50 Famous Philosophical Alan Watts Quotes

50 Famous Philosophical Alan Watts Quotes

“Alan Watts painting” by nstaeck is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Alan Watts died on November 16, 1973, leaving behind his words of wisdom that are still very relevant in today’s world. Alan Watts quotes provide a different perspective of life, death, and everything in between. The British author was also a philosopher, theologian, and speaker. He specifically drew attention from the Western world with his unique interpretations of Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism. 

The highly educated and decorated philosopher was born in England in 1915 and moved to America in 1938, where he began Zen training in New York. He began his career as a priest in 1945 after completing his master’s degree in theology. Later on, he wrote over 25 books and articles about religion and philosophy, becoming the pioneer of the hippie counterculture in the 1960s. Here are some famous quotes by Allan Watts for a new perspective on life, love, death, and money.

Alan Watts Quotes on Life

Alan Watts quotes on life always had a deeper meaning. Here are some of his best.

“A scholar tries to learn something every day; a student of Buddhism tries to unlearn something daily.”

ALAN WATTS, THE BEST ALAN WATTS QUOTES

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple.”

ALAN WATTS, The Culture of Counter-Culture

“You can’t live at all unless you can live fully now.”

ALAN WATTS, MISFIT ENTREPRENEUR

“It’s better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.”

ALAN WATTS

“Life moves along like water, it’s all connected to the source of the river is connected to the mouth and the ocean.”

ALAN WATTS

“Man only suffers only because he takes seriously what the Gods made for fun.”

ALAN WATTS, THE ESSENTIAL ALAN WATTS

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but an experience to be had.”

ALAN WATTS

“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”

ALAN WATTS

“Much of the secret of life consists in knowing how to laugh, and also how to breathe.”

ALAN WATTS

“The most dangerous risk of all: the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”

“There never is, or was, or will be anything except the present.”

ALAN WATTS

“The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.”

ALAN WATTS

“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.”

ALAN WATTS

“In the more intimate sphere of personal life, the problem is the pain of trying to avoid suffering and the fear of trying not to be afraid.”

ALAN WATTS

“Life exists only at this very moment, and in this moment it is infinite and eternal, for the present moment is infinitely small; before we can measure it, it has gone, and yet it exists forever….”

ALAN WATTS

“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.”

ALAN WATTS

“Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.”

ALAN WATTS

Alan Watts Quotes on Love

As demonstrated below, Alan Watts always offered some great advice for lovebirds, providing a totally different perspective on love.

“Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.”

ALAN WATTS

“The more we struggle for life (as pleasure), the more we are actually killing what we love.”

ALAN WATTS

“Love is not something that is a sort of rare commodity, everybody has it.”

“Everyone has love, but it can only come out when he is convinced of the impossibility and the frustration of trying to love himself.”

ALAN WATTS

“Peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love.”

ALAN WATTS

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

ALAN WATTS

“People who exude love are apt to give things away. They are in every way like rivers; they stream.”

ALAN WATTS

“The first thing to discover is what indeed you do love, and you will find there is something.”

ALAN WATTS

“No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of the heart.”

ALAN WATTS

“Loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defines as other than yourself.”

ALAN WATTS

“Love is an act of surrender to another person.”

ALAN WATTS

Allan Watts Death Quotes

From Alan Watts perspective, death doesn’t mean the end of life. Here’s a collection of some of the best Alan Watts quotes on death.

“Without birth and death, and without the perpetual transmutation of all the forms of life, the world would be static, rhythm-less, undancing, mummified.”

ALAN WATTS

“Dying should be one of the greatest events in life.”

“Lack of love for the vegetative, subtle, cthonic, pagan, and sexy aspect of the world means death.”

ALAN WATTS

“Every manifestation of life is impermanent. Our quest to make things permanent, to straighten everything out, to get it fixed is an impossible and insoluble problem.”

ALAN WATTS

“When death comes, it’s just like winter. We don’t say, There ought not to be winter.

“To perceive that form reveals the void, and to see that the void reveals form, is the secret for the overcoming of death.”

ALAN WATTS

“Lack of love for the vegetative, subtle, cthonic, pagan, and sexy aspect of the world means death.”

ALAN WATTS

“It’s one of the great wonders of life: What will it be like to go to sleep and never wake up?”

ALAN WATTS

“Tomorrow never comes.”

ALAN WATTS

“Nirvana is right where you are, provided that you don’t object to it.”

ALAN WATTS

“To travel is to be alive, but to get somewhere is to be dead, for as our own proverb says, To travel well is better than to arrive.”

ALAN WATTS

Alan Watts Money Quotes

They say money is the root of all evil, but what did Alan Watts have to say about it? Find out below!

“Money is an abstraction. It cannot, of itself, buy any pleasure whatsoever. Because all pleasures involve skill and love.”

“If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time.”

ALAN WATTS

“By contrast with money, true wealth is the sum of energy, technical intelligence, and raw materials.”

ALAN WATTS

“If you hate your job and are just in it for the money, it might be time to reevaluate how you spend 40-60 hours of your life a week.”

ALAN WATTS

“Don’t be afraid to hop off the hamster wheel. If you love what you do and you earn a living with it – you are living the dream!”

ALAN WATTS

“Money is a way of measuring wealth but is not wealth in itself. A chest of gold coins or a fat wallet of bills is of no use whatsoever to a wrecked sailor alone on a raft.”

ALAN WATTS

“Money is a measure of wealth, and we invent money as we invent the Fahrenheit scale of temperature or the avoirdupois measure of weight.”

ALAN WATTS

“What if money was no object?”

alan watts

“So many people of wealth understand much more about making and saving money than about using and enjoying it. They fail to live because they are always preparing to live.”

alan watts

“Just as money is not real, consumable wealth, books are not life. To idolize scriptures is like eating paper currency.”

alan watts

“There are a great many people accumulating what they think is vast wealth but it is only money.”


There’s no doubt that Alan Watts was one of the greatest writers, speakers and theologians to ever grace the face of the earth. If you enjoyed reading these Alan Watts quotes, Turtle Quote has more inspiring and enlightening quotes for you. Check out these Osho and Sadhguru quotes for further inspiration!

Turtle Quotes

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