My site has recently become far too focused on the Trump administration and its abuse of language and semantics. So I'd like to focus on someone whose wisdom has brought me comfort and intellectual challenges, Alan Watts.
There are so many YouTube videos of his that are well worth your time. But here are some of his quotes that I've been touched by over the years:
"It is obvious that the only interesting people are interested people, and to be completely interested is to have forgotten about 'I'."
Something to think about at the next cocktail party.
"The secret of the enjoyment of pleasure is to know when to stop."
This one stings.
"Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone."
Meditation has helped me at times. At times it's far too hard to endure, but that's when I need it most.
"One of the highest pleasures is to be more or less unconscious of one’s own existence, to be absorbed in sights, sounds, places, and people."
The zen of the bike.
"One is a great deal less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious, and the same may be said of guilt."
Forgiveness is important, especially of yourself. A lifelong lesson.
"People think it would be nice to have peace of mind, to be serene, to be calm, to be undisturbed by this, that, and the other. But as long as you make all those things objects of desire, you have defined yourself as lacking them. A person who is looking for peace is obviously in turmoil."
Oh, hello there, conscious.
"This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play."
Why I studied what I studied: to have a job I would always hold passion for.
"We have somehow conned ourselves into the notion that this moment is ordinary. This now moment, in which I'm talking and you're listening, is eternity."
This never penetrates depression.
"Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way."
Not an endorsement for drug abuse, but it sounds like it. What it is is permission to have fun in life.
"What happens when you just wait? There’s nothing you can do. You watch. And all you see is what goes on that is happening of itself. You’re breathing, the wind is blowing, the trees are waving, your blood is circulating, nerves are tingling. It’s all going on by itself. That’s you, that’s the real you! The you that goes on itself. Not the symbol, not the person. It’s you that’s happening as when you breathe."
This is one reason I'm okay being alone for so long.
“Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.”
I wish I had heard this in high school.
"The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless."
I can't help but to think of people who chase everlasting beauty.
"Enough is as good as a feast."
I may never fully be able to internalize and accept this.
May these quotes bring your peace and curiosity as they have me.