Alan Watts was a British philosopher, speaker, and author. He passed away in 1973, but his legacy lives on through his many inspirational speeches, some of which have millions of views on YouTube.
Here are 25 of the best Alan Watts quotes that’ll blow your mind:
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.
There will always be suffering. But we must not suffer over the suffering.
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
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 only Zen you’ll find on mountain tops is the Zen you bring up there with you.
Life and love generate effort, but 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.
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 thing you don’t like doing, which is stupid.
Problems that remain persistently insolvable should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.
The attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.
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”.
By replacing fear of the unknown with curiosity we open ourselves up to an infinite stream of possibility. We can let fear rule our lives or we can become childlike with curiosity, pushing our boundaries, leaping out of our comfort zones, and accepting what life puts before us.
Life is not a problem to be solved, but an experience to be had.
Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the Gods made for fun.
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.
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.
Words can be communicative only between those who share similar experiences.
It’s better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way.
Society is our extended mind and body.
Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.
Philosophy is man’s expression of curiosity about everything and his attempt to make sense of the world primarily through his intellect.
The menu is not the meal.
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.
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.
The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.
Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.
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