Alan Watts – Being in the Way – Ep. 23 – Out of the Trap Pt. 2

Picking up from our last episode, Out Of The Trap Pt.1, Alan elucidates faith versus belief and how our individual existence is connected with the totality of the universe.

This series is brought to you by the Alan Watts Organization and Ram Dass’ Love Serve Remember Foundation. Visit for full talks from Alan Watts.

“You as an individual imply by your existence everything else that exists, or ever has existed or ever will exist. You can’t exist as the kind of person you are without all that. Now, that’s the secret to the connection between you and the cosmos. Just as a back doesn’t exist without a front, in just that sort of way, all of it doesn’t exist without you, and you don’t exist without all of it.” – Alan Watts

From his houseboat in Sausalito, CA, Alan Watts explores:
  • The two great myths which underly our Western sense of identity: the Judeo-Christian myth of an overly intelligent universe founded by a cosmic king; and the material myth of a universe which is mechanical, un-intelligent, and empty
  • The problem of “believing” in God, versus the real attitude of faith which is being open to whatever reality is
  • Finding out who we are beyond social institutions like time, money, value, language, and survival
  • How you as an individual implies by your existence everything else in the universe

“The problem about believing in God, incidentally, is that believing is the wrong attitude. Believing is a form of mistrust, because it’s saying, ‘I fervently wish that you exist, and if you don’t, I don’t know what to do with myself.’ The real attitude of faith is not believing, but simply being open to whatever reality is, and to say you don’t know.” – Alan Watts

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