“Man’s life begins when he wakens to his freedom.”Alan Watts
I recently finished reading “The Meaning of Happiness” by Alan Watts. In the spirit of full transparency, his level of intellect, wisdom, and knowledge drastically surpasses my own and as such I am cautious in my attempts to communicate his thoughts. I will be regularly reviewing my notes on this book, which I intend to re-read at some point, along with moving into more of Watts’s work which I thoroughly look forward to.
In light of the above warning here is my attempt to expand upon the opening quote. When Watts says that the life of Man, in this case meaning huManity or all humans, begins with freedom, what he is referring to is our freedom to be exactly who we are.
So much of our anger and unhappiness comes from a rebellion against the realization of our truest self or shame for who we are. Watts teaches us that happiness lies in acceptance and acceptance leads to freedom, and that freedom leads to happiness. The highest freedom is to know thyself and to accept who we are. When we come to accept ourselves as well as our union with the ALL of the universe, we become free and happy.