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Alan Watts Quotes on Life, Love, Peace, Happiness To Inspire You To Think Rationally

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Alan Watts Quotes

Alan Wilson Watts was an English philosopher, writer, and speaker who popularized and translated Buddhist, Taoist, and Hindu philosophy from India and China for a Western audience.

He moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York, where he was born in Chislehurst, England. He graduated from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in theology and was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1945. In 1950, he left the ministry and moved to California, where he became a member of the American Academy of Asian Studies’ faculty.

Alan was born on 6th January 1915 at Chislehurst, Kent, England.

Alan was born to Laurence Wilson Watts who was a representative for the London office of the Michelin tyre company and mother, Emily Mary Watts who was a housewife.

Who is Alan Watts?

Name: Alan Watts
Date of Birth January 6, 1915
Date of Death: November 16, 1973
Education The King’s School, Canterbury, on the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral
Children: 7 children – Tia, Mark, Richard, Lila, and Diane. and Joan, and Anne
Parents: Laurence Wilson Watts (Father), Emily Mary Watts (Mother)
Birthplace Chislehurst, Kent, England
Source of Wealth: English Writer and Speaker
Country of Origin: England

Alan Watts Early Life

Alan has been fascinated by Asian art, literature, and philosophy since he was a child. Alan’s parents encouraged him to write because of his bright and inquisitive nature. Alan was brought to the Buddhist Lodge in London by his father, a businessman, where he worked as an editor for the Lodge’s journal, The Middle Way, as a teenager.

In 1932, he published his first booklet, An Outline of Zen Buddhism, a summary of D. T. Suzuki’s Zen writings. Alan moved to the United States in 1938 to pursue Zen studies in New York, where he soon began giving talks in bookstores and cafes.

Alan Watts Education

Watts went to Canterbury’s The King’s School, which is located on the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral. He blew a chance at an Oxford scholarship by writing a crucial examination essay in a way that was interpreted as “presumptuous and capricious.”
In 1936, at the age of 21, he attended the World Congress of Faiths at the University of London, where he met D. T. Suzuki, a renowned Zen Buddhist scholar who was giving a paper. Watts studied the available scholarly literature in addition to attending discussions, learning the fundamental concepts and terminology of Indian and East Asian philosophy.

Alan Watts Books

Alan Watts wrote over 25 books on a variety of subjects, including cybernetics, semantics, process philosophy, natural history, anthropology of sexuality, and Eastern and Western religion. Among his best-known works are “The Way of Zen” (1957), “Psychotherapy East and West” (1961), “The New Alchemy” (1958), “The Legacy of Asia and Western Man” (1937), “The Meaning of Happiness” (1940), and “The Joyous Cosmology” (1962). (alan watts books near me)

It’s so straightforward, obvious, and simple. And yet, everyone rushes around in a panic, as if it were necessary to accomplish something bigger than themselves. The Culture of Counter-Culture: Edited Transcripts, Alan Wilson Watts.

He favored social ethics over personal ethics. Watts’ writings became increasingly concerned with ethics as they applied to relationships between humanity and the natural environment, as well as between governments and citizens. He wrote to express his admiration for a racially and culturally diverse social landscape. He frequently stated that he wished to serve as a link between the ancient and the modern, East and West, and culture and nature.

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Watts’ books frequently contain discussions that reflect his keen interest in patterns that occur in nature and are repeated in various ways and at a wide range of scales – including patterns discernible in the history of civilizations.

Alan Watts Notable Work

Watts’ first book, The Spirit of Zen, was published in 1936. He slammed The Spirit of Zen two decades later in The Way of Zen, calling it a “popularization of Suzuki’s earlier works, and aside from being very unscholarly, it is in many ways out of date and misleading.”

Other distinguished works include:

  • The Legacy of Asia and Western Man, 1937
  • The Meaning of Happiness, 1940
  • The Way of Zen, 1957
  • The Two Hands of God: The Myths of Polarity, 1963
  • The Art of Contemplation: A Facsimile Manuscript with Doodles, 1972

Apart from these, there are many other famous publications by him.

Alan Watts Personal on Life

Alan was married three times, and he has seven children. First he married Eleanor Everett in 1936, and got married in  April 1938.  They together had two daughters, Joan and Anne. Their marriage ended in 1949. Then in 1950, Watts married Dorothy DeWitt. They began a family and had five children: Tia, Mark, Richard, Lila, and Diane. The couple separated in the early 1960s. Finally, he met Mary Jane Yates King, and got married with her in 1964.

His writings and words expressed a lot about the philosophy of life and nature. Here we are sharing some of his most golden words. Check out these Alan Watts Quotes related to his philosophy of life.

Alan Watts Quotes

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple.” ― Alan Watts

Alan Watts Quotes

“We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.” ― Alan Watts

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

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

“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the God made for fun.” ― Alan Watts

“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” ― Alan Watts

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“A scholar tries to learn something every day, a student of Buddhism tries to unlearn something daily.” ― Alan Watts

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

“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.” ― Alan Watts

“Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.” ― Alan Watts

Alan Watts Quotes on Life

“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”― Alan Watts

Alan Watts Quotes on Life

“Stay in the centre, and you will be ready to move in any direction.” ― Alan Watts

“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.”― Alan Watts

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

“Just as true humour is laughter at oneself, true humanity is knowledge of oneself.”― Alan Watts

“A scholar tries to learn something every day; a student of Buddhism tries to unlearn something daily.”― Alan Watts

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

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

“You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.”― Alan Watts

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

Alan Watts Quotes on Peace

“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.” ― Alan Watts

Alan Watts Quotes on Peace

“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.” ― Alan Watts

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

“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” ― Alan Watts

“You are that vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes.” ― Alan Watts

“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 to work, realize it is played.” ― Alan Watts

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

“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.” ― Alan Watts

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“No one is more dangerously insane than one who is sane all the time: he is like a steel bridge without flexibility, and the order of his life is rigid and brittle.” ― Alan Watts

“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

Alan Watts Quotes on Love

“The world is filled with love-play, from animal lust to sublime compassion.” ― Alan Watts

Alan Watts Quotes on Love

“One is a great deal less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious, and the same may be said of guilt.” ― Alan Watts

“What we have to discover is that there is no safety, that seeking is painful, and that when we imagine that we have found it, we don’t like it.” ― Alan Watts

“Words can be communicative only between those who share similar experiences.” ― Alan Watts

“If you cannot trust yourself, you cannot even trust your mistrust of yourself – so that without this underlying trust in the whole system of nature you are simply paralyzed.” ― Alan Watts

“Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe.” ― Alan Watts

“Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them.” ― Alan Watts

“It is hard indeed to notice anything for which the languages available to us have no description.” ― Alan Watts

“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.” ― Alan Watts

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Alan Watts Quotes on Truth

“People become concerned with being more humble than other people.” ― Alan Watts

Alan Watts Quotes on Truth

“Jesus was not the man he was as a result of making Jesus Christ his personal savior.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

“The source of all light is in the eye.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

“You are that vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

“When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.” ― Alan Watts

“the future is a concept—it doesn’t exist There is no such thing as tomorrow There never will be because time is always now. That’s one of the things we discover when we stop talking to ourselves and stop thinking. We find there is only present, only an eternal now.” ― Alan Watts

“Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

“I owe my solitude to other people.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

“In reality, there are no separate events. Life moves along like water, it’s all connected to the source of the river is connected to the mouth and the ocean.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

Alan Watts Quotes on Happiness

“Our pleasures are not material pleasures, but symbols of pleasure – attractively packaged but inferior in content.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

Alan Watts Quotes on Happiness

“Philosophers, for example, often fail to recognize that their remarks about the universe apply also to themselves and their remarks. If the universe is meaningless, so is the statement that it is so.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

“We know that from time to time, there arise among human beings, people who seem to exude love as naturally as the sun gives out heat.” ― Alan W. Watts

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“The morning glory which blooms for an hour differs not at heart from the giant pine, which lives for a thousand years.” ― Alan Watts

“A man does not really begin to be alive until he has lost himself until he has released the anxious grasp which he normally holds upon his life, his property, his reputation and position.” ― Alan W. Watts

“You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here.” ― Alan W. Watts

“Just as money is not real, consumable wealth, books are not life. To idolize scriptures is like eating paper currency.” ― Alan Watts

“It is hard indeed to notice anything for which the languages available to us have no description.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

“I have no other self than the totality of things of which I am aware.” ― Alan W. Watts

“The religious idea of God cannot do full duty for the metaphysical infinity.” ― Alan Watts

Alan Watts Quotes on Relationships

“Instant coffee, for example, is a well–deserved punishment for being in a hurry to reach the future.” ― Alan W. Watts

“To travel is to be alive, but to get somewhere is to be dead, for as our own proverb says, “To travel well is better than to arrive.” ― Alan W. Watts

“When you find out that there was never anything in the dark side to be afraid of … Nothing is left but to love.” ― Alan Watts

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“Do not let the rapidity with which these thoughts can change deceive you into feeling that you think them all at once.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

“Stay in the centre, and you will be ready to move in any direction.” ― Alan W. Watts

“Playing the violin is, after all, only scraping a cat’s entrails with horsehair.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

“The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

“life requires no future to complete itself nor explanation to justify itself. At this moment it is finished.” ― Alan W. Watts

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

“Genuine love comes from knowledge, not from a sense of duty or guilt.” ― Alan W. Watts

Alan Watts Quotes on Relationships

Alan Watts Philosophy

Alan Watts, a British philosopher, and writer popularized Eastern philosophy in the West during the 1950s and 1960s, offering a wholly different perspective on inner wholeness in an age of anxiety and what it truly means to live a life of purpose.

Watts published “The Way of Zen,” a highly acclaimed and much-discussed book that rose to the status of international bestseller in 1957, which dealt with the philosophical fundamentals and history of Zen Buddhism. Alan met eminent psychiatrist Carl Jung during his travels in Europe, and upon his return to America, Watts began exploring the subject matter of modern science and psychology, aiming to establish an alignment between mystical experiences and material theories of the universe. He also started using psychedelic drugs. He published his famous book, “Tao: The Watercourse Way,” which solidified his position as a prominent Zionist.

He also created an audio series called “Out of Our Mind,” in which he discussed a wide range of topics including arts, cuisine, child-rearing, education, law and freedom, architecture, and sexuality.

Alan Watts Death

Alan took his last breath on 16th November 1973, at an age of 58 years, at Mount Tamalpais, California, US.

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FAQs:

  • What was Alan Watts’s philosophy?

Alan Watts’ philosophy was concerned with the burden of silence. Our thoughts tend to take over during periods of silence. He attempted to assist people in ceasing to think.

  • Did Alan Watts believe in God?

Alan Watts was a British philosopher, writer, and public speaker who popularised and interpreted Eastern philosophy for Western audiences. However, Watts, like many Buddhists, was agnostic. Instead, he believed that as we live our lives, we create God.

  • How did Alan Watts make a living?

Watts was a teen prodigy and one of the first British Buddhist converts. At the age of 20, he published his first book on Zen. He became a self-employed ‘philosopher-entertainer,’ living in the Bay Area and giving talks to rapt college audiences.

  • What are Alan Watts’s beliefs?

Alan Watts believed that the key to the universe was a higher consciousness or mind. The universe is an emanation of a single Being or Consciousness. The nature of the universe is unity, and the distinctions between the knowing subject and the objects of knowledge are expressions of unity.

  • What is the content of love according to Alan Watts?

According to Alan Watts love is an act of surrender to another person. Total abandonment.

Summing Up:

Alan Watts was a prolific author and speaker who was among the first to translate Eastern wisdom for a Western audience.

He was born outside of London in 1915, and at a young age, he discovered the nearby Buddhist Lodge. Alan moved to the United States in 1938 and worked as an Episcopal priest for a while before settling in Millbrook, New York, where he wrote his seminal book The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety.

He moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York, where he was born in Chislehurst, England. He earned a master’s degree in theology from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he was pursuing a career.

May these Alan Watts Quotes motivate you to live in the moment and pursue your goals.

 

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