Alan Watts – Hoax? Alcoholic? Genius? Guru?

It’s not about the great person – but what ignited the greatness in that person.

Who is Alan Watts for you? I must start off with by saying that the first times I heard his audio lectures they really did good for me. In a way he’s responsible for opening up to further references and knowledge, as in hearing a talented man articulating himself and igniting inspiration and some deep realizations. All which strengthened me in all aspects of life. Only years later did I look up more into his biography and found out bits of pieces of who he was. But does that really matter? Even though there’s a passion in us to see if something that inspired us, actually was that “pure” or “perfect”, according to our own subjective ego-biased belief system, or if it wasn’t. The man himself is always detached and separate from the pure wisdom that touches him. It’s not about the great person – but what ignited the greatness in that person.


There are facts about Alan Watts being an alcoholic, a cheater on his wives and generally that he talked good and inspiring about ideas – but didn’t walk the talk or let his own talk make him better. He even said in one of his lectures, that he was an entertainer of ideas and it pays well off. But what’s wrong with that? Now, we could take U.G. Krishnamurti as an example of someone who walks the talk and who never took money for opening his mouth, yet people swarmed to him. In both men, as with yourself, you can find faults and aspects of faulty character attributes that aren’t living up to some image, that once again, is based upon our eventual ego-biased belief system.

If we focus on what ignites the greatness in a person, the messenger becomes irrelevant. It’s hard in our culture, that has an inherent way of adoring and focusing on the persona and not the message.

Alan Watts.

I looked up some discussion about this dualism people find out about Alan Watts – I see that some people reevaluate their position on whether or not to continue to like Alan Watts (meaning feeling cheated while listening to the recordings). That is silly if you ask me. First of all, being an alcoholic is bad but it’s not the worst of crimes. Second, having many marriages and cheating on your beloved one is stupid, disgusting, a lack of maturity, self awareness and respect. But, the women in his life knew what they were into and what kind of man he was, the choice was theirs. The fact he drank a lot later in his life means he probably felt much of the past coming back to him – or more simply put, that’s his own business. Es ist was es ist.


One cannot think he didn’t regret it all somehow and the “life as a play” talk he gave was interesting and inspiring for us, but for him perhaps a way to distance himself from his own immature behavior. To justify or re-rationalize his life choices. There are many wo/men that we can analyze like this. But to what point? Do you know there are saints who actually were mass murderers? Still people pray over them. If we focus on what ignites the greatness in a person, the messenger becomes irrelevant. It’s hard in our culture, that has an inherent addiction of adoring and focusing on the persona and not the message. As if knowing more about the messenger will make us understand and embody the message more…

Alan Watts.

Alan Watts was some kind of messenger, he pointed to some aspects that can (if you pursue them for real) change your life for the better. Remember that today and for all future, it’s only the recordings that are left, besides the books and some video footage. These are of great benefit and will get many of us interested and searching for more, looking deeper.

A candle light cannot represent the sun.

For a real teacher, for a real school and for a real path; you have to seek out someone totally pure. In the end it has to be that way. If that’s what you’re after. A person who is enlightened isn’t attached to money, lust, love, career, possessions, politics and so on. There are no two ways about it, not even Alan Watt’s “life as a play” ideas can consolidate that ultimate fact. A candle light cannot represent the sun. Likewise bad behavior can never be justified, it can be understood, forgiven, forgotten but never justified.


Alan Watts is one example, Carlos Castaneda is another and a more dirtier one. I remember asking a huge fan of Castaneda’s book about how he felt on the hoax, the whole blatant and tragic hoax of Castaneda’s lifestyle. He answered that he didn’t want to think about it, somewhat evasive. Yet, if you read the first three books, you’ll get heavily inspired, and that will stick with you for the rest of your life. (The other books and the whole Castaneda thing after that is a waste of time). That’s my take on Castaneda and they did inspire me.

Alan Watts.Alan Watts, orange shirt and pipe.

If you’re really into freedom then you must learn how to feel free taking the best of things – even from the worst of sources whoever or whatever those might be. Thich Nhat Hanh said something like – you need manure to grow a beautiful garden. Which is a wonderful way to look at things, embracing it all and seeing the potential from every outcome. Even the problematic sides of yourself and others.

Sometimes just trying something passionately and hard is worth a lot, and even if failure looms around the corner. The effort and actions can bless other people. Here is Alan’s daughter Anne Watts in an interview about her father and her own work. She kind of demystifies her father, really worth watching. Also, check out this discussion from another blog – Alan Watts Revealed and Reconsidered.

What do you think?

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  • Filippos
    July 29, 2015

    Thanks to saying that i like Alan Watts when i heard about alcohol i was sad but now reading this i’m calm thanks.

    • Sanjin Đumišić
      July 29, 2015

      Hello Filippo! I’m glad it helped in continuing to enjoy his talks =)

      /All the best

    • Christopher White
      August 20, 2015

      When did Alan Watts ever say he was a “good” man in his lectures? In fact he made it clear that anybody with genuine wisdom to impart had something of the rascal about him. There are lectures in which he speaks to the folly of holding gurus up to some higher moral standard, and how that is completely missing the point. Like Thoreau said: “…if I repent of anything, it is likely to be my good behavior.” None of this detracts a bit from Watts’s well-studied and well-articulated message.

      • Sanjin Đumišić
        August 20, 2015


        Yes, as I say in the post, it doesn’t distract at all. The lessons are something on their own. But people notice that he didn’t live as he talked. But then again, he says in a lecture that he is an entertainer and not some teacher/guru or such.

        But I wouldn’t go so far as to lay 100% value in what he says about wisdom and rascals – that’s just his way of doing it, and therefore his generalization and view on it. Sort of like an excuse of being one himself maybe (if he ever was one by which standards in that case?). But who cares, the lectures are something on their own now. Detached from the personal life of his.

        /All the best

        • Tom
          September 24, 2017

          Watts did live as he talked. He, believed God got bored with paradise and wanted some excitement and adventure. God went to sleep, divinely inspired us all here in a dream to experience life without knowing for sure we are all God. Alan was a finger of Gods hand, and he dipped that finger into the all the pudding he could simply wanting to give God a really good taste of this life. Alan Watts had genius, talent, lots of fun and much more faith in his beliefs then I could ever have.

      • Andrew Kinsella
        May 16, 2018

        So is the definition of “A Good Person” someone who adheres to the rules of society? ie the Rules of a bunch of ignorant people who happen to agree with each other? It is infuriating that Alan drank so much– it took him from us sooner than was necessary. That point, however, nicely defines why his drinking is a problem. It would have been nice if he stuck around for longer. We need people like him to counter the “Three Poisons”- Nixon, Reagan and Clinton.

        • Sanjin Đumišić
          May 16, 2018

          Hi Andrew, No that’s not the definition of a good person. I hope you didn’t interpret this post as claiming that. /All the best

  • mariocles
    August 1, 2016

    Alan did not want to be a teacher and never spoke of “good behaviour”. You need to dig deeper if you want to understand his philosophy :)

    • Sanjin Đumišić
      August 1, 2016

      Hello! No he didn’t and that is not the point of this post. But good behavior is on people’s minds. Hence people react when they find out how he lived, I’ve heard of people “leaving him” because of that. This post clears out why his personal life doesn’t matter and why people shouldn’t give up on him because he acted “bad”. This post is about the focus on what ignites the mind, and not the life of the person. There’s nothing to understand nor judge, but only yourself to improve and perfect. /All the best

  • David G Parr
    November 26, 2016

    I ‘discovered’ Alan Watts – no searching, no researching. After the discovery I bought one of his books “The Freedom of Insecurity” – and it was an epiphany! I bought more books then found dozens of lectures on U Tube.

    Through his writings and lectures he certainly has ‘changed my life’ – and that’s a big thing to say, but it’s true. In fact it’s a massive thing to say; a person has changed my life. (And for the better)

    It’s not just what he wrote, it was the way he wrote it. Paragraph to paragraph of pure captivation, page after page of sagacity in prose so pleasurable.

    He wasn’t a ‘perfect’ man, he never claimed to be and moreover – who is? A concept is valid no matter where it originates. When we hear profundity, especially beautifully articulated, we so want – even expect – it to come from a ‘beautiful person’ cleansed by the knowledge of their own teachings.

    We all loved the ‘lovely’ teachers at school not the harsh and demanding ones. So Alan Watts drank too much in later life, I find that sad but certainly not evil! He said, “I like myself better when I drink”. So do I. I can temporarily forget my imperfections and past wrongdoings. Isn’t that why people drink? Observe a collection of people in a social group over drinking. They not only like themselves more but each other more.

    This doesn’t condone drinking to excess; it’s delaterious and pernicious. If it’s spirals out of control, it can destroy your life and indeed end it. So can smoking, drug taking or overeating. Life can be terribly boring without a vice or indeed unbearably painful without a ‘self medication’, that doesn’t justify them, it merely explains them.

    I say ‘get addicted to the good stuff’ – working out, running, hobbies.

    Getting back to Alan Watts and certainly putting aside his seemingly unashamed over drinking, he was quite an extraordinary man. I SO wish he had lived longer, he has a kindly face and demeanour. His mellifluous voice seemed custom designed for delivering his so very ‘welcomed’ lectures.

    I have always had an interest in eastern philosophy and he manages to ‘bridge the gap’ and bring that philosophy so beautifully translated and explained direct to a western world of confused and didactic religious. To me he is a breath of fresh air, an incredible intellect so easily understood.

    I am so very, very pleased and privileged to have discovered the intensely interesting and ‘life changing’ teachings of Alan Watts. I’m not going to say, “God bless him” because he would probably retort, “Who’s God?” Or even, “But you are God”.

    David G Parr

    • Sanjin Đumišić
      November 26, 2016

      Thanks for sharing your Alan-story David!

    • David Tate
      March 8, 2018

      I love what you said about allan watts.i love his lectures.vides talkes.the east to the west on life and living .and wake up hour minds .R.i.p my gunu.

  • Marco
    March 24, 2017

    I think now i understanding more why Alan was an alcoholic. He was suffering, and although he learned that meditation can end suffering he was too weak, or maybe too western to actually go that deep.
    Alcohol ends suffering too. Maybe not as good meditation, but when your not that good and pure, when youre too human, then you get to the best next thing. Or the thing you know the best.
    Alan got drunk, and then he talked about the dream of getting enlightened. To bad for him it was all empirical.

    Athough i’m not an alcoholic im afraid that i understand him much more than i wish. But ill keep trying and feel compassion for Alan and evrybody else.


    • Sanjin Đumišić
      March 24, 2017

      Hi Marco and thank you for the input here. I like how you write “… then he talked about the dream of getting enlightened.” One thing I’ve noticed after listening to endless hours of his recorded talks over the years is that there is a thread of justification, for the way he was and lived, in his talks. If you put that thread along his dynamic lifestyle one gets the sense of what you inclined to say in that passage. /All the best

  • Allan
    March 25, 2017


    One would have to believe that Alan truly cared about people and was/ is, most likely, an empath. the burden must have been very heavy indeed.

    His lectures, along with those of others, have truly helped me in my journey of awakening . we will sit down, have a drink and talk of the human condition in the next dimension, realm or whatever is next

    Thanks for the great words of wisdom my friend. i love you

  • Neal
    April 30, 2017

    How exactly did he not walk the talk? He didn’t talk about being a purist or a perfectionist. He was rather not fond of such ideas. He talked about yetzer hara, the spice element in us humans. So what if he turned out a bit spicier than some people wanted him to be? After all, he was only human, like you and I.

    To think enlightenment is some Utopian perfection is to completely miss the point. This Christian-like purist ideology is often a cause for many uptight-like problems. It is like trying to grasp an origami crane so tight that you don’t lose it, but instead you end up breaking it.

    “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

    In his Spectrum of Love, he gives an example saying “to talk beautiful nonsense by making it sound profound” and if you pay close attentiom to it, you’ll hear him chuckle a bit there.

    If someone is to say he didn’t walk the talk, they ought to understand the talk first.

    • Sanjin Đumišić
      May 1, 2017

      Hi Neal,

      Ok so you got hung up on some words in this post, “walk the talk”. And your outlook on this dwells in a dichotomy of either utopian christian puritanism or whatever else? The scope is wider than that. One simply has missed something if you cheat on others or destroy yourself, truistic as it seems. Ones actions are ones life in the end, simple as it is.

      On the other hand, the ideas are always separated from the person, so the person himself becomes irrelevant. Nothing to compete over who understands a dead man better than somebody else. But justifying destructive behavior is to miss the point.

      Lastly, you’ve missed the point of this post. It’s for people who doubt and “lose lust” for listening to Alan Watts because they found out he was “not that perfect”. It’s to encourage them not to and realise the man has no relation to the ideas. Nobody understands a dead man and his ideas can only inspire. Ironically you’re being “abrahamically puritan now” in squeezing this understanding so hard not to lose it =)

      /All the best

      • Neal
        May 27, 2017

        Hello Sanjin,

        I’m just pointing out that he clearly walked his talk, squeezing or not.

        I agree, the person is one thing and his ideas are another, to not personify a person’s works or ideas with his/her personality.

        But again, ‘justifying destructive behavior’ (whether it was destructive or not) — but this just doesn’t sync with Watts’ philosophy, because he said things like — a smart kid ought to commit suicide then if the game is not worth the candle. There is no morality, no right or wrong in his philosophy. There was just ‘flow’ in his philosophy, to flow with the good as much as to flow with the bad, in the way of the Tao.

        You say cheating others or destroying oneself — this also just doesn’t go with his talks, that’s what I’m saying. His talk about the yetzar hara, or about how CG Jung saw the devil in each of us too contradicts such ways of looking at things. And the whole philosophy he presented on this case of yetzer hara or irreducible rascality is way too big that there’s no way it’s rationalisation or justification because he spoke it at a universal level and CG Jung and Zen and other philosophies support it too, as he showed it.

        And then, shouldn’t we, or I, if I do think he walked his talk, say that he did to those who lost their ‘lust’ for his talks thinking he was not perfect. Shouldn’t I point that out, that perfection is not his philosophy? I mean ‘walk the talk’ is like a core idea, one of the deciding factors for those who shy away from his talks.

        Shouldn’t this be the case presented to them, as you’re trying with this blog post? I’m only adding to it.

        So, since I do think he clearly walked his talk, too gracefully, in fact — I ought to point that out and the other that perfection is not his philosophy, two things that tackle the case.

        So, in all, if someone is shying away from his talks, I think they should at least explore these ideas which I’m pointing out.

        Also, you cannot accuse me of getting hung up on ‘walk the talk’ when that is the first half of the argument in your blog post. Well, I accuse you, Sanjin, of getting hung up on ‘bad behaviour and its justification’ which is basically morality, which in no way constitutes Watts’s talks.

        While I agree with you on ‘the message is the message and the messenger is just the messenger’, I have these said things that contradict with your views, which I consider them to be relevant, and important in making a case to those who shy away.

        And another is that Watts said, in the end, he was always a Westerner. He was closer to us, to modern society than Krishnamurthy or Thich Nhat Hanh is. So, where or how he was in relative to society played an important role in distinguishing him from the more detached and perfect-looking individuals.

        • Neal
          May 27, 2017

          “The most important things that each man must learn, no one else can teach him. Once he accepts this disappointment, he will be able to stop depending on the therapist, the guru who turns out to be just another struggling human being.” — Sheldon B Kopp, If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him

          I stress here at the words “the guru who turns out to be just another struggling human being”.

        • Sanjin Đumišić
          May 27, 2017

          Hi Neal,

          You write “There is no morality, no right or wrong in his philosophy.” And “Well, I accuse you, Sanjin, of getting hung up on ‘bad behaviour and its justification’ which is basically morality, which in no way constitutes Watts’s talks.”

          “His” philosophy does not exist, only the recorded audio or video talks. How can anyone even talk about his philosophy? We are only left with the message, the media recordings that inspire or entertain our intellect. Morality on the other hand does exist, basic morality is something basic and fundamental and envelopes our lives. One can comment on moral behaviour without judgement, it’s a very important part of our lives.

          You mention Krihnamurti, which one do you mean Jiddu or U.G. Krishnamurti? Jiddu was not at all a “walk the talk” type in my opinion. And there are westerners and easterners of many sorts. We don’t need any familiar names nor gurus, just decent people.

          My point is and remains to notify those who lose interest in him, after they discover aspects of his personal life, to realize it’s just a message. Why is this so hard to grasp? It’s so simple? You talk about Tao, universal flows, accepting the bad sides etc. But in all honesty – we are responsible for our actions and no washing away of individual responsibility changes that. I respect people who are looking for morally synchronised inspirations, it’s a genuine part of us that wants that. I find Watts recordings have so much to offer and that people should be less hung up on his personal side. While at the same time acknowledge that it was how it was.

          The thing here is that I believe you want everyone to talk and reflect about Watts within your parameters of what “his” philosophy was – and the claims that you understand his talks etc. I maintain what I have said by the first and this second reply to your comments. It’s all very simple.

          /All the best

          • Neal
            May 28, 2017

            Hello Sanjin,

            ‘His’ philosophy is his outlook, whatever he said, in all togetherness. If you say it doesn’t exist, I don’t know then, because the recorded talks, videos, and the books — all presents his outlook, his perspective and it is one wholesome thing in the end. How can he be a philosopher (a gooey one and an entertainer, his words) without a philosophy — isn’t that just absurd — a philosopher without a philosophy, to just say it is just a video, or an audio, nothing more?

            Why do you say, why is it so hard to grasp, when I have already stated that, on that point, I’m with you? Have you completely overlooked what I’ve said that I’m only adding because I think these are things to be talked about with the ones who shy away? Isn’t this only rationale?

            And I only used his own words and his arguments and I paraphrased those, so I can’t see how what I have said is “my parameters”. In simplicity, I only said what he said, and I have no intentions to make big claims.

            I didn’t say morality didn’t exist. I said morality doesn’t go with his talks. And I’m okay if I’m proved otherwise, I don’t claim my understanding of him is absolute. Like how morality is a big thing with Kant, it’s not with some other philosophers. Whatever you said about morality would be your philosophy just like how I said Watts has his philosophy.

            You said ‘talk about morality without judgement’ and I agree on that little phrase but it could be just me but I can’t help but feel there’s a slight tone of condemnation in the blog post, and the comments, when you say things like ‘we only need decent people’.

            But in all, I hope people who come across this blog post will reflect on the things said in the comments. To agree or disagree is another, but to reflect, is what I hope.

            And let me just add this one, why I’m hooked on ‘walk the talk’ and why I say he does it gracefully, it is that it’s the most beautiful game Watts played, with inside jokes and all. For example and I repeat, when he says “to talk beautiful nonsense making it sound profound”. And then, he would talk about recording while his talk is being recorded and he would make fun of it. “To play the game and to give a little bit of it away,” as he would say. And then he would give a lecture on “The Joker” or the court jester, all the while we all would know that he’s being that. He was one hell of a genuine fake. But again Sanjin, these are personal observations and I do not claim these to be the absolute. And on whatever I have said about ‘his philosophy’, I’m happily okay if I’m proved otherwise, but I believe I didn’t present any irrational arguments, and that I presented enough for my ‘claims’ using Watts’ own words.

          • Sanjin Đumišić
            May 28, 2017

            It’s wholesome for you, and me, and to others – and in different ways. I see no philosophy at all anywhere at all, keep Kant and everything aside it’s useless. There is no argument here, no debate and nothing to be convinced of really. You want to be convinced? You could wait a lifetime.

            You put in very interesting ideas to add on this post and people will hopefully find our conversation amusing, interesting or a good pastime if they are “Watts-fans”. If one steppes outside of any “philosophers-illusional-bubble” and see action not in accordance with the teaching then that is so. Pure simple and brutal, no nonsense. Just because the philosopher him or herself didn’t involve that, or post-interpetations dwell within that philosophers “philosophy-bubble” doesn’t change the fact. So that’s why I’m saying you have your own version of Watts like anybody else. I just don’t understand the clinging to try to get away from this fact? History is full of inspiring people who were very immoral in their private life – or responsible for mass suffering of people. Is it that people can’t accept the duality? Why must anyone at all keep in regard the non-existent “philosophy” of Watts made up by us in the 21th century? You had a man, good ideas, he died and he lived the way he did. I’m not condemning anything, but some behavior is and never will be considered good. So indeed, we need decent people, but that doesn’t mean the most interesting people will always be decent. But if you can chose yourself, you’d try to be interesting and decent. It’s like health, we all like to have healthy babies, but if we had a sick baby we’d still take care of it. Alarming the sickness is not condemnation, just a notice that something is out of “order”. So once again, this post is very simple. If someone gets appaled by his private life, don’t, his ideas are detached and he was a very good man anyway, working and making a business for himself. Financing seven kids and so on.

            Watts was a fantastic visionary, his talk about the subject of the future is fantastic –

            People today are to sensitive and relativize everything, straying away from the obvious in my opinion. No amount of conceptualizing nor roundabout talking will change the essential aspiration we have, to be strong, creative and decent if I may say so. For some Watts recording help out this way – for other it may just push them on into further ego-trips of attachment and abuse of themselves or others. We have the full spectrum because there is no philosophy, no idea other than the one peoples heads make up in that special time they listen =)

            So for me, you haven’t used any words of Watts, it’s your own, there is no agenda here, no argument, nothing to be convinced to or from. I just hope people give him a chance if they get doubts about the private side of his life.

            /All the best

          • Neal
            May 28, 2017

            I’m leaving this here, so people will get to explore this too. It’s related.


      • Jasper
        June 6, 2018

        “On the other hand, the ideas are always separated from the person, so the person himself becomes irrelevant.”

        I find this an interesting distinction to make, especially when viewed through the idea that ‘thought’ and ‘object’ are not separate but one and the same. Or, the ‘object’ and the ‘environment’ cannot be separated because without one the other would not be the same.

  • Andrew Groffman
    September 2, 2017

    I love all this banter about Watts, it’s truly amusing. To those detractors ,after finding out that Watts drank heavily and smoked, towards the latter part of his life, or cheated on his wife,is simply missing the point. People have all sorts of ideas,about who people should be,including themselves,all concepts, that never match reality and then use their projections to feel deceived,even betrayed. This is something Watts railed about,as pure hypocrisy. He never considered himself a guru and certainly not a saint, painstakingly trying to point out the duality of manifest life,as single event,and was in his own way a perfect manifestation of IT! He was an entertainer and entertaining he was,to the point of the sublime. He had a gift,of which he shared,in such an honest and open way,that it touched all of us,and so was then a gift for those who listened to him. He is now to some, flawed, due to details of his personal life, understandable, but a little misguided in my opinion. He was and remained unapologetically himself throughout, a trait which made him so attractive.He was also an anchor for many a child of the sixties,confused by both internal and external upheaval,and was able to use words, in a way that helped so many,if not make sense of the chaos,at least expose the mistaken futility, of fearing it. To my great joy, his work continues to provide this and more, to another generation.Thank you Alan, Andrew

  • Martin Jones
    September 27, 2017

    I stopped reading you article pretty quickly, you seem very immature and arrogant as soon as I read this: Second, having many marriages and cheating on your beloved one is stupid, disgusting, a lack of maturity, self awareness and respect. But, the women in his life knew what they were into and what kind of man he was, the choice was theirs. The fact he drank a lot later in his life means he probably felt much of the past coming back to him – or more simply put, that’s his own busines. What a fool you are.

    • Sanjin Đumišić
      September 27, 2017

      It is bad behaviour. You seem to have missed the whole point of this blog post. Seems that you cannot read a text without getting emotional as soon as you read something that disconnects your belief-system. It doesn’t help you to call people foolish, arrogant and so on. I stand by that alcoholism, cheating etc is bad. Now you may talk about black and white – this doesn’t change the point of the blog post which you clearly missed. It’s not about him, but about the thing he left for others. And to make this more easy for you, the point of this post was to make those people doubting about this realize it doesn’t matter, just enjoy his work that survived. Try reading past those words and triggering things in texts next time, you might get the actual perceptive intended.

      /All the best

      • Garry
        December 6, 2018

        Sorry drinking alcohol and cheating is Neither BAD nor Good. This is human/animal behaviour. Even wild animals would drink alcohol or take cocaine if they could get it. Monkeys have been regularly recorded getting pissed on fermented fruits and lab rats love illegal highs. They keep coming back for more. Does this make them bad? Obviously not! Alan went way deeper then this conversation, but he was evidently more intelligent then most. You see good, bad etc are just human construction and nothing more. The universe just IS! There is no right or wrong. Simply flow and we don’t even have the words or language to express it. You are free to literally do whatever you want and it’s a non conversation for intelligent readers to be concerned over his private life.

        Never dismiss intelligent work, even if its source is deemed evil in basic blue pill human thinking. Only a fool would do such a thing. Don’t get too caught up with religious thinking either as the closest thing you have to god is you. Your very consciousness! You are neither good nor evil, you simply exist and you do as you please. In a world of nearing 8 billion people, very few will understand this. Nonetheless this is mandatory for transcendance.

        • Sanjin Đumišić
          December 6, 2018

          Hi! Did you read this post at all? I never dismissed his work. The first lines are “It’s not about the great person – but what ignited the greatness in that person.” Seems from your answer you skimmed through the text, and before the end of it your mind had already an answer? =)

          As you mention cheating, well that is bad because you gave your word to someone. Breaking agreements is bad. It’s not about alcohol nor how or with whom you are. If you make a commitment, or give your word and break it you aren’t doing something good. I’m not a monkey, nor are you. We’re humans and a fine thing we can do is to keep our word, stay upright, honest and trustworthy. Alcoholism is like a sickness, it doesn’t make the sick person bad but in itself it’s bad. You wouldn’t want to wish your kids or friends to be alcoholics. You’re confusing enjoying alcohol with the sickness/habit of being an alcoholic.

          I couldn’t tell you what we are nor what we are here for – it’s insanity to claim anything like that. No need to hide behind words like “intelligent readers”, “blue pill humans”, “understanding”, “mandatory transcendence”. Are you really sure you can claim what the universe is? I can only represent myself, my mind and the current state I see things, just like you are only limited to that. Leave the universe alone =) I smell something fishy anytime dogmatic people put a hard effort as not to come off as dogmatic. /All the best

  • Martin Jones
    September 27, 2017

    ”being an alcoholic is bad” Who are you to judge this, are you saying people who are alcoholics are bad? Nothing is that black and white. The fact that you are even writing about this man suggests he has had a much bigger impact on this world and the consciousness of humanity that you will likely ever have. I suggest you learn some respect.

    • Sanjin Đumišić
      September 27, 2017

      You’re such a good observer, of course he impacted more than me. I do respect his work and have not called him anything, nor warned against his lectures and so on. You must be seeing something in your head while reading this, because there is no disrespect. As I already answered in your other rude comment, you missed the point and obviously cannot read past any sentence that immediately doesn’t go along with your belief-system. This post is for encouraging people to not throw away his work if it inspired them, even if it involves morals they are not okay with. Watch that video above with his daughter and relax. There is tons of respect and love for his lectures that we are left with.

      /All the best

  • Colin Mitchell
    September 28, 2017

    A cheat is usually a liar, but who doesn’t lie, so we are all cheats.
    An alcoholic has an addiction to alcohol, but who isn’t addicted to something. All addictions, effect the purity of the mind
    Therefore we are all Alan Watts,
    I love you and i love Alan Watts

  • Brian P.
    October 1, 2017

    Perhaps, on one level, we need to separate the message from the messenger.

    • Sanjin Đumišić
      October 3, 2017

      Indeed, that’s my main theme here in the post because humans have a tendency to personify anything in hope of getting closer to the understanding, the art or genius of some person. It’s all in vain as it all boils down to what ignited that greatness in the person, not who s/he was or did. I think that’s something separate and nobody draws lasting attraction for their bad sides, but only the good and inspiring ones.

      /All the Best

  • mark
    October 7, 2017

    Whether your into meditation or medication so what. Those two words are only seperated by one letter for good reason.
    Alan saw the joke played out and laughed.
    And im laughing with him


    Now wheres that Whiskey


  • Susana
    March 8, 2018

    Very well said.

    What matters to me is his message, the rest is for gossip magazines.

    Besides as Jesus said to the Pharisees: “All right, hurl the stones at her until she does. But only he who never sinned may throw the first” John 8:7

    • Sanjin Đumišić
      December 6, 2018

      Indeed, we can learn from anybody and anything. It’s okay to agree with and find inspiration from with people one feels a polar opposite to. A comfy echo-chamber makes for a dull stagnation and never tests ones mind with reality. Thank you for stopping by and reading! /All the best

  • Andrew Smith
    May 20, 2018

    Behind every sinner, there is a saint.

    “. . . every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” – Oscar Wilde

  • thelittleJoker
    June 15, 2018

    Very interesting article…I still follow his talks despite knowing what i know about him because on some level i feel i am the same in a way when i try to part with advice that i dont always follow myself…

  • travellingman
    August 24, 2018

    Thoughful article. I can say without a doubt that Alan Watts has been a significant influence in my life and way of thinking for many years. Thanks to my early love of Tom Robbins novels, I discovered in reading interviews that Watts was an influence in Tom’s own work and life, particularly ” the book on the taboo against knowing who you are”. True beacons of light are often the enemies of a dull, unenlightened, fear driven society. Allan Watts was one of those beacons and his struggles as a man have always, somehow made me respect him more. Go your own way.

    • Sanjin Đumišić
      December 6, 2018

      Exactly, represent yourself and go your own way. Watts lectures initiated a courage for all that in my life. Now I can say I have created a thriving enclave with my wife and kids amid the dull and fear based system. Some commentators have missed the point of this blog post, it’s that the message is not the messenger. We can all learn from anything and anything if we’re willing to. /All the best

  • Anthony Garcia
    November 26, 2018


  • Nicole
    December 28, 2018

    You really put my feelings on Alan Watts in words, thank you so much. (;

  • Mark Deegan
    January 12, 2019

    A Great Man, a Great Thinker…

  • John F
    February 7, 2019

    “For a real teacher, for a real school and for a real path; you have to seek out someone totally pure. In the end it has to be that way.”

    I disagree. A tenet promoted by Alan Watts, and dao, is that to aim to be more than human is to miss the point. If he was alcoholic and so forth, I understand that in light of this principle.

    • Sanjin Đumišić
      February 7, 2019

      True, but just being faithful, respectful and honest. In other words, not lying, cheating, destroying yourself and others is nothing to do with aiming to be more than a human. It’s just common respect and common sense, something very human. Failing once, twice or so and you may be forgiven, but a dozen times – it’s a sign something is wrong. One can’t hide behind beliefs, tenets, Dao or what have you. We learn from those better than us, in one area of life or life in general. /All the best

      • John F
        February 12, 2019

        There is an arbitrariness in your answer. Identifying ‘[who] is better than us’ is a risky business.

        • Sanjin Đumišić
          February 12, 2019

          It’s your life and you decide. We’re not here to find one solution for all, that would be scary. It takes humbleness to the creation to recognize others as being better at some aspects and/or practices than oneself is. Even more humbleness to learn from somebody else. So is your life and your decisions a risky business?

          Do you agree or disagree with this statement: “Just being faithful, respectful and honest. In other words, not lying, cheating, destroying yourself and others is nothing to do with aiming to be more than a human. It’s just common respect and common sense, something very human. Failing once, twice or so and you may be forgiven, but a dozen times – it’s a sign something is wrong.” Can you twist that? Can you arbitrarily bend that into some theoretical idea or principle of some sort? Or would you prefer to deal with a human who keeps to common respect and common sense to a decent length?

          /All the best