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Alan Watts

Data de nascimento: 6. Janeiro 1915
Data de falecimento: 16. Novembro 1973

Alan Wilson Watts foi um teólogo, filósofo e orador. Passou toda sua vida difundido as filosofias asiáticas para o mundo ocidental. Serviu de inspiração à personagem Arthur Whane de Os Vagabundos Iluminados BRA ou Os Vagabundos do Dharma ou Os Vagabundos da verdade POR, romance de Jack Kerouac.

Citações Alan Watts

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

—  Alan Watts

Audio lecture "Individual and Society"
Contexto: 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.

„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

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

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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)
Contexto: 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.

„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)
Contexto: 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
Contexto: 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.

„Because you see it starts now, it didn't begin in the past, there was no past.“

—  Alan Watts

On deep meditation and enlightenment that transcends temporal experiences and most notions of selfhoody
Contexto: [Successful meditation brings about realizations:] That we are no longer this poor little stranger and afraid in a world it never made. But that you are this universe and you are creating it in every moment... Because you see it starts now, it didn't begin in the past, there was no past. See, if the universe began in the past when that happened it was now; see, but it's still now — and the universe is still beginning now, and it's trailing off like the wake of a ship from now, and that wake fades out so does the past. You can look back there to explain things, but the explanation disappears. You'll never find it there.... Things are not explained by the past, they are explained by what Happens Now. That Creates the past, and it begins here... That's the birth of responsibility.

„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)
Contexto: 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
Contexto: 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.

„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)
Contexto: 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.

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

—  Alan Watts

The Essence of Alan Watts (1977)
Contexto: 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.

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

—  Alan Watts

Inside Information
The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966)
Contexto: 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.

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