"Your skin doesn't separate you from the world; it's a bridge through which the external world flows into you, and you flow into it."
More Alan Watts? Yes, it's always a good time for more Alan Watts. Over and over and over, repeat.
"The whole world is moving through you, all the cosmic rays, all the food you're eating, the stream of steaks and milk and eggs and everything is just flowing right through you."
Have you ever thought about your self in this way? In goes oxygen, water, sunshine Read more [...]
'The notions most worth questioning are just those which are most taken for granted.’ 
I'm not sure who said "Truth cannot be told, it can only be found" (or something along those lines), but I believe there's something very important in this idea.
Each of us must search for our own truth/s. When you find your truth, you cannot impart it to others. You can share your truth in the context of it being your truth, understanding that the person you are sharing it with may enjoy your perspective Read more [...]
I've met two people who also can't get enough Alan Watts, and tonight will be our first night of our small Alan Watts Fan Club! In preparation I thought it would be useful to post some thoughts and summaries of his work.
Alan Watts (1915-1973) was a British-born philosopher best known for popularising Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. While he worked in many universities, including a fellowship at Harvard, giving lectures and writing books for many universities, he called himself "a philosophical Read more [...]
No one "gets it" like Alan Watts gets it. He summarises "it" in a 160 page book called "THE BOOK: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are" (1966). This TAG proves the pattern: no matter what I learn in the other fields and areas of scholarship, I can't help but return to the metaphoric and comedic language of Alan Watts.
These two paragraphs in the Preface to THE BOOK, (almost) captures the thesis I'm spending hours upon hours trying to write:
"THIS BOOK explores an unrecognized but mighty Read more [...]
“Advice? I don’t have advice," says Alan Watts, "Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that Read more [...]
Do you ever tell yourself to “just relax” and then continue to do the very opposite? Or tell yourself to “forget it”. Or “frick’n focus!” And then find it impossible? Well that what happened to me today. Then it reversed itself in a way I didn't expect.
It started with a 75-minute hot yoga class at Y Yoga, my health retreat since arriving in Vancouver. Today was different: a hundred and one thoughts frolicked through my mind — which means today I was not doing yoga. I was stretching, Read more [...]
"Inefficiency is a good thing," a wise friend informed me six months ago. I must have looked confused.
"When I said this to a room full of corporates, you should have seen the horror on their faces!" My face would have read pretty much the same. Inefficiency is good???
"How?" I asked in almost disbelief.
"Friendship, for example, spending time with people you love. It's entirely inefficient... All the things in life that are wonderful, involve being inefficient. Think about it: Art. Love. Read more [...]
Did you know that Eskimos have five words for snow while the Aztecs had one word for snow-rain-hail combined?
That which we do not have the vocabulary for, we tend not to notice. Those things which we notice, we create a vocabulary for. Through the processes of noticing, vocalizing, pondering and comprehending, we build up an understanding of the world in which we live.
"We speak of attention as noticing. To notice is to select, to regard some bits of perception, or some features of the world, Read more [...]
"Do you know the secret?" I was surprised when, at Hickory Tavern, I met a CEO of a engineering-programming company who, while talking up his black porche and high-paid profession, brought it up. I thought only hippy and hippy-wanna-be's like me were into this stuff.
"What's the secret?" asked my friend, accepting their kind offer to pay for our food and drinks, and get another round.
"Five years ago I had NOTHING." Mr Porche informed us. "And now I'm 34 with everything I've ever wanted: Read more [...]
Have you ever noticed that when you over-think something, it all falls apart? Te explains why. Te is 'the unthinkable ingenuity and creative power of man's spontaneous and natural functioning.' Intrigued I continued reading The Way of Zen by Alan Watts.
The centipede was happy, quite,
Until a toad in fun
Said, "Pray, which leg goes after which?"
This worked his mind to such a pitch,
He lay distracted in a ditch,
Considering how to run.
Have you ever thought about how you pump blood through Read more [...]
The end of any period is the beginning of another. Transitional points like the end of a year are great times to take a step back and reflect on the year and it's place in your life story. How does the past year fit into the narrative of your life? What direction are your decisions taking you? Are you living out a drama, a comedy, a tragedy or an adventure? Are you happy with this genre?
Times like this are a good time to ask: am I happy? And if the answer is no, to ask: what can I do to change Read more [...]
"Camus said there is only really one serious philosophical question which is whether or not to commit suicide," said Alan Watts, quoting Albert Camus (going on to say he believes there are five serious philosophical questions... see audio book on you tube below)
It is a good question. If we are all going to die at one point or another, then why bother going on? Why not just do it now, get it over with?
What motivates you to get up in the morning, to do something rather than stay in bed Read more [...]