Sometimes you need to seek out silver linings in the inspirational words of others. Today is one of those days, as I turn to the work of philosopher, speaker, and writer Alan Watts.
Watts’ work is a gentle reminder to remain in the present, but instead of rambling on about him and his importance in my life, I’m going to let his words speak for themselves with a few choice quotes. I hope they are of some help to you.
• To put it still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath.
• If happiness always depends on something expected in the future, we are chasing a will-o’-the-wisp that ever eludes our grasp, until the future, and ourselves, vanish into the abyss of death.
• No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.
• Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.
• We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.
• If the universe is meaningless, so is the statement that it is so. If this world is a vicious trap, so is is accuser, and the pot is calling the kettle black.
• What I am saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patters in running water, the flickering fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.
• Once the mind has seen through all fear and all hope, it finds peace with itself, in a state of awareness beyond thought.
• What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself.
• Just as true humor is laughter at oneself, true humanity is knowledge of oneself.
• Part of man’s frustration is that he has become accustomed to expect language and thought to offer explanations which they cannot give.
• For eternally and always there is only now, one and the same now; the present is the only thing that has no end.
• People who exude love are apt to give things away. They are in every way like rivers; they stream. And so when they collect possessions and things they like, they are apt to give them to other people. Because, have you ever noticed that when you start giving things away, you keep getting more?
• Much of the secret of life consists in knowing how to laugh, and also how to breathe.
• I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.