15 Alan Watts Quotes (Plus Video)

I recently saw a video that had an excerpt of one of Alan Watts’ speeches (see video below) and decided to check out more of his work. He was a philosopher who was born in 1915, authored over a dozens books, and gave a bunch of speeches, mainly to universities. Although I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says, his thoughts on life are intriguing.

Below are some Alan Watts quotes that I felt were interesting. But first, check out this short Alan Watts video that’s been going viral:

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

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love. No work of 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.”

“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.”

“What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?”

“Better to have a short life that if full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.”

“Life exists only at this very moment, and in 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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Like too much alcohol,self-consciousness makes us see ourselves double, and we make the double image for two selves – mental and material, controlling and controlled, reflective and spontaneous. Thus instead of suffering we suffer about suffering, and suffer about suffering about suffering.”

“You have seen that the universe is at root a magical illusion and a fabulous game, and that there is no separate “you” to get something out of it, as if life were a bank to be robbed. The only real “you” is the one that comes and goes, manifests and withdraws itself eternally in and as every conscious being. For “you” is the universe looking at itself from billions of points of view, points that come and go so that the vision is forever new.”

“Other people teach us who we are. Their attitudes to us are the mirror in which we learn to see ourselves, but the mirror is distorted.”

“For unless one is able to live fully in the present, the future is a hoax. There is no point in making plans for a future which you will never be able to enjoy. When your plans mature, you will still be living for some other future beyond. You will never, never be able to sit back with full contentment and say, “Now, I’ve arrived!” Your entire education has deprived you of this capacity because it was preparing you for the future, instead of showing you how to be alive now.”

More Quotes | MotivationalWellBeing.com

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