Alan Watts Quotes

Do you have any favorite Alan Watts quotes?

Alan Watts was a writer and speaker who was born on January 6, 1915 in Chislehurst, United Kingdom and died on November 16, 1973 in Druid Heights. Watts is famously known for interpreting Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism for a western audience. Alan’s work definitely helped to popularize Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism in western countries.

Watts wrote many books that continues to inspire and transform millions of lives today. Some of the most popular books written by Alan Watts include The book on the taboo against knowing who you are, The Wisdom of Insecurity, The Way of Zen, Become what you are, This Is It: And Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience, Tao: The Watercourse Way and Out of Your Mind: Tricksters, Interdependence and the Cosmic Game of Hide-and-Seek.

Here are some of the best short and inspirational Alan Watts quotes on love, death, suffering and life:

Best Alan Watts Quotes

best Alan Watts quotes

1. Our pleasures are not material pleasures, but symbols of pleasure – attractively packaged but inferior in content. -Alan Watts

2. 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. -Alan Watts

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

4. 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. -Alan Watts

5. 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. -Alan Watts

6. A scholar tries to learn something everyday; a student of Buddhism tries to unlearn something daily. -Alan Watts

7. It’s better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way.

Alan Watts

8. Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe. -Alan Watts

9. We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society. -Alan Watts

10. 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. -Alan Watts

Short Alan Watts Quotes

short Alan Watts quotes

11. You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself. -Alan Watts

12. Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth. -Alan Watts

13. The menu is not the meal. -Alan Watts

14. Words can be communicative only between those who share similar experiences. -Alan Watts

15. Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them. -Alan Watts

16. Society is our extended mind and body. -Alan Watts

17. Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.

Alan Watts

18. Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone. -Alan Watts

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

20. The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless. -Alan Watts

Inspirational Alan Watts Quotes

inspirational Alan Watts quotes

21. If we cling to belief in God, we cannot likewise have faith, since faith is not clinging but letting go. -Alan Watts

22. If you cannot trust yourself, you cannot even trust your mistrust of yourself – so that without this underlying trust in the whole system of nature you are simply paralyzed. -Alan Watts

23. I am what happens between the maternity ward and the Crematorium. -Alan Watts

24. There is nothing at all that can be talked about adequately, and the whole art of poetry is to say what can’t be said. -Alan Watts

25. Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to sleep. -Alan Watts

26. What we have to discover is that there is no safety, that seeking is painful, and that when we imagine that we have found it, we don’t like it. -Alan Watts

27. Life is like music for its own sake. We are living in an eternal now, and when we listen to music we are not listening to the past, we are not listening to the future, we are listening to an expanded present.

Alan Watts

28. 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. -Alan Watts

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

30. Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way. -Alan Watts

Alan Watts Quotes On Love

Alan Watts quotes on love

31. Love is not something that is a sort of rare commodity, everybody has it. -Alan Watts

32. Everyone has love, but it can only come out when he is convinced of the impossibility and the frustration of trying to love himself. This conviction will not come through condemnations, through hating oneself, through calling self love bad names in the universe. It comes only in the awareness that one has no self to love. -Alan Watts

33. The world is filled with love-play, from animal lust to sublime compassion. -Alan Watts

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

Alan Watts

35. Life and love generate effort, but effort will not generate them. Faith in life, in other people, and in oneself, is the attitude of allowing the spontaneous to be spontaneous, in its own way and in its own time. -Alan Watts

36. Money is an abstraction. It cannot, of itself, buy any pleasure whatsoever. Because all pleasures involve skill and love. -Alan Watts

37. People who exude love are apt to give things away. They are in every way like rivers; they stream. And so when they collect possessions and things they like, they are apt to give them to other people. Because, have you ever noticed that when you start giving things away, you keep getting more? -Alan Watts

Alan Watts Quotes On Death

Alan Watts quotes on death

38. When death comes, it’s just like winter. We don’t say, “There ought not to be winter.” That the winter season, when the leaves fall and the snow comes, is some kind of defeat, something which we should hold out against. No. Winter is part of the natural course of events. No winter, no summer. No cold, no heat. -Alan Watts

39. The meaning of being alive is just being alive. -Alan Watts

40. Without birth and death, and without the perpetual transmutation of all the forms of life, the world would be static, rhythm-less, undancing, mummified

41. If happiness always depends on something expected in the future, we are chasing a will-o’-the-wisp that ever eludes our grasp, until the future, and ourselves, vanish into the abyss of death. -Alan Watts

42. Dying should be one of the great events of life. -Alan Watts

Alan Watts Suffering Quote

Alan Watts suffering quotes

43. If we live, we live; if we die, we die; if we suffer, we suffer; if we are terrified, we are terrified. -Alan Watts

44. The answer to the problem of suffering is not away from the problem but in it. The inevitability of pain will not be met by deadening sensitivity but by increasing it, by exploring and feeling out the manner in which the natural organism itself wants to react and which its innate wisdom has provided.

Alan Watts

45. Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the Gods made for fun. -Alan Watts

Alan Watts Overthinking Quote

Alan Watts overthinking quote

46. No one is more dangerously insane than one who is sane all the time: he is like a steel bridge without flexibility, and the order of his life is rigid and brittle.

Alan Watts

Alan Watts Life Is Not A Journey Quote

Alan Watts Life Is Not a Journey Because the End is Not the Primary Goal Quote

47. Life Is Not a Journey Because the End is Not the Primary Goal.

Alan Watts