in life, in other people, and in oneself, is the attitude of allowing the spontaneous to be spontaneous, in its own way and in its own time.” – Alan Watts

“Parts exist only for purposes of figuring and describing, and as we figure the world out we become confused if we do not remember this all the time.” – Alan Watts

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“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.” – Alan W. Watts

“What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself.” – Alan Watts

“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.” – Alan W. Watts

“When we attempt to exercise power or control over someone else, we cannot avoid giving that person the very same power or control over us.” ― Alan Wilson Watts, The Way of Zen

Famous Quotes Of Alan Watts

“There is no formula for generating the authentic warmth of love. It cannot be copied.” – Alan Watts

“The problem comes up because we ask the question in the wrong way. We supposed that solids were one thing and space quite another, or just nothing whatever. Then it appeared that space was no mere nothing because solids couldn’t do without it. But the mistake, in the beginning, was to think of solids and space as two different things, instead of as two aspects of the same thing. The point is that they are different but inseparable, like the front end and the rear end of a cat. Cut them apart, and the cat dies.” – Alan Watts

“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

“The only Zen you’ll find on mountain tops is the Zen you bring up there with you.” – Alan Watts

“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

“To be free from the convention is not to spurn it but not to be deceived by it.” – Alan Watts

“The more we struggle for life (as pleasure), the more we are actually killing what we love.” – Alan Watts

“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

“There is always something taboo, something repressed, un-admitted, 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

“The menu is not the meal.” – Alan Watts

“We seldom realize, for example, that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.” – Alan Watts

“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.” – Alan Watts

“You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.” – Alan Watts

“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

Famous Quotes From Alan Watts

Famous Quotes From Alan Watts

“If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid.” – Alan Watts

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

“It’s like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it’s dense, isn’t it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting. But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlicue, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you’re a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don’t feel that we’re still the big bang. But you are. Depends on how you define yourself. You are actually–if this is the way things started if there was a big bang in the beginning– you’re not something that’s a result of the big bang. You’re not something that is a sort of puppet at the end of the process. You are still in the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as Mr so-and-so, Ms so-and-so, Mrs so-and-so–I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I’m that, too. But we’ve learned to define ourselves as separate from it. ” ― Alan Watts

“Every intelligent individual wants to know what makes him tick, and yet is at once fascinated and frustrated by the fact that oneself is the most difficult of all things to know.” ― 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

“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

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

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“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 W. Watts

“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. There is no other reality than present reality, so that, even if one were to live for endless ages, to live for the future would be to miss the point everlastingly.” ― Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety

“The essential point is to consider love as a spectrum. There is not, as it were just nice love and nasty love, spiritual love and material love, mature affection on the one hand, and infatuation on the other. These are all forms of the same energy. And you have to take it and let it grow where you find it.” ― Alan Watts

“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.”

“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

“What we have forgotten is that thoughts and words are conventions and that it is fatal to take conventions too seriously. A convention is a social convenience, as, for example, money … but it is absurd to take money too seriously, to confuse it with real wealth … In somewhat the same way, thoughts, ideas, and words are “coins” for real things.” ― Alan Wilson Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety

“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

“The world is filled with love-play, from animal lust to sublime compassion.” – Alan Watts

“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.” – Alan Watts

“Real travel requires a maximum of unscheduled wandering, for there is no other way of discovering surprises and marvels, which, as I see it, is the only good reason for not staying at home.” – Alan Wilson Watts

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

“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. 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.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

“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.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

Best Alan Watts Quotes

“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

“Your skin does not separate you from the world. It’s a bridge through which the external world flows into you. And you flow into it.” – Alan Watts

“Money is an abstraction. It cannot, of itself, buy any pleasureAlan Watts Boatwhatsoever. Because all pleasures involve skill and love.” – Alan W. Watts

“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the Gods made for fun.” – Alan Watts

“One is a great deal less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious, and the same may be said of guilt.” – Alan W. Watts

“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.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

“Advice? I don’t have any 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.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

“Total situations are, therefore, patterns in time as much as patterns in space.” – Alan Watts

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

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Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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