Alan Watts – Being in the Way – Ep. 21 – Joyous Cosmology

Offering us the possibility of waking up, Alan Watts contemplates the joyous cosmology that we are God playing the roles of ordinary people.

“We have within us a higher self who is pretending to be the ordinary everyday person that we are, who’s acting it. In other words, our everyday life is a dream from which we have the possibility of waking up.” – Alan Watts

In this episode, Alan Watts explores:
  • If there could be a theory of the world that justifies and makes worthwhile the difficulties and suffering that we undergo
  • The contemplation that an infinite omnipotent being would eventually get bored with being everything, so would begin to shield itself from this knowledge, and pretend to play the role of separate beings so it could experience the full thrill of waking up to itself
  • The idea of reality as God playing a game of hide and seek with itself for it’s own excitement and cosmic joke
  • The difference or potential complete non-difference between the experience and the experiencer
  • That what you think of as outside yourself is actually just a hidden you


Ram Dass and Joseph Goldstein join in deep and humorous conversation on self and selflessness, in Insight Hour Ep. 151

About Alan Watts:

A prolific author and speaker, Alan Watts was one of the first to interpret Eastern wisdom for a Western audience. Born outside London in 1915, he discovered the nearby Buddhist Lodge at a young age. After moving to the United States in 1938, Alan became an Episcopal priest for a time, and then relocated to Millbrook, New York, where he wrote his pivotal book The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety. In 1951 he moved to San Francisco where he began teaching Buddhist studies, and in 1956 began his popular radio show, “Way Beyond the West.” By the early sixties, Alan’s radio talks aired nationally and the counterculture movement adopted him as a spiritual spokesperson. He wrote and regularly traveled until his passing in 1973.

Listen to more Alan Watts:

In this premiere episode, Alan shares a dharma talk on Taoism, the interdependence of nature, and dropping out of karma, on Being in the Way Ep. 1.
Alan’s son, Mark Watts, shares background on Alan’s early life, before introducing two of his father’s specially curated dharma talks focused on karma, in Being in the Way Ep. 2
Alan shares on therapy, religion, mystical experiences, & Jesus, before playing the hilarious and light-shedding role of a clinical patient who realizes they’re God, in Being in the Way Ep. 6
Alan illuminates the connections between Taoism and relativity, technology and human evolution, culture and separation, Saints and rascals, you and not-you, as well as difference and unity, in Being in the Way Ep. 3
Uncovering how we arise mutually with all things, Alan examines our place in the universe and how very natural it is to be human, in Being in the Way Ep. 4