Alan Watts shares his thoughts on life’s inherent transiency. Explaining how our own thoughts and feelings may hinder or aid us in our pursuit of discovering who we are; Watts poignantly expands our minds to allow more of ourselves to be remembered.

Alan Watts – Creating Who You Are Transcript

Why don’t you really know what you want?

Two reasons that you don’t really know what you want:

#1 You have it.

#2 You don’t know yourself, because you never can.

The Godhead is never an object of it’s own knowledge. Just as a knife doesn’t cut itself, fire doesn’t burn itself, light doesn’t illumine itself. It’s always an endless mystery to itself. I don’t know…

And this I don’t know uttered in the infinite interior of the spirit. This I don’t know, is the same thing as, I love. I let go. I don’t try to force or control. It’s the same thing as humility. If you think that you understand Brahman, you do not understand. And you have yet to be instructed further. If you know that you do not understand, then you truly understand. For the Brahman is unknown to those who know it, and known to those who know it not.

And the principle is that anytime you as it were, voluntarily let up control, in other words cease to cling to yourself. You have an access of power. Cause you’re wasting energy all the time in self-defense. Trying to manage things, trying to enforce things to conform to your will. Why don’t you stop doing that?

That wasted energy is available. Therefore, you are in that sense having that energy available, you are one with the divine principle, you have the energy. When you are trying, however to act  as if you are God, that is to say you don’t trust anybody, and you are the Dictator, and you try to keep everybody in line. You lose the divine energy, cause what you are doing is simply defending yourself. So then, the principle is the more you give it away, the more it comes back.

Now, you say “I don’t have the courage to give it away – I’m afraid.” And you can only overcome that by realizing you better give it away because there’s no way of holding on to it. The meaning of the fact, you see, that everything is dissolving constantly, that we’re all falling apart. We’re all in the process of constant death, and that the worldly hope that men set their heart upon – turns ashes or it prospers anon like snow upon the desert’s dusty face lighting a little hour or two – is gone and all that Omar Khayyam jazz.

The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, the great globe itself. Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, and, like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind.

All falling apart. Everything is. That’s the great assistance to you. That fact that everything is in decay is your help. That is allowing you, that you don’t have to let go, because there is nothing to hold on to. It’s achieved for you, in other words, by the process of nature.

So, once you see that you just don’t have a prayer, and that’s it’s all washed up and that you’ll vanish and leave no rack behind. And you really get with that. Suddenly, you find that you have the power, this enormous access of energy. But it’s not power that came to you because you grabbed it, it came in entirely the opposite way. Power that comes to you in the opposite way, is power with which you can be trust.

 The Universe is the game of self. Which plays hide and seek forever and ever. – Alan Watts

Alan-watts-finalIllustration by Stephen Collins


  1. The words you are looking for are “Omar Khayyam”, not “amok(?) “I am””. Otherwise, great job. Thank You!


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