Alan Watts – Being in the Way – Ep. 29 – Philosophy of the Tao

Join us on a journey of contemplation and enlightenment in this captivating introduction to Taoism.

Discover the profound wisdom of Taoist philosophy with Alan Watts as he invites us to embrace the course of nature. Through insightful exploration, he delves into the timeless significance of Yin and Yang, illustrating their inseparable connection and guiding us toward a deeper understanding of harmony and balance in existence.

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.

“Whereas the emphasis in the Confucian tradition in China is on interference to a large extent, keeping things in order, there is a certain anxiety about the whole thing, the emphasis of Taoism is to trust in the course of nature.” – Alan Watts

In this episode, Alan Watts speaks about:
  • Ancient Chinese philosophies
  • How social institutions are mistaken for the real world
  • The self, Confucianism, and the roles we play in life
  • Taoism and the basic energy of the universe
  • Tao as the force of nature
  • How space and solid are two facets of one reality
  • Yang and Yin, positive and negative, male and female
  • Conscious dying and preparing to let go
  • Acting in accordance with nature

“It is the inner connection, or rather the inseparability of Yang and Yin, which is what is meant by Tao. That’s why Tao cannot be explained. The reason, again, if I may put it in another way, is that all thinking is classification. It’s asking ‘is you is or is you aint’. Is it this or is it that. After all, if you want to say something is inside it requires an outside. You can’t have an inside without an outside or an outside without an inside.” – Alan Watts

Listen to more Alan Watts talks:
Being in the Way Ep. 1: Alan shares a dharma talk on Taoism, the interdependence of nature, and dropping out of karma
Alan Watt’s son, Mark, 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
Therapy, religion, mystical experiences, & Jesus: Being in the Way Ep. 6
The connections between Taoism and relativity, technology and human evolution, culture and separation: Being in the Way Ep. 3
Our place in the universe and how very natural it is to be human, in Being in the Way Ep. 4
The joyous cosmology that we are God playing the roles of ordinary people: Being in the Way Ep. 21