FAVORITE WISDOM FROM ALAN WATTS

Alan Watts was a self-described "spiritual entertainer" who lectured on Eastern religion and philosophy for Western audiences. His lectures are insightful, humorous, and memorable.
  1. "Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun."
  2. "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 work, realize it is play."
  3. "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."
  4. "Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. ... for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t."
  5. "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."
  6. "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."
  7. "Other people teach us who we are. Their attitudes to us are the mirror in which we learn to see ourselves, but the mirror is distorted. We are, perhaps, rather dimly aware of the immense power of our social enviornment."
  8. "What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because ... you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all."