Unlock the Secrets of the Universe: An Exploration of Alan Watts Philosophy, Quotes, Books, Lectures and his Life

Spread the love

Alan Watts was a British philosopher who introduced Eastern teaching like Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism to the Western people. Being close to nature since childhood and the religious influence of his mother, Watts became interested in the mysteries of the universe and the biggest questions of human life from a very young age.

Allan Watts wrote a total of 25 books in his life. He was known for his facts and his clarity of thought. In this article, we are going to discuss the five life changing philosophies of Allan Watts from his books and lectures.

We don’t come into this world, we come out of it

Most people have a sensation inside ‘I’ that is the center of our feelings, actions and thoughts which is felt somewhere in our body. A center that meets people and things of the outside world and makes contact with them through its senses.

The reflection of this illusion is visible in everything we do like we say that we have come to this world and our parents have made us but in reality, we have not come to this world we have come from the world.

Just as a tree has its leaves or an ocean has its waves, in the same way, we have emerged from the universe and we are not separate from it.

Every person is like a leaf on a tree, foolish people consider leaf and tree to be different from each other, but wise people know that tree and leaf complete each other.

This fact is rarely experienced by any person and those who know this thing, in theory, are also far away from understanding and feeling this truth of the world because they consider themselves as individual ego tied in skin bags and this is the attitude that makes us violent against everything that exists outside our physical boundaries.

Even parents give this teaching to their children that they have made their children, whereas in reality children are not made by parents, rather children come into the world through parents. In the first case (children made by parents), the reason for your birth is your parents while in the second case (children come through parents), it is the whole universe.

Faith is the opposite of belief

Faith is trusting something, while belief means accepting something as true without personal experience.

When you have faith in the universe, then you allow yourself to dissolve in it. You leave your desire to control everything and start walking in the direction of the universe.

To keep faith means that you surrender yourself to the water and don’t try to catch the water while swimming because if you do, you will drown. So you keep faith, relax and swim.

Faith is dropping the burden sticking to one’s mind whereas belief means taking up a new burden. With faith, you will work hard in your career or relationship, but if it still does not work, then you will not hold a grudge against it. By trusting your life, you will let go of that relationship or job to get something better. You will have complete satisfaction with your efforts, you will accept the destiny and move on.

While in faith, you allow the Universe to give you what you need, in belief, you arrogantly think that you know what is best for you.

In the similar context, Alan’s word express that any person who becomes a fanatic in matters of religion and clings to God or many ideas of the Universe, such a person does not trust his God because trust means letting go not holding on.

That’s why never believe in anything that you haven’t experienced yourself. And when you experience truth, then naturally you do not need to believe in it.

You don’t find the truth, you become the truth

Alan Watts says that the more you force yourself to live with the laws of the universe, the more you will go away from the universe because, in your efforts, your obstacle arises. That is, you start thinking of yourself and the laws of the universe as different from one other. In your quest to find the truth, you separate yourself from everyone and that’s why you never find the truth.

Even in the West, nature is understood as something that adjusts somewhere in the parks or between the mountains. Because of this, you can experience nature only when you watch a documentary about nature or go somewhere outside the house.

There is so much between our daily lives and the natural world that we don’t know where our food comes from, why we can’t sit in silence, and why we’re so connected to others and yet so distant from them.

So if you want to press the reset button of your society, then you have to do effortless action or action without any desire. It means that any work has to be done just to do that work and not to get any result. This does not mean that you have to work without any objective or you have to ignore your future because even in the face of not getting any results, you are working for the result that you do not get any result. In simple words, do what is needed and no more or less than that.

Right now you are busy trying to look like someone else, earn as much money as someone else or be superior to others and this effort never lets you become whole because you are always living in the future of what you will become. That is how much will you earn, how will you look or how much respect will you get?

Your every thought for future takes you away from the present moment. That’s why don’t chase your goals, but do what is needed living life moment by moment.

The meaning of life is just to live and live fully

Watts says that life is not having an ultimate meaning, we just have to live life well. This thing is so plain, but still, people are running around in such a frenzy as if achieving something beyond themselves will give them something final.

For this reason, many people find this meaning in their family, many in their business, many in love, many understand the meaning of being a good parent and many people start feeling fulfilled by being a good person.

Whatever allows you to live life to the fullest and fills your experience with joy and desire to live. That’s the very thing that becomes the meaning of your life.

Life is not a journey

Watts says that the existence of the universe is like a game, it has no reason, nor is it trying to reach anywhere, it is like music because it has no destination.

Whereas when you are travelling to go somewhere, you have an endpoint of your journey in mind, but no musician is in a hurry to reach the end. Because in this way the most popular musician would be the one who plays these instruments the fastest, there is no hurry in music.

While listening to any song, you do not think that when it will end or what is the end goal of that song, because then you will not be able to enjoy that song.

Instead, you simply listen to the music, enjoy it, appreciate its beauty, become engrossed in it, and the song ends in your enjoyment. Life is also something like this where if you hurry to reach to a point, you will only get death there.

Alan Watts Backward Law

The “Backward Law” is a concept developed by Alan Watts in his book “The Tao of Physics.” According to the Backward Law, one must first let go of the desire for a particular goal or outcome and put their attention on the here and now in order to reach that aim or outcome. The Backward Law basically says that in order to get to a desired future, one must first let go of the attachment to that future and concentrate on the present.

This, according to Watts, is the secret to comprehending Taoism, an Eastern philosophy that emphasizes the value of moving with the flow and accepting change rather than attempting to control and resist it. The concept of “non-doing” or “wu-wei” in Taoism, which is the act of allowing things to happen spontaneously and without resistance, is likewise strongly tied to the Backward Law.

According to Watts, the Backward Law can be used to improve one’s job, relationships, and many other aspects of one’s life. One can become more open to new opportunities and possibilities by letting go of the drive for a particular result. These possibilities and opportunities would not have otherwise occurred to them.

It is important to note that the concept of the “backward law” is not exclusive to taoism or eastern philosophy but has been employed in a variety of cultures and traditions, as well as in many forms and manifestations.

Most Popular Alan Watts Quotes

  • You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.
  • The art of living is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.
  • The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake – you can’t learn anything from being perfect.
  • The only way to change the world is to change your mind about it.
  • The only way to deal with fear is to dive into it, to explore it, to experience it in all its intensity and to come out the other side.
  • Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.
  • The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.
  • The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.
  • The art of living is not avoiding the suffering, it’s transforming the suffering.
  • 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.
  • No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.
  • Life is a musical thing and you are supposed to dance to it, not to try and organize a march.
  • You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.
  • The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.
  • The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

Most Popular Alan Watts Books

  • The Way of Zen – This book serves as an introduction to Zen Buddhism, including its background, principles, and practices. It provides a thorough explanation of Zen Buddhism’s core ideas and tenets.
  • The Wisdom of Insecurity – Alan Watts discusses the idea that although seeking security is a basic human desire, finding actual security is an illusion in this book. He contends that a more contented life might result from accepting insecurity.
  • Become What You Are – This book is a compilation of lectures and essays by Alan Watts that examine the idea that by living in accordance with one’s actual nature, one might experience more personal freedom and happiness.
  • The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are – Alan Watts criticises the idea that the self is a distinct, unchanging thing in this book and instead proposes that it is an ever-evolving process. He investigates the notion that the true self is not constrained by the ego and can be found via self-awareness and meditation.
  • In My Own Way: An Autobiography – Alan Watts examines his life and career as a writer and Eastern philosophy instructor in this book. He discusses his own life lessons and perceptions of the spiritual teachings that have shaped his life and career.
  • Nature, Man and Woman – The relationship between the natural world, gender, and human nature is examined by Alan Watts in this book.
  • Tao: The Watercourse Way -This book explores the relationship between the natural world and the Taoist philosophy. With reference to the concepts of yin and yang, flow, and naturalness in life, Alan Watts explores the fundamentals of Taoism and how they might be applied to contemporary life.
  • Out of Your Mind: Tricksters, Interdependence, and the Cosmic Game of Hide and Seek – Alan Watts examines the nature of reality and how our perceptions affect how we understand the world in this book. He investigates the notion that reality is a game or trick that our minds play on us, as well as how we might learn to see through the deception.
  • The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness – This book explores the connection between consciousness and the cosmos. Alan Watts investigates the idea that the universe is a living organism with which we are intimately related as well as the effects of psychedelic drugs on consciousness.
  • The Meaning of Happiness: The Quest for Freedom of the Spirit in Modern Psychology and the Wisdom of the East – Alan Watts addresses the idea that living in harmony with one’s actual nature and the natural world is the key to achieving true happiness in this book. In order to find better happiness and contentment in modern life, he investigates the teachings of Eastern philosophy and psychology.
  • Still the Mind: An Introduction to Meditation – The benefits of meditation are explained in this book. Alan Watts provides helpful guidance on how to meditate, including many methods and pointers for getting started. Additionally, he looks into the philosophical and spiritual benefits of meditation, including how it might lead to increased awareness and inner tranquilly.

Summary – Key Takeaway

The teachings of Allan watts are inclined towards logical spirituality. He wanted to integrate the material with the spiritual so that every human being could live a complete life.

Knowledge of Alan Watts philosophy is very important for every person who wants to see and understand science with a spiritual lens and spirituality with a scientific lens.

Watts believed that never believe in anything that you have not experienced yourself and when you experience truth, then naturally you do not need to believe in it.

Watts compares life to music, and says that never make a goal point in life, because by this we are not able to live the present moment of life, like when listening to songs, we never think about its end, but we enjoy it, in the same way asking why are you alive or what is the meaning of life? This question is exactly like what is the point of music, the point of music is in its experience just like life.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *