Alan Watts Thoughts and Quotes

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If you study the writings of the mystics, you will always find things in them that appear to be paradoxes, as in Zen, particularly.

 

You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.

 

A myth is an image in terms of which we try to make sense of the world.

 

Buddhism has in it no idea of there being a moral law laid down by somekind of cosmic lawgiver.

 

But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.

 

Omnipotence is not knowing how everything is done; it’s just doing it.

 

No work or 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.

 

No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.

 

But at any rate, the point is that God is what nobody admits to being, and everybody really is.

 

The ego is nothing other than the focus of conscious attention.

 

The myths underlying our culture and underlying our common sense have not taught us to feel identical with the universe, but only parts of it, only in it, only confronting it – aliens.

 

The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.

 

What the devil is the point of surviving, going on living, when it’s a drag? But you see, that’s what people do.

 

We identify in our exerience a differentiation between what we do and what happens to us.

 

The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.

 

The reason we want to go on and on is because we live in an impoverished present.

 

How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself anything less than a god.

 

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.

 

We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.

 

In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all.

 

Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.

 

You don’t look out there for God, something in the sky, you look in you.

 

The style of God venerated in the church, mosque, or synagogue seems completely different from the style of the natural universe.

 

Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.

 

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

 

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.

 

And although our bodies are bounded with skin, and we can differentiate between outside and inside, they cannot exist except in a certain kind of natural environment.

 

In known history, nobody has had such capacity for altering the universe than the people of the United States of America. And nobody has gone about it in such an aggressive way.

 

Some believe all that parents, tutors, and kindred believe. They take their principles by inheritance, and defend them as they would their estates, because they are born heirs to them.

 

No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.

 

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