Famous Alan Watts Quotes

If you love a person, you say to that person, “Look, I love you, whatever that may be. I’ve seen quite a bit of it and I know there’s lots that I haven’t seen, but still it’s you and I want you to be what you want to be. And I won’t be happy if I’ve got you in a cage. You’d be a bird without song.”


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.


Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them.


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.


To perceive that form reveals the void, and to see that the void reveals form, is the secret for the overcoming of death. To the extent that one is unaware of space, one is unaware of one’s own eternity — it’s the same thing!


The self-styled practical man of affairs who pooh-poohs philosophy as a lot of windy notions is himself a pragmatist or a positivist, and a bad one at that, since he has given no thought to his position.


As a human being it is just my nature to enjoy and share philosophy. I do this in the same way that some birds are eagles and some doves, some flowers lilies and some roses.


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.


As muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone, it could be argued that those who sit quietly and do nothing are making one of the best possible contributions to a world in turmoil.


Wonder, and its expression in poetry and the arts, are among the most important things which seem to distinguish men from other animals, and intelligent and sensitive people from morons.


Yet again, the more you strive for some kind of perfection or mastery—in morals, in art or in spirituality—the more you see that you are playing a rarefied and lofty form of the old ego-game, and that your attainment of any height is apparent to yourself and to others only by contrast with someone else’s depth or failure.


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


The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events–that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies–and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.


We have allowed brain thinking to develop and dominate our lives. As a consequence, we are at war within ourselves. The brain desiring things which the body does not want, and the body desiring things which the brain does not allow; the brain giving directions which the body will not follow, and the body giving impulses which the brain cannot


If we want justice for minorities and cooled wars with our natural enemies, whether human or nonhuman, we must first come to terms with the minority wand the enemy in ourselves and in our own hearts, for the rascal is there as much as anywhere in the ‘external’ world – especially when you realize that the world outside your skin is as much yourself as the world inside.


Everything is perpetually becoming new.


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.


When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point.


Breathing is important in the practice of meditation because it is the faculty in us that is simultaneously voluntary and involuntary. You can feel that you are breathing, and equally you can feel that it is breathing you. So it is a sort of bridge between the voluntary world and the involuntary world — a place where they are one.


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.


Faith…is letting go and trusting oneself to the unknown.


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.


Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.