Citáty Alan Watts

„Truly religious people always make jokes about their religion; their faith is so strong that they can afford it. Much of the secret of life consists in knowing how to laugh, and also how to breathe“

—  Alan Watts

Zdroj: In My Own Way: An Autobiography 1915-1965 (1972), p. 6
Kontext: Do you suppose that God takes himself seriously? I know a Zen master, Joshu Sasaki, who has let it be known that the best form of meditation is to stand up with your hands on your hips and roar with laughter for ten minutes every morning. I have heard of a sophisticated shaman-type fellow who used to cure ringworm on cows just by pointing at the scars and laughing. Truly religious people always make jokes about their religion; their faith is so strong that they can afford it. Much of the secret of life consists in knowing how to laugh, and also how to breathe.

„Every one of us is marvellous and complicated and interesting and gorgeous just as we are.“

—  Alan Watts

Zdroj: Out of Your Mind: Tricksters, Interdependence, and the Cosmic Game of Hide-and-Seek (2017), p. 42
Kontext: Have you really looked at a seashell? There's not an aesthetic fault in it anywhere - it's absolutely perfect. Now, do you think that shells look at each other and critique each other's appearance? "Well, your markings are a little crooked and not very well spaced." Of course not, but that's what we do. Every one of us is marvellous and complicated and interesting and gorgeous just as we are. Really take a look at another person's eyes. They are jewelry beyond compare - just beautiful!

„Archimedes said, "Give me a fulcrum and I will move the Earth"; but there isn't one.“

—  Alan Watts

Play to Live : Lectures of Alan Watts (1982)
Kontext: Archimedes said, "Give me a fulcrum and I will move the Earth"; but there isn't one. It is like betting on the future of the human race — I might wish to lay a bet that the human race would destroy itself by the year 2000, but there is nowhere to place the bet. On the contrary, I am involved in the world and must try to see that it does not blow itself to pieces. I once had a terrible argument with Margaret Mead. She was holding forth one evening on the absolute horror of the atomic bomb, and how everybody should spring into action and abolish it, but she was getting so furious about it that I said to her: "You scare me because I think you are the kind of person who will push the button in order to get rid of the other people who were going to push it first." So she told me that I had no love for my future generations, that I had no responsibility for my children, and that I was a phony swami who believed in retreating from facts. But I maintained my position. As Robert Oppenheimer said a short while before he died, "It is perfectly obvious that the whole world is going to hell. The only possible chance that it might not is that we do not attempt to prevent it from doing so." You see, many of the troubles going on in the world right now are being supervised by people with very good intentions whose attempts are to keep things in order, to clean things up, to forbid this, and to prevent that. The more we try to put everything to rights, the more we make fantastic messes. Maybe that is the way it has got to be. Maybe I should not say anything at all about the folly of trying to put things to right but simply, on the principle of Blake, let the fool persist in his folly so that he will become wise.

„To have faith is to trust yourself to the water.“

—  Alan Watts

The Essence of Alan Watts (1977)
Kontext: To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.

„The thinker has no other form than his thought.“

—  Alan Watts

The Wisdom of Insecurity (1951)
Kontext: Running away from fear is fear; fighting pain is pain; trying to be brave is being scared. If the mind is in pain, the mind is pain. The thinker has no other form than his thought.

„That is an example of our perennial confusion of symbols with realities.“

—  Alan Watts

Audio lecture "Individual and Society"
Kontext: I am amazed that Congressmen can pass a bill imposing severe penalties on anyone who burns the American flag, whereas they are responsible for burning that for which the flag stands: the United States as a territory, as a people, and as a biological manifestation. That is an example of our perennial confusion of symbols with realities.

„Taboos lie within taboos, like the skin of an onion.“

—  Alan Watts

Inside Information
The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966)
Kontext: There is always something taboo, something repressed, unadmitted, or just glimpsed quickly out of the corner of one's eye because a direct look is too unsettling. Taboos lie within taboos, like the skin of an onion.

„I want to make one thing absolutely clear. I am not a Zen Buddhist, I am not advocating Zen Buddhism, I am not trying to convert anyone to it. I have nothing to sell. I'm an entertainer.“

—  Alan Watts

Alan Watts, on Zen (2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh-3FJs2pz8
Kontext: I want to make one thing absolutely clear. I am not a Zen Buddhist, I am not advocating Zen Buddhism, I am not trying to convert anyone to it. I have nothing to sell. I'm an entertainer. That is to say, in the same sense, that when you go to a concert and you listen to someone play Mozart, he has nothing to sell except the sound of the music. He doesn’t want to convert you to anything. He doesn’t want you to join an organization in favor of Mozart's music as opposed to, say, Beethoven's. And I approach you in the same spirit as a musician with his piano or a violinist with his violin. I just want you to enjoy a point of view that I enjoy.

„Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals.“

—  Alan Watts

Inside Information
The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966)
Kontext: We do not "come into" this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean "waves," the universe "peoples." Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated "egos" inside bags of skin.

„I am amazed that Congressmen can pass a bill imposing severe penalties on anyone who burns the American flag, whereas they are responsible for burning that for which the flag stands“

—  Alan Watts

Audio lecture "Individual and Society"
Kontext: I am amazed that Congressmen can pass a bill imposing severe penalties on anyone who burns the American flag, whereas they are responsible for burning that for which the flag stands: the United States as a territory, as a people, and as a biological manifestation. That is an example of our perennial confusion of symbols with realities.

„The prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East — in particular the central and germinal Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism.“

—  Alan Watts

The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966)
Kontext: The prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East — in particular the central and germinal Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism. This hallucination underlies the misuse of technology for the violent subjugation of man's natural environment and, consequently, its eventual destruction.
We are therefore in urgent need of a sense of our own existence which is in accord with the physical facts and which overcomes our feeling of alienation from the universe

„Because you see it starts now, it didn't begin in the past, there was no past.“

—  Alan Watts

On deep meditation and enlightenment that transcends temporal experiences and most notions of selfhoody
Kontext: [Successful meditation brings about realizations:] That we are no longer this poor little stranger and afraid in a world it never made. But that you are this universe and you are creating it in every moment... Because you see it starts now, it didn't begin in the past, there was no past. See, if the universe began in the past when that happened it was now; see, but it's still now — and the universe is still beginning now, and it's trailing off like the wake of a ship from now, and that wake fades out so does the past. You can look back there to explain things, but the explanation disappears. You'll never find it there.... Things are not explained by the past, they are explained by what Happens Now. That Creates the past, and it begins here... That's the birth of responsibility.

„I am involved in the world and must try to see that it does not blow itself to pieces.“

—  Alan Watts

Play to Live : Lectures of Alan Watts (1982)
Kontext: Archimedes said, "Give me a fulcrum and I will move the Earth"; but there isn't one. It is like betting on the future of the human race — I might wish to lay a bet that the human race would destroy itself by the year 2000, but there is nowhere to place the bet. On the contrary, I am involved in the world and must try to see that it does not blow itself to pieces. I once had a terrible argument with Margaret Mead. She was holding forth one evening on the absolute horror of the atomic bomb, and how everybody should spring into action and abolish it, but she was getting so furious about it that I said to her: "You scare me because I think you are the kind of person who will push the button in order to get rid of the other people who were going to push it first." So she told me that I had no love for my future generations, that I had no responsibility for my children, and that I was a phony swami who believed in retreating from facts. But I maintained my position. As Robert Oppenheimer said a short while before he died, "It is perfectly obvious that the whole world is going to hell. The only possible chance that it might not is that we do not attempt to prevent it from doing so." You see, many of the troubles going on in the world right now are being supervised by people with very good intentions whose attempts are to keep things in order, to clean things up, to forbid this, and to prevent that. The more we try to put everything to rights, the more we make fantastic messes. Maybe that is the way it has got to be. Maybe I should not say anything at all about the folly of trying to put things to right but simply, on the principle of Blake, let the fool persist in his folly so that he will become wise.

„There is obviously a place in life for a religious attitude for awe and astonishment at existence. That is also a basis for respect for existence.“

—  Alan Watts

Images of God
Kontext: There is obviously a place in life for a religious attitude for awe and astonishment at existence. That is also a basis for respect for existence. We don’t have much of it in this culture, even though we call it materialistic. In this culture we call materialistic, today we are of course bent on the total destruction of material and its conversion into junk and poisonous gases. This is of course not a materialistic culture because it has no respect for material. And respect is in turn based on wonder.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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