Alan Watts Quotes
5+ Best Alan Watts Authors Quotes
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.
The past and the future only really exist, in thought, and, at the present moment. So that makes them an illusion. They are concepts that you give your attention to, and thus remove your attention from the present moment. When you think of the future, you are not thinking of the actual future but a scenario in your head that you think will (or will not) happen. When you think of the past, you re-create a memory in your mind in something that happened in the past. Now, where are you thinking about future and the past? In the present. In both instances, you are not living in the future or the past. In fact your imagination of future and past are created in that moment. Even memories are not 100% correct re-creations of what happened in the past and imaginations about future are most certainly not (since nobody has a looking glass). These things don't exist as such as they are mental abstractions. So only moment that there ever is, is the present. In other words, the past and the future are ‘in your head’ and not actually ‘real’.
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.
Philosopher Alan Watts, used the analogy of floating on water to deliver us. He said: “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.” Yet often, grabbing hold and thrashing is our first reaction to bad experiences. We hold on to our fears, lash out at anyone nearby, cling to comforts that don’t serve us, and then emerge injured -- resolved to avoid all further suffering at great personal cost. Watts believed part of what keeps us sinking is our misunderstanding of the very nature of life. He believed our biggest albatross was our false, dichotomous thinking about what is good or bad in our experiences. We rarely know, in the moment, where any experience will lead us, yet we are wired by default to think only of loss and gain. Is winning the lottery good? You’d think, but you never know.
Faith is a state of openness or trust. To have faith is like when you trust yourself to the water. You don't grab hold of the water when you swim, because if you do you will become stiff and tight in the water, and sink. You have to relax, and the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging, and holding on. In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be
Paint blot art works (just like inkblots from the Rorschach test) are great as they do not require any artistic skill to create. Blot pictures can help you to tap into how you are feeling and help you to make meaning as you talk about what you see in your blots. The blots are just blobs and splats on paper however the human mind loves to make meaning. We constantly make meaning of things all day long, our mind fills in the gaps that are missing pieces and invents new meaning out of what it can see or know. Paint blotting can help you to work around your logical brain to access your more creative right side brain. What you can see in a paint blot can be the starting point for a short story or even the beginnings of a more developed painting yet to be created. Once you have created your ink blot picture you will almost immediately start to see images within it such as monsters, butterflies, people dancing, flowers, animals, landscapes. You may quite possibly see how embellishing your picture could bring out an image even further. Once you have made your blot piece stand back and take a look, turn it upside down. This exercise is almost like looking for shapes in clouds. You might even see a couple of different things within your painting, it may depend on what way your artwork is turned as to what you can see. How does the image you created represent something that you have been feeling, experienced, or need to know? We are all storytellers and meaning makers, there will always be something to discover. Grab yourself a pad and pen to record your observations and start to journal about your discoveries. Make a list of things you see in this paint blot. Speak from the drawing as if your blot picture held a message for you. Don’t think too much about it just feel into your work and listen to what it is telling you. Write the story from the images you can see. There is no right or wrong, this is simply up to you to invent and to use your imagination!
The best thing about kicking your fear to the curb is your sense of adventure grows, you get to know yourself better, you get creative and stimulated, excitement is generated and you are willing to leap out of your inertia and comfort zones for something potentially greater. As is commonly said “there are many constants in life and one of those is change!”