the translation of nirvana: phew!

Alan Watts’ smoke-kippered and throaty laugh:

& the perfect translation of nirvana – which means ‘blowing out’ at Sanskrit root – is not extinction or any such disappearing metaphors, it is the cartoon sigh of relief: ‘Phew!’.
It’s that huge, laughing, blinking sense of RELIEF. There’s nothing to do, nothing to correct. No original sin. No future to slog towards. No past to lug around like a sack of rocks.


I love Watts.

1 Comment

  1. Katie

    November 27, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Hi Alistair
    I would be grateful for your advice on Alan Watts. My husband has been Bhuddist for years and years and years, and he has all Alan Watts’ books here. In your opinion, which would be the best one to start with?
    I was raised Catholic, but whilst I have no truck with the institutional church, I do probably carry a lot of baggage!
    Thanks for the very interesting essays. Love reading them.

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