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

Alan Watts

Alan Watts

Profession: Philosopher
Nationality: American

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Reasonable–that is, human–men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life.

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

Indeed, one of the highest pleasures is to be more or less unconscious of one's own existence, to be absorbed in interesting sights, sounds, places, and people. Conversely, one of the greatest pains is to be self-conscious, to feel unabsorbed and cut off from the community and the surrounding world.

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.

We have untold stacks of recorded music from every age and culture, and the most superb means of playing it. But who actually listens? Maybe a few pot-smokers.

It is in vain that we can predict and control the course of events in the future, unless we know how to live in the present. It is in vain that doctors prolong life if we spend the extra time being anxious to live still longer.

Self-consciousness is a stoppage because it is like interrupting a song after every note so as to listen to the echo, and then feeling irritated because of the loss of rhythm.

As Chuang-tzu says, It may be attained but not seen, or, in other words, felt but not conceived, intuited but not categorized, divined but not explained. In a similar way, air and water cannot be cut or clutched, and their flow ceases when they are enclosed. There is no way of putting a stream in a bucket or the wind in a bag. Verbal.

And the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on.

The universe is everlasting. The reason that the universe is everlasting is that it does not live for itself. Therefore it lasts. Therefore the sage puts himself behind, and finds himself in front, regards his person as outside himself, and his person is preserved. Is it not because he does not live for himself that he realizes himself?

The meaning of being alive is just being alive.

Doctors try to get rid of their patients - clergymen try to get them hooked on the medicine so that they will become addicts to the church.

Every one of us is an aperture through which the whole cosmos looks out.

For the use of words, and thus of a book, is to point beyond themselves to a world of life and experience that is not mere words or even ideas. Just as money is not real, consumable wealth, books are not life. To idolize scriptures is like eating paper currency.