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Alan Watts

Dátum narodenia: 6. január 1915
Dátum úmrtia: 16. november 1973

Alan Watts, narodený ako Alan Wilson Watts bol budhistický filozof a básnik.

Narodený v Anglicku v stredostavovskej rodine stal sa americkým občanom v roku 1943. Zaoberal sa zenbudhizmom, bítnickou kultúrou, counterculture 60. rokov a jej filozofiou. Bol populárnym americkým spisovateľom a mysliteľom a pomáhal sprostredkovať v USA zenbudhistickú filozofiu. Stal sa episkopálnym kňazom a pracoval šesť rokov počas a po druhej svetovej vojne ako vojenský kaplán. Potom opustil kazateľňu a cirkev. Neskôr to komentoval ako príležitosť opustiť tyranského Boha-otca. Wikipedia

„Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.“

—  Alan Watts

As quoted in Life magazine (21 April 1961)

Táto citát čaká na kontrolu.

„Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself.“

—  Alan Watts

Buddhism : The Religion of No-Religion
Kontext: Ego is a social institution with no physical reality. The ego is simply your symbol of yourself. Just as the word "water" is a noise that symbolizes a certain liquid without being it, so too the idea of ego symbolizes the role you play, who you are, but it is not the same as your living organism.

„That is an example of our perennial confusion of symbols with realities.“

—  Alan Watts

Audio lecture "Individual and Society"
Kontext: I am amazed that Congressmen can pass a bill imposing severe penalties on anyone who burns the American flag, whereas they are responsible for burning that for which the flag stands: the United States as a territory, as a people, and as a biological manifestation. That is an example of our perennial confusion of symbols with realities.

„The problem comes up because we ask the question in the wrong way. We supposed that solids were one thing and space quite another, or just nothing whatever. Then it appeared that space was no mere nothing, because solids couldn't do without it. But the mistake in the beginning was to think of solids and space as two different things, instead of as two aspects of the same thing. The point is that they are different but inseparable, like the front end and the rear end of a cat. Cut them apart, and the cat dies. Take away the crest of the wave, and there is no trough.
Here is someone who has never seen a cat. He is looking through a narrow slit in a fence, and, on the other side, a cat walks by. He sees first the head, then the less distinctly shaped furry trunk, and then the tail. Extraordinary! The cat turns round and walks back, and again he sees the head, and a little later the tail. This sequence begins to look like something regular and reliable. Yet again, the cat turns round, and he witnesses the same regular sequence: first the head, and later the tail. Thereupon he reasons that the event head is the invariable and necessary cause of the event tail, which is the head's effect. This absurd and confusing gobbledygook comes from his failure to see that head and tail go together: they are all one cat.
The cat wasn't born as a head which, sometime later, caused a tail; it was born all of a piece, a head-tailed cat. Our observer's trouble was that he was watching it through a narrow slit, and couldn't see the whole cat at once.“

—  Alan Watts

Zdroj: The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966), p. 26-27

Citát „It comes only in the awareness that one has no self  to love.“

„It comes only in the awareness that one has no self to love.“

—  Alan Watts

The Wisdom of Insecurity (1951)
Kontext: There is no formula for generating the authentic warmth of love. It cannot be copied. You cannot talk yourself into it or rouse it by straining at the emotions or by dedicating yourself solemnly to the service of mankind. Everyone has love, but it can only come out when he is convinced of the impossibility and the frustration of trying to love himself. This conviction will not come through condemnations, through hating oneself, through calling self love bad names in the universe. It comes only in the awareness that one has no self to love.

„What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself.“

—  Alan Watts

The Nature of Consciousness http://deoxy.org/w_nature.htm; also published as What Is Reality? (1989)
Kontext: If you awaken from this illusion, and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death — or shall I say, death implies life — you can conceive yourself. Not conceive, but feel yourself, not as a stranger in the world, not as someone here on sufferance, on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental. What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself. So, say in Hindu mythology, they say that the world is the drama of God. God is not something in Hindu mythology with a white beard that sits on a throne, that has royal perogatives. God in Indian mythology is the self, Satcitananda. Which means sat, that which is, chit, that which is consciousness; that which is ananda is bliss. In other words, what exists, reality itself is gorgeous, it is the fullness of total joy.

„There are times when men's passions are much more trustworthy than their principles“

—  Alan Watts, kniha The Way of Zen

Zdroj: The Way of Zen (1957), p. 29
Kontext: It was a basic Confucian principle that "it is man who makes truth great, not truth which makes man great." For this reason, "humanness" or "human-heartedness" (jen) was always felt to be superior to "righteousness" (i), since man himself is greater than any idea which he may invent. There are times when men's passions are much more trustworthy than their principles.

„And therefore, one of the most sacred missions to be imposed upon those who would be liberated from this culture is that they shall love material, that they shall love color, that they shall dress beautifully, that they shall cook well, that they shall live in lovely houses, and that they shall preserve the face of nature.“

—  Alan Watts

Beat Zen and Hasidism talk with Maurice Friedman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPYuvHcRoyw
Kontext: This is what troubles me about what we'll call vaguely "the new youth". There's a certain sloppiness. For example, at Millbrook in New York - that place is a mess, it's an unspeakable mess! Everything is dilapidated, it's a pad, not just a pad, but a mattress with the stuffing coming out of it. And this bothers me - because, after all, in America, it's bad enough anyway, we don't revere material, we mistreat it terribly. Los Angeles is the most amazing mistreatment of material that one can see in centuries. This is not a materialistic civilization at all. It is a civilization devoted to the hatred and destruction of material, its conversion into junk and poison gas. And therefore, one of the most sacred missions to be imposed upon those who would be liberated from this culture is that they shall love material, that they shall love color, that they shall dress beautifully, that they shall cook well, that they shall live in lovely houses, and that they shall preserve the face of nature. And this is the cardinal thing in your tradition, my friend, because when the Lord God created the material world, he surprised himself. And having already created it, he sat back, and saw then, that it was good. Very good.

„Every one of us is marvellous and complicated and interesting and gorgeous just as we are.“

—  Alan Watts

Zdroj: Out of Your Mind: Tricksters, Interdependence, and the Cosmic Game of Hide-and-Seek (2017), p. 42
Kontext: Have you really looked at a seashell? There's not an aesthetic fault in it anywhere - it's absolutely perfect. Now, do you think that shells look at each other and critique each other's appearance? "Well, your markings are a little crooked and not very well spaced." Of course not, but that's what we do. Every one of us is marvellous and complicated and interesting and gorgeous just as we are. Really take a look at another person's eyes. They are jewelry beyond compare - just beautiful!

„There is obviously a place in life for a religious attitude for awe and astonishment at existence. That is also a basis for respect for existence.“

—  Alan Watts

Images of God
Kontext: There is obviously a place in life for a religious attitude for awe and astonishment at existence. That is also a basis for respect for existence. We don’t have much of it in this culture, even though we call it materialistic. In this culture we call materialistic, today we are of course bent on the total destruction of material and its conversion into junk and poisonous gases. This is of course not a materialistic culture because it has no respect for material. And respect is in turn based on wonder.

„The prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East — in particular the central and germinal Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism.“

—  Alan Watts

The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966)
Kontext: The prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East — in particular the central and germinal Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism. This hallucination underlies the misuse of technology for the violent subjugation of man's natural environment and, consequently, its eventual destruction.
We are therefore in urgent need of a sense of our own existence which is in accord with the physical facts and which overcomes our feeling of alienation from the universe

„Truly religious people always make jokes about their religion; their faith is so strong that they can afford it. Much of the secret of life consists in knowing how to laugh, and also how to breathe“

—  Alan Watts

Zdroj: In My Own Way: An Autobiography 1915-1965 (1972), p. 6
Kontext: Do you suppose that God takes himself seriously? I know a Zen master, Joshu Sasaki, who has let it be known that the best form of meditation is to stand up with your hands on your hips and roar with laughter for ten minutes every morning. I have heard of a sophisticated shaman-type fellow who used to cure ringworm on cows just by pointing at the scars and laughing. Truly religious people always make jokes about their religion; their faith is so strong that they can afford it. Much of the secret of life consists in knowing how to laugh, and also how to breathe.

„Just as in the retina there are myriads of little nerve endings, we are the nerve endings of the universe.“

—  Alan Watts

Zdroj: Ways of Liberation: Essays and Lectures on the Transformation of Self (1983), p. 25
Kontext: We say in popular speech that we come into this world, but we do nothing of the kind. We come out of it. In the same way as the fruit comes out of the tree, the egg from the chicken, and the baby from the womb, we are symptomatic of the universe. Just as in the retina there are myriads of little nerve endings, we are the nerve endings of the universe.

„Life and love generate effort, but effort will not generate them.“

—  Alan Watts

Zdroj: The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966), p. 56
Kontext: Living, loving, being natural or sincere—all these are spontaneous forms of behavior: they happen "of themselves" like digesting food or growing hair. As soon as they are forced they acquire that unnatural, contrived, and phony atmosphere which everyone deplores—weak and scentless like forced flowers and tasteless like forced fruit. Life and love generate effort, but effort will not generate them. Faith—in life, in other people, and in oneself—is the attitude of allowing the spontaneous to be spontaneous, in its own way and in its own time.

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