Zitate von Alan Watts

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Alan Watts

Geburtstag: 6. Januar 1915
Todesdatum: 16. November 1973

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Alan Watts war ein englischer Religionsphilosoph, der vorwiegend in den Vereinigten Staaten wirkte, wo er als Priester der Episcopal Church in the USA, Dozent und freier Schriftsteller tätig war.

Er befasste sich vor allem mit der Philosophie des Zen, des Buddhismus und des Daoismus.

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Zitate Alan Watts

„It comes only in the awareness that one has no self to love.“

—  Alan Watts
The Wisdom of Insecurity (1951), Context: There is no formula for generating the authentic warmth of love. It cannot be copied. You cannot talk yourself into it or rouse it by straining at the emotions or by dedicating yourself solemnly to the service of mankind. 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.

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„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.“

—  Alan Watts
Context: 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. Play to Live : Lectures of Alan Watts (1982)

„There are times when men's passions are much more trustworthy than their principles“

—  Alan Watts, The Way of Zen
The Way of Zen (1957), Context: It was a basic Confucian principle that "it is man who makes truth great, not truth which makes man great." For this reason, "humanness" or "human-heartedness" (jen) was always felt to be superior to "righteousness" (i), since man himself is greater than any idea which he may invent. There are times when men's passions are much more trustworthy than their principles. p. 29

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

—  Alan Watts
Context: 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. Play to Live : Lectures of Alan Watts (1982)

„God is not something in Hindu mythology with a white beard that sits on a throne, that has royal perogatives. God in Indian mythology is the self, Satcitananda. Which means sat, that which is, chit, that which is consciousness; that which is ananda is bliss.“

—  Alan Watts
Context: If you awaken from this illusion, and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death — or shall I say, death implies life — you can conceive yourself. Not conceive, but feel yourself, not as a stranger in the world, not as someone here on sufferance, on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental. What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself. So, say in Hindu mythology, they say that the world is the drama of God. God is not something in Hindu mythology with a white beard that sits on a throne, that has royal perogatives. God in Indian mythology is the self, Satcitananda. Which means sat, that which is, chit, that which is consciousness; that which is ananda is bliss. In other words, what exists, reality itself is gorgeous, it is the fullness of total joy. The Nature of Consciousness http://deoxy.org/w_nature.htm; also published as What Is Reality? (1989)

„What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself.“

—  Alan Watts
Context: If you awaken from this illusion, and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death — or shall I say, death implies life — you can conceive yourself. Not conceive, but feel yourself, not as a stranger in the world, not as someone here on sufferance, on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental. What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself. So, say in Hindu mythology, they say that the world is the drama of God. God is not something in Hindu mythology with a white beard that sits on a throne, that has royal perogatives. God in Indian mythology is the self, Satcitananda. Which means sat, that which is, chit, that which is consciousness; that which is ananda is bliss. In other words, what exists, reality itself is gorgeous, it is the fullness of total joy. The Nature of Consciousness http://deoxy.org/w_nature.htm; also published as What Is Reality? (1989)

„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.“

—  Alan Watts
Context: 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. Play to Live : Lectures of Alan Watts (1982)

„I just want you to enjoy a point of view that I enjoy.“

—  Alan Watts
Context: 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. Alan Watts, on Zen (2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh-3FJs2pz8

„Life and love generate effort, but effort will not generate them.“

—  Alan Watts
The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966), Context: Living, loving, being natural or sincere—all these are spontaneous forms of behavior: they happen "of themselves" like digesting food or growing hair. As soon as they are forced they acquire that unnatural, contrived, and phony atmosphere which everyone deplores—weak and scentless like forced flowers and tasteless like forced fruit. 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. p. 56

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„Just as in the retina there are myriads of little nerve endings, we are the nerve endings of the universe.“

—  Alan Watts
Ways of Liberation: Essays and Lectures on the Transformation of Self (1983), Context: We say in popular speech that we come into this world, but we do nothing of the kind. We come out of it. In the same way as the fruit comes out of the tree, the egg from the chicken, and the baby from the womb, we are symptomatic of the universe. Just as in the retina there are myriads of little nerve endings, we are the nerve endings of the universe. p. 25

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

—  Alan Watts
Out of Your Mind: Tricksters, Interdependence, and the Cosmic Game of Hide-and-Seek (2017), Context: 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! p. 42

„Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself.“

—  Alan Watts
Context: Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself. Just as the word "water" is a noise that symbolizes a certain liquid without being it, so too the idea of ego symbolizes the role you play, who you are, but it is not the same as your living organism. Buddhism : The Religion of No-Religion

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

—  Alan Watts
Context: 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. Audio lecture "Individual and Society"

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

—  Alan Watts
The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966), Context: 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. Inside Information

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

—  Alan Watts
Context: 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 Essence of Alan Watts (1977)

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

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