Alan Watts, a renowned philosopher, writer, and interpreter of Eastern philosophies, had a profound impact on not just myself, but on shaping our understanding of existence, consciousness, and the human experience.
Through his eloquent and insightful words, Watts offered unique perspectives that continue to inspire and provoke contemplation.
Here are ten of my favourite captivating quotes by Alan Watts, inviting you to delve into the depths of his wisdom and discover the profound truths they hold.
“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.”
This quote beautifully encapsulates Watts’ belief in the interconnectedness of all things. It reminds us that we are not separate from the universe but an integral part of its unfolding cosmic dance.
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
Watts encourages us to embrace change rather than resist it. This quote urges us to flow with the rhythm of life, finding meaning and harmony through active participation in the ever-changing nature of existence.
“We do not ‘come into’ this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree.”
With this poetic metaphor, Watts reminds us that our existence is deeply intertwined with the natural world. We emerge from the fabric of the universe, connected to its essence and guided by its timeless wisdom.
“The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.”
This quote emphasizes the importance of inner cultivation and self-awareness. Watts reminds us that true spiritual insight and peace come from within and are not dependent on external circumstances or locations.
“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”
Watts urges us to fully engage in the present moment. This quote underscores the significance of mindfulness and embracing the here and now, recognizing that our ability to appreciate the present shapes our journey into the future.
“What the devil is the point of surviving, going on living, when it’s a drag? But you see, that’s what people do.”
In his characteristic provocative style, Watts questions the notion of living merely for the sake of survival. This quote encourages us to seek meaning, joy, and fulfillment in life, rather than succumbing to a mere existence devoid of passion and purpose.
“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”
Watts reminds us that the essence of life lies in the act of being alive. This quote invites us to slow down, reflect, and embrace the simplicity of existence, free from the perpetual chase for external achievements.
“You are that vast thing that you see far, far off with great telescopes.”
In this thought-provoking quote, Watts invites us to recognize our inherent vastness and interconnectedness with the cosmos. It challenges us to expand our perspective beyond the limitations of individuality and recognize our place in the grand tapestry of the universe.
“The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.”
Watts highlights the dynamic nature of life and the impermanence that permeates it. This quote encourages us to embrace change, growth, and evolution, recognizing that stagnation stifles vitality and potential.
“We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.”
This quote speaks to the inherent duality of human experience. Watts reminds us that the capacity to experience joy and pleasure
Bonus Alan Watts material.
Take a listen to this beautiful clip, Love this mans voice and view on life.