Alan Watts is known for his incredible philosophical insights. Many of which take direct inspiration from Eastern teachings such as Taoism and Buddhism. He has several popular selling books with titles such as The Wisdom of Insecurity, The Way of Zen, and The Wisdom Of Insecurity. In addition to his books, you can find many of his lectures for free on YouTube. Here is a collection of the five most enlightening Alan Watts quotes that we were able to put together.
Music And Life Lecture
Alan Watts uses a great analogy to explain that the end, or achieving our goals, isn’t the whole point of life. Rather, that we should also take time to enjoy life on the way to achieving our goals.
In Music, one doesn’t make the end of the composition the point of the composition. If that were so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest. And there would be composers who wrote only finales. People would go to concerts just to hear one crashing chord because that’s the end. – Alan Watts
What If Money Were No Object?
In this lecture, Alan Watts talks about the joy of pursuing your interests and how you CAN make money from what you like to do.
If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living in order to continue doing things you don’t like doing. Which is stupid. -Alan Watts
The Dream Of Life
Alan Watts talks about how even though our life is imperfect, it’s still a life we would eventually want to live — even if we could have any other life.
…Then you would get more and more adventurous and you would make further- and further-out gambles what you would dream. And finally, you would dream where you are now. You would dream the dream of living the life that you are actually living today. – Alan Watts
The Past Doesn’t Determine Your Future
Alan Watts talks about how events in your past do not necessarily determine your future. Rather it’s up to your choices in the present.
“We think that the world is limited and explained by its past. We tend to think that what happened in the past determines what is going to happen next, and we do not see that it is exactly the other way around! What is always the source of the world is the present; the past doesn’t explain a thing. The past trails behind the present like the wake of a ship and eventually disappears.”
Everything Is Really Connected
Alan watts talks about how we are all connected. From the stars to the trees to me and you, we are all pieces of a greater whole (the universe).
So Don’t differentiate yourself and say, I am a living organism in a world made of a lot of dead junk – rocks, and stuff. It all goes together. Those rocks are just as much you as your fingernails. – Alan Watts