Reading Impressions: Alan Watts

Alan Watts about…

… enlightenment

It is a special kind of enlightenment to have this feeling that the usual, the way things normally are, is odd – uncanny and highly improbable.

Black Madonna
(c) Tom Walk (

… birth

We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves”, the universe “peoples”.

Serrated Waves
(c) Cam Miller (

… play

Now when God plays hide and pretends that he is you and I, he does it so well that it takes him a long time to remember where and how he hid himself. But that`s the whole fun of it – just what he wanted to do. He doesn`t want to find himself too quickly, for that would spoil the game. That is why it is so difficult for you and me to find out that we are God in disguise, pretending not to be himself.

(c) Nick Winterhalter (

… music

Many people imagine that in listening to music they hear simply a succession of tones, singly, or in clusters called chords. […] [But] hearing melody is hearing the intervals between the tones, even though you may not realize it, and even though these particular intervals are not periods of silence but “steps” of varying length between points on the musical scale. These steps or intervals are auditory spaces, as distinct from distance-spaces between bodies or time-spaces between events.

(c) Rodrigo Andres (


For unless one is able to live fully in the present, the future is a hoax. There is no point whatever in making plans for a future which you will never be able to enjoy. When your plans mature, you will still be living for some other future beyond. 

Gossamer Threads
(c) Justin Dolske (


(T)here are those who do not understand, and who honestly believe themselves to be lonely, individual spirits in a desperate and agonizing struggle for life. For all such there must be deep and unpatronizing compassion, even a special kind of reverence and respect, because, after all, in them the Self is playing its most far-out and daring game – the game of having lost itself completely and being in danger of some total and irremediable disaster. 

“The sea was as dark as dreams and as deep as sleep”
(c)  Cajsa Lilliehook (

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