Alan Watts


I just want you to enjoy a point of view which I enjoy.”

[The way he begins his lecture greatly appeals to me. For those who know me, “Don’t tell me what to do” is practically my mantra. I say it multiple times a day (mostly in jest). Therefore, the fact that Mr. Watts so gently introduces his topic, so delicately, opens my mind automatically. Don’t you just want to hear what he has to say?]

And there was a hoax, a dreadful hoax. They made you miss everything! We thought a life by analogy was a journey, a pilgrimage, with a serious purpose at the end…but we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing. And you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.”

Often, as I think about what I want to do in life, how I want to succeed or which field interests me most, I find myself getting increasingly anxious. What shall I do? What role shall I play? Should I even be a business major? Should I have pursued my love of all things literary and gone the English route? Maybe I should go to grad school, maybe I should apply for internships, maybe I should just get married and have a bunch of kids and maybe…maybe I should stop worrying. Maybe all of these questions are important, but should they be ruling my life, conquering my thoughts, taking over what time I have in this world to live and experience and be.

We know very well that this natural universe is neither prickles nor gooey exclusively. It’s gooey prickles or prickly goo. You see? It all depends on your magnification.”

We all know the “prickly” intellectual types that Mr. Watts mentions, the ones who believe that everything must be explained, analyzed, scientific and cerebral. Then the “gooeys” who want peace and love, art and expression, and each party condemns the other. Your Wall Street and your hippies.


Both poetry and music lead us to an understanding of what this world is all about. Which is: the dance, a rhythm.”

The world is a dance. What beautiful phrasing! By embracing our universe and the moments that come our way, we cha-cha and waltz and pirouette into its rhythm.

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