22 May 2013
May 22, 2013

Featured Teacher: Alan Watts

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts


Alan Watts (1915-1973) was a philosopher, prolific writer, and speaker. He wrote over twenty books and numerous articles on subjects such as personal identity, the true nature of reality, and the pursuit of happiness, relating his experience to scientific knowledge and to the teachings of Eastern and Western religions and philosophies.

“If our sanity is to be strong and flexible, there must be occasional periods for the expression of completely spontaneous movement – for dancing, singing, howling, babbling, jumping, groaning, wailing – in short, for following any motion to which the organism as a whole seems to be inclined. It is by no means impossible to set up physical and moral boundaries within which this freedom of action is expressible – sensible contexts in which nonsense may have its way. Those who provide for this essential irrationality will never become stuffy or dull, and, what is far more important, they will be opening up the channels through which the formative and intelligent spontaneity of the organism can at last flow into consciousness. This is why free association is such a valuable technique in psychotherapy; its limitation is that it is purely verbal. The function of such intervals for nonsense is not merely to be an outlet for pent-up emotion or unused psychic energy, but to set in motion a mode of spontaneous action which, though at first appearing as nonsense, can eventually express itself in intelligible forms.”


-Alan Watts, The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness – Purchase the book HERE and a portion of the sales will help to support the Love Serve Remember Foundation. 


Watch a video entitled “The Real You” from a lecture by Alan Watts: 

  • http://www.peacefoodlove.com Stacia Trask

    Ram Dass, deepest, heartfelt thanks for offerings like these. I usually hold back from commenting, but my children (7 & 9) and I just stood here in our kitchen and watched & listened to this lovely Alan Watts tribute together (as we do with the wellspring of material Here). They GOT it–just held my hands and smiled with gap-teeth and perfect certainty about the whole thing (even the big stuff abut death, with no fear); I of course cried. I never get a sense of “childhood wonder” from them, actually–only a horse is a horse of courseness. Children cosmos’ definitely have a sureness & a perfect faith about the process, which *I* have to be reminded of…over and over again, through contact with material like this. They don’t overthink it like I do–they’re not wary of their own awareness the way I am, which is refreshing (and makes them about the best company, next to cats). Alone?–I’m a gardener & a heart-cultivator who is sometimes so deep in her own mettaphor that she can’t see the forest for the seeds. Together?–I can be a good sky-watcher and listener: My son once said, very plainly, “The seed is the plant’s heart,” and it stopped me from whatever complex mettaphor I was cooking up. That’s it, really. The seed’s whole job is just to wake up–to get free and to feed those in its sphere. By design, the seed is perfect. You once said that we are perfect systems designed to extricate ourselves from all systems. My children get it ALL, just by cooking or gardening with me with you! Just by watching this without feeling they have to know Alan Watts “is” in any historical context; without formal “education.” Metta, Baba. For all you do for being the seed that feeds the awareness of our own perfect design.