Lesson #1: On The Meaning of Life - Deepstash
The Philosophy Of Alan Watts

Learn more about religionandspirituality with this collection

Understanding the concept of the self

The importance of living in the present moment

The illusion of control

The Philosophy Of Alan Watts

Discover 61 similar ideas in

It takes just

8 mins to read

Lesson #1: On The Meaning of Life

Lesson #1: On The Meaning of Life

To know that you can do nothing is the beginning. Lesson One is: “I Give Up”… What happens now? You find yourself in what is perhaps a rather unfamiliar state of mind.”

Just watching. Not trying to get anything. Not expecting anything. Not seeking. Just trying to relax. Just watching, without purpose.


122 reads


The Philosopher From The Future

The Philosopher From The Future

Watts stands out among other 20th-century philosophers for several reasons. Namely because he managed to do three unique things:

  • Have very differentiated points of view from contemporary Western viewpoints.
  • Articulate them extremely well.
  • Do it all in a time when you co...


170 reads

Ziran: Nature Defined In Chinese

Ziran: Nature Defined In Chinese

In Chinese, the word for nature is ziran, which means “self so”, or “so of itself”. Ziran doesn’t mean green pastures over yonder. There is no word to distinguish between “us” and “nature” in Chinese. It means a spontaneous process that happens in and of itself.

This notion...


52 reads


No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.



86 reads

Get rid of knowledge; eject wisdom, and the people will be benefited a hundred-fold



141 reads

Don't Be So Serious

Don't Be So Serious

Alan Watts didn’t take life, or himself, too seriously. He enjoyed a good drink or six. He left the Church partly due to an extramarital affair. He didn’t pretend he wasn’t human and wasn’t ashamed of his vices—whether they be sex, alcohol, acid, partying on his houseboat, or all the above.


119 reads

The Paradox Of Life

The Paradox Of Life

How can you understand the universe when you are a part of it? How can you discover the meaning of life through intellect alone? How can you bite your own teeth or eat your own mouth? Although seemingly obvious and even foolish, Watt’s believed such questions were key to really realizing how much...


91 reads


If the universe is meaningless, so is the statement that it is so. If this world is a vicious trap, so is its accuser, and the pot is calling the kettle black.



123 reads

Thinking Isn't Everything

Thinking Isn't Everything

You can’t make sense of the universe through problem-solving. You can’t find the meaning of life through thought alone. Problem-solving is a function of the universe. Your thoughts are one small expression of life.

From the beginning, the question was flawed. But more than ...


81 reads

A Spiritual Entertainer

A Spiritual Entertainer

Alan Watts wasn’t an expert in what he taught. Despite writing extensively about Eastern philosophies like Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Zen, he wasn’t ordained as any kind of monk or didn’t strictly follow any one system.

What he was, like the ideas he dedicated his life to studying and ...


99 reads

The Harsh Truth Of Life

The Harsh Truth Of Life

Believing in some other entity that has divine power or will to save you from your sins can also cause you to close off from life and avoid its harsh truths — uncertainty, impermanence, death, change.

Paradoxically, embracing such realities is essential for freedom and the basis of understa...


63 reads

Lesson #3: On Religion & Faith

Lesson #3: On Religion & Faith

Religions are divisive and quarrelsome. They are a form of one-upmanship because they depend upon separating the “saved” from the “damned,” the true believers from the heretics, the in-group from the out-group. . . . All belief is fervent hope, and thus a cover-up for doubt and uncertainty.


64 reads

You Are Part Of The Whole

You Are Part Of The Whole

One can only attempt a rational, descriptive philosophy of the universe on the assumption that one is totally separate from it. But if you and your thoughts are part of this universe, you cannot stand outside them to describe them. This is why all philosophical and theological systems must ultima...


72 reads

Lesson #2: On Uncertainty & Insecurity

Lesson #2: On Uncertainty & Insecurity

To be secure means to isolate and fortify the “I”, but it is just the feeling of being an isolated “I” which makes me feel lonely and afraid. In other words, the more security I can get, the more I shall want”.

The desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing.


72 reads

Lesson #4: On Taoism & Nature

Lesson #4: On Taoism & Nature

In the West, “nature” is something that’s equated with the countryside or the mountains — a place that is wild and out there.

Nature is thus something you enjoy from the safety of your couch via a David Attenborough documentary or when you finally get out of the city on the weekend.



58 reads

Lesson #5: On the Present Moment

Lesson #5: On the Present Moment

The past and the present are real illusions, that they exist only in the present, which is what there is and all that there is. From one point of view, the present is shorter than a microsecond. From another, it embraces all eternity. But there isn’t anywhere, or anywhen, else to be.



57 reads




Multimedia specialist

Lessons on life, belief, religion and nature.

Related collections

More like this

Serve The World

Serve The World

Our main purpose in life is to serve others. Give without expecting anything in return. There are so many benefits to serving as it makes not only the other person happy but also yourself. You need nothing in order to give. In fact, studies have shown that the le...

The Meaning of Life

What is the meaning and purpose of life?

  • Answer 1: It’s personal. You have to find your own meaning. You have to find it for yourself, so the important part is not the answer, it’s the question. You just have to sit there and dig with the question. It...

Alan Watts On The Meaning Of Life

  • More knowledge doesn’t equate with more wisdom, even though that is presumed by most western societies. The universe is not ambitious or with a purpose, but we are blind to that.
  • The meaning of the universe cannot be understood by the intellect, or by breaking down stuff into small...


Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas


Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.


2 Million Stashers


5,740 Reviews

App Store


72,690 Reviews

Google Play

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.


Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Read & Learn

20x Faster





Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations

Supercharge your mind with one idea per day

Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.


I agree to receive email updates