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Quotes by Alan Watts

  1. “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
  2. “You don’t look out there for God, something in the sky, you look in you.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”
  5. “But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.”
  6. “The reason we have poverty is that we have no imagination. There are a great many people accumulating what they think is vast wealth, but it’s only money… they don’t know how to enjoy it, because they have no imagination.”
  7. “So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself.”
  8. “Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.”
  9. “But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be.”
  10. “How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself anything less than a god.”
  11. “A myth is an image in terms of which we try to make sense of the world.”
  12. “I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.”
  13. “But at any rate, the point is that God is what nobody admits to being, and everybody really is.”
  14. “The ego is nothing other than the focus of conscious attention.”
  15. “In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all.”
  16. “Things are as they are. Looking out into it the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.”
  17. “We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.”
  18. “But to me nothing – the negative, the empty – is exceedingly powerful.”
  19. “Reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know.”
  20. “Some believe all that parents, tutors, and kindred believe. They take their principles by inheritance, and defend them as they would their estates, because they are born heirs to them.”
  21. “Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.”
  22. “You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.”
  23. “Faith is a state of openness or trust.”
  24. “Omnipotence is not knowing how everything is done; it’s just doing it.”
  25. “Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.”
  26. “Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.”


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