Alan Watts was a well-known British philosopher, writer and speaker, best known for his interpretation of Eastern philosophy for Western audiences. Alan Watts left behind more than 25 books and an audio library of nearly 400 talks, which are still in great demand. Alan Watts’s life advices will leave you speechless when taken seriously. We hope this motivation from Alan Watts will help you in your life.
most civilized people are out of touch with reality because they confuse the world as it is with the world as they think about it and talk about it and describe it for on the one hand there is the real world and on the other a whole system of symbols about that world which we have in our minds these are very very useful symbols all civilization depends on them but like all good things they have their disadvantages and the principal disadvantage of symbols is that we confuse them with reality just as we confuse money with actual wealth and our names about ourselves our ideas of ourselves our images of ourselves with ourselves now of course reality from a philosopher’s point of view is a dangerous word a philosopher will ask me what do i mean by reality am i talking about the physical world of nature or am i talking about a spiritual world or what and to that i have a very simple answer when we talk about the material world that is actually a philosophical concept so in the same way if i say that reality is spiritual that’s also a philosophical concept and reality itself is not a concept reality is and we won’t give it a name now it’s amazing what doesn’t exist in the real world for example in the real world there aren’t any things nor are there any events that doesn’t mean to say that the real world is a perfectly featureless blank it means that it is a marvelous system of wiggles in which we describe things and events in the same way as we would project images on a raw shark or pick out particular groups of stars in the sky and call them constellations as if they were separate groups of stars well they’re groups of stars in the mind’s eye in our system of concepts they are not out there as constellations already grouped in the sky so in the same way the difference between myself and all the rest of the universe is nothing more than an idea it is not a real difference and meditation is the way in which we come to feel our basic inseparability from the whole universe and what that requires is that we shut up that is to say that we become interiorly silent and cease from the interminable chatter that goes on inside our skulls because you see most of us think compulsively all the time that is to say we talk to ourselves i remember when i was a boy we had a common saying talking to yourself is the first sign of madness now obviously if i talk all the time i don’t hear what anyone else has to say and so in exactly the same way if i think all the time that is to say if i talk to myself all the time i don’t have anything to think about except thoughts and therefore i’m living entirely in the world of symbols and i’m never in relationship with reality all right now that’s the first basic reason for meditation but there is another sense and this is going to be a little bit more difficult to understand why we could say that meditation doesn’t have a reason or doesn’t have a purpose and in this respect it’s unlike almost all other things that we do except perhaps making music and dancing because when we make music we don’t do it in order to reach a certain point such as the end of the composition if that were the purpose of music to get to the end of the piece then obviously the fastest players would be the best and so likewise when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as we would be if we were taking a journey when we dance the journey itself is the point when we play music the playing itself is the point and exactly the same thing is true in meditation meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment and therefore if you meditate for an ulterior motive that is to say to improve your mind to improve your character to be more efficient in life you’ve got your eye on the future and you are not meditating because the future is a concept it doesn’t exist as the proverb says tomorrow never comes there is no such thing as tomorrow there never will be because time is always now and that’s one of the things we discover when we stop talking to ourselves and stop thinking we find there is only a present only an eternal now so it’s funny then isn’t it that one meditates for no reason at all except we could say for the enjoyment of it and here i would interpose the essential principle that meditation is supposed to be fun it’s not something you do as a grim duty the trouble with religion as we know it is that it is so mixed up with grim duties we do it because it’s good for you it’s a kind of self-punishment well meditation when correctly done has nothing to do with all that it’s a kind of digging the present it’s a kind of grooving with the eternal now and brings us into a state of peace where we can understand that the point of life the place where it’s at is simply here and now you