Frasi di Alan Watts

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Alan Watts

Data di nascita: 6. Gennaio 1915
Data di morte: 16. Novembre 1973

Alan Wilson Watts è stato un filosofo inglese.

Frasi Alan Watts

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„The problem comes up because we ask the question in the wrong way. We supposed that solids were one thing and space quite another, or just nothing whatever. Then it appeared that space was no mere nothing, because solids couldn't do without it. But the mistake in the beginning was to think of solids and space as two different things, instead of as two aspects of the same thing. The point is that they are different but inseparable, like the front end and the rear end of a cat. Cut them apart, and the cat dies. Take away the crest of the wave, and there is no trough.
Here is someone who has never seen a cat. He is looking through a narrow slit in a fence, and, on the other side, a cat walks by. He sees first the head, then the less distinctly shaped furry trunk, and then the tail. Extraordinary! The cat turns round and walks back, and again he sees the head, and a little later the tail. This sequence begins to look like something regular and reliable. Yet again, the cat turns round, and he witnesses the same regular sequence: first the head, and later the tail. Thereupon he reasons that the event head is the invariable and necessary cause of the event tail, which is the head's effect. This absurd and confusing gobbledygook comes from his failure to see that head and tail go together: they are all one cat.
The cat wasn't born as a head which, sometime later, caused a tail; it was born all of a piece, a head-tailed cat. Our observer's trouble was that he was watching it through a narrow slit, and couldn't see the whole cat at once.“

—  Alan Watts

Origine: The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966), p. 26-27

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

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

—  Alan Watts

The Wisdom of Insecurity (1951)
Contesto: 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.

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

—  Alan Watts

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

„Everyone has love, but it can only come out when he is convinced of the impossibility and the frustration of trying to love himself.“

—  Alan Watts

The Wisdom of Insecurity (1951)
Contesto: 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.

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

—  Alan Watts, libro The Way of Zen

Origine: The Way of Zen (1957), p. 29
Contesto: 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.

„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

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

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„While other boys dreamed of becoming generals, cowboys, mountain climbers, explorers, and engineers, I wanted to be a Chinese villain“

—  Alan Watts

Origine: In My Own Way: An Autobiography 1915-1965 (1972), p. 63-64
Contesto: At about the age of eleven, I was reading the thrillers of Sax Rohmer and Edgar Wallace concerning Dr. Fu Manchu and other sophisticated Chinese villains, nurturing a secret admiration for these gentlemen because of their opposition to the suet-pudding heroism of our own culture, and because of their refined and mysterious style of life. While other boys dreamed of becoming generals, cowboys, mountain climbers, explorers, and engineers, I wanted to be a Chinese villain. I wanted servants carrying knives in their sleeves, appearing or vanishing without the slightest sound. I wanted a house with secret doors and passages, with Coromandel screens, with ancient scrolls, with ivory and lacquer boxes of exotic poisons, with exquisite brands of tea, with delicate blue porcelain, with jade idols and joss-sticks, and with sonorous gongs.

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

—  Alan Watts

Origine: The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966), p. 56
Contesto: 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.

„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

The Nature of Consciousness http://deoxy.org/w_nature.htm; also published as What Is Reality? (1989)
Contesto: 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.

„There is no formula for generating the authentic warmth of love. It cannot be copied.“

—  Alan Watts

The Wisdom of Insecurity (1951)
Contesto: 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.

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

—  Alan Watts

Origine: Ways of Liberation: Essays and Lectures on the Transformation of Self (1983), p. 25
Contesto: 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.

„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

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

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

—  Alan Watts

Buddhism : The Religion of No-Religion
Contesto: 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.

„And therefore, one of the most sacred missions to be imposed upon those who would be liberated from this culture is that they shall love material, that they shall love color, that they shall dress beautifully, that they shall cook well, that they shall live in lovely houses, and that they shall preserve the face of nature.“

—  Alan Watts

Beat Zen and Hasidism talk with Maurice Friedman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPYuvHcRoyw
Contesto: This is what troubles me about what we'll call vaguely "the new youth". There's a certain sloppiness. For example, at Millbrook in New York - that place is a mess, it's an unspeakable mess! Everything is dilapidated, it's a pad, not just a pad, but a mattress with the stuffing coming out of it. And this bothers me - because, after all, in America, it's bad enough anyway, we don't revere material, we mistreat it terribly. Los Angeles is the most amazing mistreatment of material that one can see in centuries. This is not a materialistic civilization at all. It is a civilization devoted to the hatred and destruction of material, its conversion into junk and poison gas. And therefore, one of the most sacred missions to be imposed upon those who would be liberated from this culture is that they shall love material, that they shall love color, that they shall dress beautifully, that they shall cook well, that they shall live in lovely houses, and that they shall preserve the face of nature. And this is the cardinal thing in your tradition, my friend, because when the Lord God created the material world, he surprised himself. And having already created it, he sat back, and saw then, that it was good. Very good.

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

—  Alan Watts

The Nature of Consciousness http://deoxy.org/w_nature.htm; also published as What Is Reality? (1989)
Contesto: 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.

„Truly religious people always make jokes about their religion; their faith is so strong that they can afford it. Much of the secret of life consists in knowing how to laugh, and also how to breathe“

—  Alan Watts

Origine: In My Own Way: An Autobiography 1915-1965 (1972), p. 6
Contesto: Do you suppose that God takes himself seriously? I know a Zen master, Joshu Sasaki, who has let it be known that the best form of meditation is to stand up with your hands on your hips and roar with laughter for ten minutes every morning. I have heard of a sophisticated shaman-type fellow who used to cure ringworm on cows just by pointing at the scars and laughing. Truly religious people always make jokes about their religion; their faith is so strong that they can afford it. Much of the secret of life consists in knowing how to laugh, and also how to breathe.

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

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