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Alan Watts

Find the best quotes, maxims and aphorisms of: Alan Watts

Biography : British philosopher, writer and speaker.
Born: 1915 - Died: 1973
Period:
20th century
Place of birth: United Kingdom
United Kingdom
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Alan Watts - Quotes





A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So he loses touch with reality, and lives in a world of illusion.
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You can't live at all, unless you can live fully now.
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You can't live at all, unless you can live fully now.

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The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
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Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.
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You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are.
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You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are.

Image attribution  Background photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash


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No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.
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Our deeds, our feelings, our thoughts, and our sensations just happen of themselves, as the rain falls and the water flows along the valley.
Alan Watts - In My Own WayTranslations available
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Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.
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The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple.
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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.
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You are that vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes.
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For the use of words, and thus of a book, is to point beyond themselves to a world of life and experience that is not mere words or even ideas. Just as money is not real, consumable wealth, books are not life.
Alan Watts - The Book – On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You AreTranslations available
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I want to make one thing absolutely clear. I am not a Zen Buddhist, I am not advocating Zen Buddhism, I am not trying to convert anyone to it. I have nothing to sell. I'm an entertainer. That is to say, in the same sense, that when you go to a concert and you listen to someone play Mozart, he has nothing to sell except the sound of the music. He doesn’t want to convert you to anything. He doesn’t want you to join an organization in favor of Mozart's music as opposed to, say, Beethoven's. And I approach you in the same spirit as a musician with his piano or a violinist with his violin. I just want you to enjoy a point of view that I enjoy.
Alan Watts
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Just as true humor is laughter at oneself, true humanity is knowledge of oneself.
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The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.
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When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point.
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Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself.
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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.
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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 that this is play.
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You are something the whole universe is doing in the same way that the wave is something that the whole ocean is doing.
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If, then, my awareness of the past and future makes me less aware of the present, I must begin to wonder whether I am actually living in the real world.
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Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself. Just as the word "water" is a noise that symbolizes a certain liquid without being it, so too the idea of ego symbolizes the role you play, who you are, but it is not the same as your living organism.
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Faith is a state of openness or trust.
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But at any rate, the point is that God is what nobody admits to being, and everybody really is.
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But to me nothing - the negative, the empty - is exceedingly powerful.
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You don't look out there for God, something in the sky, you look in you.
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Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.
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And the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on.
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The reason we have poverty is that we have no imagination. There are a great many people accumulating what they think is vast wealth, but it's only money... they don't know how to enjoy it, because they have no imagination.
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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.
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