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Best Alan Watts Quotes

Alan Watts Quotes About Life, Love, The Universe, Overthinking, Reality, Change, Happiness, Nature & Dream! Among the most prominent British philosophers, writers, and speakers, Alan Watts is known for translating Eastern philosophy and making it accessible to Western audiences. He became a famous figure in the San Francisco Bay Area for his work as a volunteer programmer for KPFA, a Pacifica Radio station in Berkeley. In Chislehurst, Kent, England, Alan was born on January 6, 1915. As a student at Canterbury’s King’s School, Alan had the opportunity to travel to France with wealthy Epicurean Francis Croshaw during his teen years.

Alan Watts Quotes

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He worked in a painting company and a bank after completing his secondary education. In addition to learning Chinese, Alan researched Zen Buddhism and the fundamental beliefs and practices of Indian and East Asian religions and philosophies. During the 1930s, Alan became the secretary of the London Buddhist Lodge. Upon joining the American Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco in 1951, Alan Watts settled in California.

As a part of his studies at the Academy, he taught himself written Chinese and Chinese brush calligraphy. His career as a radio programmer for Pacifica Radio Station KPFA in Berkeley began in 1953 after Watts left the Academy to become a freelancer.

In 1957, Watts wrote a highly acclaimed book titled “The Way of Zen,” which became an international bestseller dealing with Zen Buddhism’s philosophical foundations and history. “Tao: The Watercourse Way,” one of his most famous books, set him apart as a Zionist. Over 25 books were written by Alan Watts on diverse topics, including cybernetics, semantics, process philosophy, natural history, anthropology of sexuality, and Eastern and Western religion.

Best Alan Watts Quotes

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

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

3. “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

4. “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

5. “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 Watts

6. “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

7. “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

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

9. “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.” – Alan Watts

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

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

12. “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

13. “The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.” – Alan Watts

14. “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 Watts

14. “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 Watts

15. “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.” – Alan Watts

16. “A scholar tries to learn something everyday; a student of Buddhism tries to unlearn something daily.” – Alan Watts

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

18. “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 Watts

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

20. “No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” – Alan Watts

21. “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.” – Alan Watts

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

23. “Love is not something that is a sort of rare commodity, everybody has it.” – Alan Watts

24. “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

25. “Everything that happens, everything that I have ever done, everything that anybody else have ever done is part of a harmonious design, that there is no error at all.” – Alan Watts

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