The frightened mind that runs away from everyday terrors meets the seeking mind that wants a better world.

Alan Watts

Alan Watts

Profession: Philosopher
Nationality: American

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Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.

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

Eskimos have five words for different kinds of snow, because they live with it and it is important to them. But the Aztec language has but one word for snow, rain, and hail.

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

The yin-yang view of the world is serenely cyclic. Fortune and misfortune, life and death, whether on small scale or vast, come and go everlastingly without beginning or end, and the whole system is protected from monotony by the fact that, in just the same way, remembering alternates with forgetting.

We see it as an eternal arena in which the individual is no more than a temporary stranger—a visitor who hardly belongs—for the thin ray of consciousness does not shine upon its own source. In looking out upon the world, we forget that the world is looking at itself—through our eyes and IT's.

This is the situation of everyone who feels that life is a problem to be solved. Whether you seek to solve that problem through psychoanalysis, integration, salvation, or buddhahood, you define yourself in a certain way when you see life as a problem to be solved.

Taoists do not look upon meditation as 'practice,' except in the sense that a doctor 'practices' medicine. They have no design to subjugate or alter the universe by force or willpower, for their art is entirely to go along with the flow of things in an intelligent way.

All too easily, we confuse the world as we symbolize it with the world as it is. As semanticist Alfred Korzybski used to say, it is an urgent necessity to distinguish between the map and the territory and, he might have added, between the flag and the country.

People become concerned with being more humble than other people.

People imagine that letting themselves go would have disastrous results; trusting neither circumstances nor themselves, which together make up life, they are forever interfering and trying to make their own souls and the world conform with preconceived patterns. This interference is simply the attempt of the ego to dominate life.

Seen as a whole the universe is a harmony or symbiosis of patterns which cannot exist without each other.

A scholar tries to learn something everyday; a student of Buddhism tries to unlearn something daily.

English the differences between things and actions are clearly, if not always logically, distinguished, but a great number of Chinese words do duty for both nouns and verbs–so that one who thinks in Chinese has little difficulty in seeing that objects are also events, that our world is a collection of processes rather than entities.