Alan Watts: The Story of the Chinese Farmer

Some of Alan Watts most influential lessons and ideas emerged from lectures he gave at universities across the United States, including his story of the Chinese farmer. The story, recorded and transcribed below, is also part of a collection of lectures entitled Eastern Wisdom, Modern Life: Collected Talks: 1960-1969.  “You never know what will be … Continue reading Alan Watts: The Story of the Chinese Farmer

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Alan Watts on the law of reversed effort

“When you try to stay on the surface of the water, you sink; but when you try to sink, you float’ and that ‘insecurity is the result of trying to be secure.” — Alan Watts on the ‘law of reversed effort’, also known as the ‘backwards law’ when doing what’s right make things wrong (as … Continue reading Alan Watts on the law of reversed effort

‘Human beings can aquire a certain solitude, even in the middle of New York City’

Every thing in the world, every event, is like a dewdrop on a multidimentional spider’s web, and every dewdrop contains the reflection of all the other dewdrops. But you see, the hermit finds this out through his solitide, and so also human beings can aquire a certain solitude, even in the middle of New York … Continue reading ‘Human beings can aquire a certain solitude, even in the middle of New York City’

Nature, man and woman

We fail so easily to see the difference between fear of the unknown and respect for the unknown, thinking that those who do not hasten in with bright lights and knives are deterred by a holy and superstitious fear. Respect for the unknown is the attitude of those who, instead of raping nature, woo her … Continue reading Nature, man and woman

The law of reversed effort

“When you try to stay on the surface of the water, you sink; but when you try to sink, you float’ and that ‘insecurity is the result of trying to be secure.” — Alan Watts on the ‘law of reversed effort’, also known as the ‘backwards law’ when doing what’s right make things wrong (as … Continue reading The law of reversed effort

Alan Watts: Your Life is Not a Journey With a Destination

Life is not a journey. A journey assumes an end point. A journey prepares for the future and precludes living and playing in the present. Life only looks linear because that’s the way it’s been set up. We go from elementary school, high school, college, and then go into the workforce where we get trapped … Continue reading Alan Watts: Your Life is Not a Journey With a Destination

Musical rollercoaster 🎶

Emotions ebb and flow like the notes and bars in a classical music rollercoaster. We can visualize the sine wave of any chorus. Music imitates the whimsical nature of life. It gives us an inkling of how the world works. Said Alan Watts: “The physical universe is basically playful. There is no necessity for it … Continue reading Musical rollercoaster 🎶

Give it time to simmer

Nothing ever gets wasted. It just needs time to ‘simmer.’ Gather everything you need to know, facts and crazy ideas, and then let them have sex while you do other stuff, even procrastinating. Revelations follow not when you’re always on but when you let the unconscious mind go to work. Being overly wake, in other … Continue reading Give it time to simmer

Open to detours

Open to detours, fixated on the wrath of curiosity. The single-minded goal-setter scrounges for practice. In theory, doggedness is the least path of resistance. Like a magnet, we’re drawn to specialized learning. But we can’t afford to put the right brain to sleep. Quiescent, it too begs to act. The creative compulsion knows no boundaries. … Continue reading Open to detours

Sink to float 

“When you try to stay on the surface of the water, you sink; but when you try to sink, you float’ and that ‘insecurity is the result of trying to be secure.” — Alan Watts on the ‘law of reversed effort’, also known as the ‘backwards law’ when doing what’s right make things wrong (as … Continue reading Sink to float 

Hobbying for hobbies sake

Whether it’s trying surfing or playing the guitar when’s the last time you did something out of pure joy? In this Instagram-edited era where everyone gets their own stage, people only like to do things they’re good at. The thought goes: ‘if I can’t share it and show my best self, why do it?’ The … Continue reading Hobbying for hobbies sake