August 21


Allan Watts on The Real Secret of Life

By Peter Julian

In the 20th century, a number of intellectuals – most notably Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud – were identified as New Thinkers who challenged conventional thinking. One such thinker was the English philosopher Alan Watts. He described himself as a philosophical anarchist and erratic Christian, and he wrote about topics ranging from Eastern philosophy to sex in society. Alan Watts stressed the importance of living in the present rather than worrying about the future or regretting the past. He spoke of being hypnotized by the illusion of time. Watts thought the past and future were illusions, and the only reality was the present reality. Watts’ thinking wasn’t completely original, as Plato, Aristotle, and Seneca all had similar ideas.

Key Takeaways:

  • English philosopher Alan Watts wrote about a range of topics including Eastern philosophy, hallucinogenic experiences, and sex.
  • Watts’ philosophy stresses the living in the present moment and not fixating on future worries or past regrets.
  • Watts argued that past and future were illusions, and that the only reality is the present reality.

“They were mostly from central European countries but also other parts of the world.”

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