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Books Life & Philosophy

Alan Watts: The Story of the Chinese Farmer

Some of Alan Watts’s 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 (after the jump), is also part of a collection of lectures entitled Eastern Wisdom, Modern Life: Collected Talks: 1960-1969.  “You never know […]

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Books Quotes

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 featured […]

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Quotes Travel

‘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 […]

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Books Science

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 […]

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Creativity Life & Philosophy Poetry Productivity & Work

Open to detours

Open to detours, fixated with the wrath of curiosity. The single-minded goal-setter scrounges for practice. In theory, doggedness is the least path of resistance. Like sheep, we’re a magnet for jumping through hoops. But we can’t afford to put the right brain to sleep. Quiescent until unmoored from reality, the maker begs to turn pipe […]

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Productivity & Work Psychology Quotes

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 […]

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Life & Philosophy

Balancing opposites

Settle into the system or shake it up. Pursue happiness or devour tranquility. Expect disruption or create your own law of contrast. Strive for greatness or let go and let God.  Chase power or be your best self. Maximize productivity or step away from the grind. There’s an inverse relationship between forcing something to happen and actually achieving […]

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Creativity Life & Philosophy

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 […]

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Creativity Psychology Quotes

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 […]

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Life & Philosophy Social Media Tech

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 […]