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Alan Watts Podcast by Alan Watts – Free Podcast Download

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Alan Watts is one of the most widely read philosophers of the 20th century. In addition to his 28 books, Alan Watts delivered hundreds of public lectures and seminars the recordings of which have been preserved in the archives of the Electronic University, a non-profit organization dedicated to higher education. For the past two years Alans eldest son, Mark Watts has reviewed and cataloged these talks to prepare them for public broadcast. The Electronic University is now pleased to present the highlights of the spoken works of Alan Watts.

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Introduction to Buddhism 1 of 4

contact@simpletouchsoftware.com (Alan Watts)Author: Alan Watts Fri, Oct 30, 2015

Introduction to Buddhism 1 of 4

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Alan Watts Wikipedia

Posted: October 24, 2015 at 1:46 pm


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Alan Wilson Watts, (6 januari 1915 16 november 1973) var en brittisk filosof, frfattare och talare, mest knd som en introduktr av sterlndsk filosofi fr en vsterlndsk publik. Under sin livstid uppndde han gurustatus - trots att han kraftfullt avsade sig alla sdana ansprk - och hann skriva flera bcker om sterlndskt tnkande.

Watts skrev mer n 25 bcker och artiklar om mnen som r viktiga fr den st -och vsterlndska religionen, dr The Way of Zen (1957) anses som en av de frsta storsljande bckerna om zen och buddhism. I Psychotherapy East and West (1961) freslog Watts att buddhismen skulle ses som en form av psykoterapi och inte bara en religion. Liksom Aldous Huxley fre honom, utforskade han det mnskliga medvetandet i uppsatsen "The New Alchemy" (1958), och i boken, The Joyous Cosmology (1962).

Mot slutet av sitt liv, pendlade han mellan att bo p en husbt i Sausalito och en stuga p berget Tamalpais. Hans arv har hllits vid liv av hans son, Mark Watts, och genom mnga av hans inspelade samtal och frelsningar som har hittat nytt liv p Internet.

Watts vxte upp med sina frldrar i byn Chislehurst, Kent, dr moderns familj var religis.[1] Alan lste ofta sagobcker, och fick tidigt ett intresse i fabler och romantiska berttelser om den mystiska Fjrran stern.[2] Hans mor fick ofta besk av missionrer, som efter deras resor till Kina hade med sig landskapsmlningar och broderier. Dessa konstverk betonade det deltagande frhllandet mellan mnniskan i naturen, ett tema som hade stor inverkan p Watts och stod fast genom hela hans liv.

Watts sg sig sjlv som fantasifull, egensinnig, och pratsam. Han skickades i unga r till internatskolor, dr bde de religisa och akademiska utbildningarna hade ett kristet fokus. Av denna religisa utbildning anmrkte han "Under hela min skolgng blev min religisa indoktrinering bister och grtmild ..."[3] Under en semester i tonren trffade han fransmannen Francis Croshaw, en frmgen epikur med ett starkt intresse i buddhismen, som tog med Watts p en resa genom Frankrike. Det drjde inte lnge innan Watts knde sig tvingad att vlja mellan den anglikanska kristendomen han utsatts fr, och buddhismen han hade lst om i olika bibliotek. Han valde buddhismen och skte medlemskap i Londons buddhistiska sllskap. Han blev som 16-ring organisationens sekreterare (1931), och underskte flera stilar av meditation under dessa r.

Efter gymnasiet sysselsatte sig Watts med diverse olika arbeten, men fortsatte ocks lsa mycket filosofi, historia, psykologi, psykiatri och sterlndsk visdom. Han tillbringade mycket av fritiden p den buddhistiska lodgen, vilket gav Watts ett stort antal mjligheter till personlig utveckling. r 1936, 21 r gammal, deltog han i "World Congress of Faiths" vid University of London och fick trffa D.T. Suzuki, som var en uppskattad forskare i Zen Buddhism. Dessa diskussioner och personliga mten, tillsammans med egna studier av den tillgngliga vetenskapliga litteraturen, gav Watts de grundlggande koncepten hos de viktigaste filosofierna i Indien och stasien.

r 1936 publicerades Watts frsta bok , The Spirit of Zen, som Suzuki varit en mycket stor influens till.

r 1938 lmnade han England fr att leva i Amerika. Han hade gift sig med Eleanor Everett, vars mor var involverad i en traditionell Zen buddhistisk cirkel i New York. Ngra r senare gifte sig Eleanors mor med en japansk zen-mstare, som under en tid tjnade som ett slags mentor till Watts.

Watts lmnade den formella Zen utbildning i New York d lrarnas metoder inte passade honom. Han knde ett behov av att hitta ett professionell utlopp fr sina filosofiska bjelser och skrev in sig p en anglikansk skola i Illinois, dr han studerade de kristna skrifterna, teologi och kyrkans historia. Han frskte arbeta fram en blandning av samtida kristen tillbedjan, mystisk kristendom och asiatisk filosofi. Watts fick en magisterexamen i teologi som svar p sin avhandling, som han publicerade som en populr utgva under titeln Behold the Spirit. Mnstret var tydligt, eftersom Watts inte lt dlja sin motvilja fr religisa skdningar vilka han fann var strnga, skuldtyngda eller militant missionerande - oavsett om de grundar sig i judendomen, kristendomen, hinduismen eller buddhismen.

1950 lmnar Watts ministeriet och flyttar ret drp till San Francisco, dr han anslt sig till fakulteten American Academy of Asian Studies. Hr undervisade han tillsammans med experter och professorer, men studerade ven sjlv vidare i omrdena japanska sedvnjor, konst, primitivism samt olika naturuppfattningar. Frutom undervisning, tjnade Watts under flera r som akademins administratr.

I mitten av 1950-talet lmnade han fakulteten fr en frilansande karrir. I den lokala radion brjade han nu snda radioprogram, som med tiden kom att f ett stort flje och fortsatte att sndas ven lngt efter hans dd. 1957 vid 42 rs lder, publicerade Watts en av hans mest knda bcker, The Way of Zen. Frutom livsstilen och den filosofiska bakgrunden till Zen, i Indien och Kina, infrde Watts ven ider hmtade frn den allmnna semantiken. Boken slde bra, och kom med tiden att bli en modern klassiker. Runt denna tid reste Watts runt i Europa med sin far, dr han bl.a. mtte den bermda psykiatern Carl Jung.

Nr han tervnde till USA inledde han sitt utforskande av psykedeliska droger och dess effekter, bl.a. LSD och meskalin tillsammans med olika forskargrupper. Han prvade ocks marijuana och konstaterade att det var en nyttig och intressant psykofarmaka, som gav intryck av att tiden saktar ner. Watts bcker under 60-talet visar tydligt det inflytande dessa kemiska ventyr hade p honom. Han skulle senare kommentera psykedeliskt droganvndande, "Nr du fr meddelandet, lgg p luren."[4]

Watts upptcktsfrder och egna undervisning frde honom i kontakt med mnga noterade intellektuella, konstnrer och amerikanska lrare inom miljrrelsen, men han har ven kritiserats av olika buddhister som menar att han medvetet feltolkat flera viktiga begrepp inom Zen Buddhism.

Trots att han aldrig stannade en lngre tid i ngon akademisk institution, hade han under flera r ett stipendium p Harvard University. Han frelste ocks fr mnga hgskole- och universitetsstudenter. Hans frelsningar och bcker gav honom lngtgende inflytande p den amerikanska intelligentsian under 1950-talet 1970-talet, men han ansgs ofta som en outsider i den akademiska vrlden. Watts menade att han inte var en akademisk filosof, utan snarare "en filosofisk underhllare."

Watts r knd fr sina lror inom Zen, men var ven minst lika pverkad av de gamla hinduiska skrifterna. Han talade mycket om den gudomliga verkligheten, om hur vr grundlggande okunnighet har sina rtter i den exklusiva karaktren hos sinnet och egot - hur man kommer i kontakt med omrdet fr medvetandet och andra kosmiska principer.

P det personliga planet frskte Watts upplsa sina knslor av alienation frn olika institutioner, bl.a. ktenskapet och de olika vrdena i det amerikanska samhllet. Nr vi ser p sociala frgor var han angelgen om ndvndigheten av internationell fred, och fr tolerans och frstelse mellan olika kulturer.

D han misstrodde bde den etablerade politiska vnstern och hgern, hittade Watts inspiration i den vise kinesiska Chuang-tzu , en gammal taoistisk tnkare. Han ogillade mycket i den konventionella idn om "framsteg." Han hoppades p frndring, men personligen fredrog han den isolerade landsbygdens sociala enklaver. Watts frdmde urbaniseringen av landsbygden och livsstilen som fljde.

Under en frelsningsturn framlade Watts positiva bilder fr bde naturen och mnskligheten, talade till frmn fr olika stadier av human utveckling (inklusive tonren), och prisade intelligent kreativitet, god arkitektur och mat.

Watts knde att "absolut" moral inte hade ngot att gra med det grundlggande frverkligandet av ens djupa andliga identitet. Han fresprkade en social etik snarare n den personliga. I sina skrifter blev Watts alltmer oroad ver den etik som gller fr relationerna mellan mnniskan och den naturliga miljn, samt mellan regeringar och medborgare.

Watts sade ofta att han nskade att fungera som en bro mellan det antika och det moderna, mellan st och vst, och mellan kultur och natur.

I flera av hans senare publikationer lgger Watts fram en vrldsbild, utifrn hinduismen, kinesisk filosofi, panteism, och modern vetenskap, dr han hvdar att hela universum bestr av en kosmiskt sjlvspelande kurragmma. I denna vrldsbild, hvdar Watts att vr uppfattning om oss sjlva som ett "ego i en pse av hud" r en myt.

Alan Watts var gift tre gnger och hade sju barn, fem dttrar och tv sner. Hans ldste son, Mark Watts, arbetar fr nrvarande som intendent fr faderns arbete.

Han levde sina sista r vid olika tidpunkter p en husbt i Sausalito, Kalifornien, och ibland i en avskilt stuga p berget Tamalpais. I oktober 1973 tervnde Watts frn en anstrngande EU-frelsningsturn till denna stuga. Den 16 november 1973 dog Watts i smnen av hjrtsvikt.

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Alan Watts Wikipedia

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October 24th, 2015 at 1:46 pm

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Top 5 Videos Of Alan Watts | High Existence

Posted: October 19, 2015 at 3:50 am


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Psychedelic experience is only a glimpse of genuine mystical insight, but a glimpse which can be matured and deepened by the various ways of meditation in which drugs are no longer necessary or useful.If you get the message, hang up the phone. For psychedelic drugs are simply instruments, like microscopes, telescopes, and telephones. The biologist does not sit with eye permanently glued to the microscope, he goes away and works on what he has seen.

Alan Watts

Alan Watts (1915-1973) was one of the foremost interpreters and popularizer of Zen, eastern and western philosophy and psychedelics. A poet, an ex-priest, a modern mystic and a close friend of Aldous Huxley.He was a critic of modern society, especially with regards to its infinite feeble attempts to bring everything under its control. He always saw the big joke of it all, continually making fun of institutions and gurus, and thereby also himself. He labelled himself a philosophical entertainer and with his clarity of thought and masterful use of prose he inspired many to re-think their way of life. His famous if you get the message, hang up the phone was certainly meant to be applicable to every external crutch.

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Top 5 Videos Of Alan Watts | High Existence

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October 19th, 2015 at 3:50 am

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Alan Watts – disinformation

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Those who cant resist the urge to take popular heroes down a notch will tell you that Alan Watts was an alcoholic and was addicted to nicotine. They will tell you that he was a victim of his own excesses. They will tell you that he sometimes mischaracterized Buddhism and Taoism, and turned them into hippie fantasies. In saying this, they wouldnt be entirely wrong, but at the same time they would be completely missing the point. Nobody says Alan Watts was a saint. Watts himself never claimed it, nor would he have been interested in it. What he craved was an intense life, not a perfect one. And those who cant appreciate his philosophical genius, just because the good man had some issues, miss out on the contributions of one of the most brilliant and influential minds of the 20th century.

Odds are that if you have any remote interest in Taoism or Zen Buddhism, you owe a debt of gratitude to Alan Watts. No Westerner, in fact, has done more to popularize these philosophies in the English language. People with no previous exposure usually hit a stumbling block the second they try to read one of the many translations of Taoist and Zen classics. Allusions, paradoxes, the foreignness of some concepts, an unorthodox sense of humor, the many things left unsaid lots of factors contribute to discourage prospective readers and make them give up. And this is where Alan Watts talent came to the rescue. In his own unique fashion, he managed to explain Taoist and Buddhist ideas without losing their poetry and subtlety along the way. He communicated Taoist and Buddhist insights in ways more easily understandable for Westerners without killing the wonder of it all in the process. He guided adventurous readers through unknown lands, lighting the path along the way. His radio lectures for the Pacifica Station, and his many excellent books cracked the door open introducing Taoist and Buddhist ideas to mainstream Western consciousness. His influence reached hundreds of thousands, among them the great Bruce Lee, whose own philosophy sprouted in large part thanks to Watts ideas.

But Alan Watts was much more than a brilliant Western interpreter of Eastern philosophy. In his hands, Taoism and Zen Buddhism were but tools serving him in the quest to create ones own way of life. The wide range of his interests had a Renaissance Man ring to it. Art and philosophy to him were not important for their own sake, but for how they could enrich everyday living. As much as he loved Taoism and Zen Buddhism, he was interested in any field of human experience that could offer him anything capable of elevating the quality of existence. It was in this spirit that he experimented quite a bit with psychedelics (he even wrote a book about the intersection of spirituality and psychedelics long before Terence McKenna, or even Timothy Leary did)

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Alan Watts - disinformation

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Alan Watts Podcast by Alan Watts on iTunes

Posted: September 25, 2015 at 6:47 am


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Alan Watts is one of the most widely read philosophers of the 20th century. In addition to his 28 books, Alan Watts delivered hundreds of public lectures and seminars the recordings of which have been preserved in the archives of the Electronic University. Alan's eldest son Mark Watts has reviewed and cataloged these talks to prepare them for public broadcast. In 2005 Amber Star of Zencast.org created Alan Watts podcast to help disseminate these lectures to a new iPod listening generation . Today the Electronic University and Zencast.org are pleased to present the highlights of the spoken works of Alan Watts.

Alan Watts has been such a major influence in my life. Every lecture series is filled with insight and elegant explanations of Taoism, Life, Zen and the world. His approach is refreshing, honest and beautiful. As we all know how "the world peoples", Alan Watts has been the most inspring 'peoples' in this century. His unique humor and well balanced stories pulls everything together which makes the world a peaceful place. Thank you.

This is such a valuable resource. I am a teacher, and have been telling my students in an off-hand way about these podcasts, and suddenly find out that there's a movement afoot. Dozens of my students are talking about Watts, reading his books, and discovering their true Self - all on their own. All I had to do was suggest it. Having these in a podcast format brings Watts to a new generation, who otherwise might not have discovered him. Thank you for the podcasts, and thank you to Alan Watts for helping us all know who we truly are.

recently (summer 2007) someone has decided that it would be a grand idea to add music which over-powers Alan's voice. Even worse is the inserting of adverts in the middle of his talks. This has marred a five-star podcast and it is very disappointing. I am fine with a brief message (15-20 seconds) before or after the dialogue to sell Watt's related gear; but spending several minutes on musical interludes and the hawking of for-profit items is nearly enough to turn me off the podcast. I'll hang in for awhile longer but if the words of Alan Watts are further tampered with - I'm out.

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September 25th, 2015 at 6:47 am

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The Death of Alan Watts – Alan Watts – tribe.net

Posted: September 15, 2015 at 3:47 am


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Fri, April 10, 2009 - 7:56 PM

I had a very long phone conversation with Alan's daughter shortly after he died. She spoke fondly of his suggestion about returning though now in 2009, her red haired daughter would be over 30. Ironically I am now the same age as he was at his death, but at that time I was only 23 and having followed his career closely for several years, wondered out loud about a conspiracy to be rid of him because of his late forays into the politics of that time. I remember he had been scheduled to speak in Germany at an Army intelligence base shortly before his death and had also spoken (while the war in Vietnam was still an issue and he was quite vocal about that too, participating in benefits for North Vietnamese schools or hospitals, but also supporting Tibet against China, as i recall). Most pointedly, he spoke to more than one military group (i recall he was invited to speak more than once he never held back in his strong opinions) and he wrote some very powerful articles and essays, some collected in the book, Does It Matter, the essay on money being the most relevant today. In this book he said that if the USA still exists as a separate and distinct entity by the year 2000, we are all in big trouble. Although it isclear his health was not good at all at this time, I also remember very clearly seeing a young Senator (during the Watergate hearings of the same period) from Connecticut, Lowell Weicker, then on the Senate Watergate Committee, televised daily. I remember clearly watching him hold up a futuristic dart gun that he described as capable of shooting tiny thin needles from a great distance that would carry a tiny amount of caryfish serum extract capable of causing heart failure from a distance with no trace of the thin puncture or the poison in the bloodstream. He explained that there were gallons of this serum in Langley, Virginia headquarters of the CIA, contrary to treaties about biological warfare. This is what led me to wonder, in the face of some radical political statements and standpoints by Alan Watts, if there was not some kind of mischief in his death, not forgeting this was not long after the suspicious deaths of MLK Jr., RFK, and other counter culture heroes, and not long before John Lennon was shot in a fashion much like RFK, in the open but by a suspicously programmable person. His poor health and drinking convince us it was a natural failure of his health, and it could well be that is all it was.

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An Antidote to the Age of Anxiety: Alan Watts on Happiness …

Posted: August 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm


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by Maria Popova

Wisdom on overcoming the greatest human frustration from the pioneer of Eastern philosophy in the West.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives, Annie Dillard wrote in her timeless reflection on presence over productivity a timely antidote to the central anxiety of our productivity-obsessed age. Indeed, my own New Years resolution has been to stop measuring my days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence. But what, exactly, makes that possible?

This concept of presence is rooted in Eastern notions of mindfulness the ability to go through life with crystalline awareness and fully inhabit our experience largely popularized in the West by British philosopher and writer Alan Watts (January 6, 1915November 16, 1973), who also gave us this fantastic meditation on the life of purpose. In the altogether excellent 1951 volume The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety (public library), Watts argues that the root of our human frustration and daily anxiety is our tendency to live for the future, which is an abstraction. He writes:

If to enjoy even an enjoyable present we must have the assurance of a happy future, we are crying for the moon. We have no such assurance. The best predictions are still matters of probability rather than certainty, and to the best of our knowledge every one of us is going to suffer and die. If, then, we cannot live happily without an assured future, we are certainly not adapted to living in a finite world where, despite the best plans, accidents will happen, and where death comes at the end.

Alan Watts, early 1970s (Image courtesy of Everett Collection)

What keeps us from happiness, Watts argues, is our inability to fully inhabit the present:

The primary consciousness, the basic mind which knows reality rather than ideas about it, does not know the future. It lives completely in the present, and perceives nothing more than what is at this moment. The ingenious brain, however, looks at that part of present experience called memory, and by studying it is able to make predictions. These predictions are, relatively, so accurate and reliable (e.g., everyone will die) that the future assumes a high degree of reality so high that the present loses its value.

But the future is still not here, and cannot become a part of experienced reality until it is present. Since what we know of the future is made up of purely abstract and logical elements inferences, guesses, deductions it cannot be eaten, felt, smelled, seen, heard, or otherwise enjoyed. To pursue it is to pursue a constantly retreating phantom, and the faster you chase it, the faster it runs ahead. This is why all the affairs of civilization are rushed, why hardly anyone enjoys what he has, and is forever seeking more and more. Happiness, then, will consist, not of solid and substantial realities, but of such abstract and superficial things as promises, hopes, and assurances.

Watts argues that our primary mode of relinquishing presence is by leaving the body and retreating into the mind that ever-calculating, self-evaluating, seething cauldron of thoughts, predictions, anxieties, judgments, and incessant meta-experiences about experience itself. Writing more than half a century before our age of computers, touch-screens, and the quantified self, Watts admonishes:

The brainy modern loves not matter but measures, no solids but surfaces.

[]

The working inhabitants of a modern city are people who live inside a machine to be batted around by its wheels. They spend their days in activities which largely boil down to counting and measuring, living in a world of rationalized abstraction which has little relation to or harmony with the great biological rhythms and processes. As a matter of fact, mental activities of this kind can now be done far more efficiently by machines than by men so much so that in a not too distant future the human brain may be an obsolete mechanism for logical calculation. Already the human computer is widely displaced by mechanical and electrical computers of far greater speed and efficiency. If, then, mans principal asset and value is his brain and his ability to calculate, he will become an unsaleable commodity in an era when the mechanical operation of reasoning can be done more effectively by machines.

[]

If we are to continue to live for the future, and to make the chief work of the mind prediction and calculation, man must eventually become a parasitic appendage to a mass of clockwork.

To be sure, Watts doesnt dismiss the mind as a worthless or fundamentally perilous human faculty. Rather, he insists that it if we let its unconscious wisdom unfold unhampered like, for instance, what takes place during the incubation stage of unconscious processing in the creative process it is our ally rather than our despot. It is only when we try to control it and turn it against itself that problems arise:

Working rightly, the brain is the highest form of instinctual wisdom. Thus it should work like the homing instinct of pigeons and the formation of the fetus in the womb without verbalizing the process or knowing how it does it. The self-conscious brain, like the self-conscious heart, is a disorder, and manifests itself in the acute feeling of separation between I and my experience. The brain can only assume its proper behavior when consciousness is doing what it is designed for: not writhing and whirling to get out of present experience, but being effortlessly aware of it.

And yet the brain does writhe and whirl, producing our great human insecurity and existential anxiety amidst a universe of constant flux. (For, as Henry Miller memorably put it, It is almost banal to say so yet it needs to be stressed continually: all is creation, all is change, all is flux, all is metamorphosis.) Paradoxically, recognizing that the experience of presence is the only experience is also a reminder that our I doesnt exist beyond this present moment, that there is no permanent, static, and immutable self which can grant us any degree of security and certainty for the future and yet we continue to grasp for precisely that assurance of the future, which remains an abstraction. Our only chance for awakening from this vicious cycle, Watts argues, is bringing full awareness to our present experience something very different from judging it, evaluating it, or measuring it up against some arbitrary or abstract ideal. He writes:

There is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity. But the contradiction lies a little deeper than the mere conflict between the desire for security and the fact of change. If I want to be secure, that is, protected from the flux of life, I am wanting to be separate from life. Yet it is this very sense of separateness which makes me feel insecure. To be secure means to isolate and fortify the I, but it is just the feeling of being an isolated I which makes me feel lonely and afraid. In other words, the more security I can get, the more I shall want.

To put it still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.

He takes especial issue with the very notion of self-improvement something particularly prominent in the season of New Years resolutions and admonishes against the implication at its root:

I can only think seriously of trying to live up to an ideal, to improve myself, if I am split in two pieces. There must be a good I who is going to improve the bad me. I, who has the best intentions, will go to work on wayward me, and the tussle between the two will very much stress the difference between them. Consequently I will feel more separate than ever, and so merely increase the lonely and cut-off feelings which make me behave so badly.

Happiness, he argues, isnt a matter of improving our experience, or even merely confronting it, but remaining present with it in the fullest possible sense:

To stand face to face with insecurity is still not to understand it. To understand it, you must not face it but be it. It is like the Persian story of the sage who came to the door of Heaven and knocked. From within the voice of God asked, Who is there and the sage answered, It is I. In this House, replied the voice, there is no room for thee and me. So the sage went away, and spent many years pondering over this answer in deep meditation. Returning a second time, the voice asked the same question, and again the sage answered, It is I. The door remained closed. After some years he returned for the third time, and, at his knocking, the voice once more demanded, Who is there? And the sage cried, It is thyself! The door was opened.

We dont actually realize that there is no security, Watts asserts, until we confront the myth of fixed selfhood and recognize that the solid I doesnt exist something modern psychology has termed the self illusion. And yet that is incredibly hard to do, for in the very act of this realization there is a realizing self. Watts illustrates this paradox beautifully:

While you are watching this present experience, are you aware of someone watching it? Can you find, in addition to the experience itself, an experiencer? Can you, at the same time, read this sentence and think about yourself reading it? You will find that, to think about yourself reading it, you must for a brief second stop reading. The first experience is reading. The second experience is the thought, I am reading. Can you find any thinker, who is thinking the thought, I am reading? In other words, when present experience is the thought, I am reading, can you think about yourself thinking this thought?

Once again, you must stop thinking just, I am reading. You pass to a third experience, which is the thought, I am thinking that I am reading. Do not let the rapidity with which these thoughts can change deceive you into the feeling that you think them all at once.

[]

In each present experience you were only aware of that experience. You were never aware of being aware. You were never able to separate the thinker from the thought, the knower from the known. All you ever found was a new thought, a new experience.

What makes us unable to live with pure awareness, Watts points out, is the ball and chain of our memory and our warped relationship with time:

The notion of a separate thinker, of an I distinct from the experience, comes from memory and from the rapidity with which thought changes. It is like whirling a burning stick to give the illusion of a continuous circle of fire. If you imagine that memory is a direct knowledge of the past rather than a present experience, you get the illusion of knowing the past and the present at the same time. This suggests that there is something in you distinct from both the past and the present experiences. You reason, I know this present experience, and it is different from that past experience. If I can compare the two, and notice that experience has changed, I must be something constant and apart.

But, as a matter of fact, you cannot compare this present experience with a past experience. You can only compare it with a memory of the past, which is a part of the present experience. When you see clearly that memory is a form of present experience, it will be obvious that trying to separate yourself from this experience is as impossible as trying to make your teeth bite themselves.

[]

To understand this is to realize that life is entirely momentary, that there is neither permanence nor security, and that there is no I which can be protected.

And therein lies the crux of our human struggle:

The real reason why human life can be so utterly exasperating and frustrating is not because there are facts called death, pain, fear, or hunger. The madness of the thing is that when such facts are present, we circle, buzz, writhe, and whirl, trying to get the I out of the experience. We pretend that we are amoebas, and try to protect ourselves from life by splitting in two. Sanity, wholeness, and integration lie in the realization that we are not divided, that man and his present experience are one, and that no separate I or mind can be found.

To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are thinking, I am listening to this music, you are not listening.

The Wisdom of Insecurity is immeasurably wonderful existentially necessary, even in its entirety, and one of those books bound to stay with you for a lifetime.

Thanks, Ken

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An Antidote to the Age of Anxiety: Alan Watts on Happiness ...

Written by admin

August 23rd, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Alan Watts

Alan Watts – Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre

Posted: August 10, 2015 at 8:56 am


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Alan Wilson Watts (Chislehurst Kent, 6 de enero de 1915 Mt. Tamalpais California, 16 de noviembre de 1973) fue un filsofo britnico, as como editor, sacerdote anglicano, locutor, decano, escritor, conferenciante y experto en religin. Se le conoce sobre todo por su labor como intrprete y popularizador de las filosofas asiticas para la audiencia occidental.

Escribi ms de veinticinco libros y numerosos artculos sobre temas como la identidad personal, la verdadera naturaleza de la realidad, la elevacin de la conciencia y la bsqueda de la felicidad, relacionando su experiencia con el conocimiento cientfico y con la enseanza de las religiones y filosofas orientales y occidentales (budismo Zen, taosmo, cristianismo, hinduismo, etc.)

Alan Watts fue un conocido autodidacta. Becado por la Universidad de Harvard y la Bollingen Foundation, obtuvo un mster en Teologa por el Seminario teolgico Sudbury-Western y un doctorado honoris causa por la Universidad de Vermont, en reconocimiento a su contribucin al campo de las religiones comparadas.

Watts naci en una familia de clase media en el pueblo de Chislehurst (actualmente barrio londinense de Bromley), Kent, Inglaterra en 1915.[1] Su padre, Laurence Wilson Watts, era representante de la oficina londinense de la compaa de neumticos Michelin; su madre, Emily Mary Buchan, era un ama de casa cuyo padre haba sido misionero. Con modestos medios familiares, decidieron vivir en la buclica periferia, y Alan, hijo nico, creci aprendiendo los nombres de la flores salvajes y mariposas, jugando entre arroyos y celebrando ceremonias funerarias para los pjaros muertos.

Probablemente por la influencia de la familia de su madre, muy religiosa, los Buchans, creci en l un inters por "la naturaleza ltima de las cosas", que se combin con la pasin de Alan por los libros de fbulas y cuentos romnticos del entonces misterioso Lejano Oriente. Watts tambin escribi ms tarde sobre una especie de visin mstica que experiment cuando, de nio, estaba enfermo con fiebre. Durante esa poca fue influido por las pinturas de paisajes del Lejano Oriente y por los bordados que su madre haba recibido de misioneros regresados de China. En cuanto a las pinturas chinas que haba visto en Inglaterra, Watts escribi "Yo estaba estticamente fascinado por una cierta claridad, transparencia y espaciosidad del arte chino y japons. Pareca flotar..."[segn se dice en su autobiografa]. Estas obras de arte enfatizaban la relacin participativa del hombre con la naturaleza, un tema que sera importante para l a lo largo de su vida.

Segn su propia opinin, Watts era imaginativo, testarudo, y hablador. Fue enviado a un internado (que inclua instruccin acadmica y religiosa) desde joven. Durante las vacaciones en su adolescencia, Francis Croshaw, un rico epicreo con gran inters por el budismo y por aspectos poco conocidos de la cultura europea, llev a Watts en un viaje a travs de Francia. No mucho despus Watts se sinti obligado a decidir entre el cristianismo anglicano de su entorno o el budismo, sobre el que haba ledo en varias bibliotecas, incluyendo la de Croshaw. Escogi el budismo, y se hizo miembro del "London Buddhist Lodge", fundado por tesofos, siendo dirigido entonces por el abogado Christmas Humphreys. Watts se convirti en secretario de la organizacin a los 16 aos (1931). El joven Watts experiment con varios tipos de meditacin durante esos aos.

Watts asisti a la King's School, junto a la catedral de Canterbury. Aunque era en general un alumno aventajado, y le fueron encomendadas responsabilidades en la escuela, desaprovech la oportunidad de obtener una beca en Oxford por escribir uno de los exmenes definitivos en un estilo que fue considerado presuntuoso y caprichoso.

Por tanto, cuando se gradu en la escuela secundaria, Watts se vio obligado a buscar empleo, trabajando en una imprenta y ms tarde en un banco. Dedic su tiempo libre al "Buddhist Lodge" y tambin estuvo bajo la tutela de un gur llamado Dimitrije Mitrinovi (Mitrinovi, a su vez, haba recibido influencias de Piotr Uspenski, G. I. Gurdjieff y las diversas escuelas psicoanalticas de Sigmund Freud o prximas al psicoanlisis como las de Carl Gustav Jung y Alfred Adler). Durante este perodo, Watts tambin ley extensamente obras de filosofa, historia, psicologa, psiquiatra y sabidura oriental.

Durante el perodo de la Segunda Guerra Mundial se convirti en el capelln episcopaliano de la Northwestern University. Ms tarde fue catedrtico y decano en la Academia Americana de Estudios Asiticos en San Francisco. A mediados de los sesenta viaj con sus estudiantes de la Academia Americana a Japn, visitando Birmania, Ceiln (actual Sri Lanka) y la India, pudo tener contacto con el filsofo budista Zen Dr. Suzuki. Tambin hizo televisin: su programa, emitido en la National Educational Television, se titulaba Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life.

Tras su muerte, su hijo, Mark Watts, fund la Electronic University para continuar la obra de su padre y hacer realidad su visin de la educacin a travs de los medios electrnicos.[2]

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Alan Watts - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre

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August 10th, 2015 at 8:56 am

Posted in Alan Watts

ALAN WATTS: What if money was no object? – ZEN PENCILS

Posted: July 31, 2015 at 9:43 am


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Alan Watts (1915-1973) was an English philosopher and writer who played a large part in popularising Zen Buddhism in the west. He gained a wide following after moving to the United States where he published numerous books on Zen and Eastern philosophy. During the 60s and 70s he toured extensively on the college lecture circuit and became a celebrity among the growing youth movement. Watts had over 25 books published and recorded over 400 lectures, many of which have found a new audience on YouTube.

This is another example of my readers educating me. I had never heard of Alan Watts before so thanks to everyone who suggested I look into him and adapt one of his quotes.

Watch the great YouTube video this quote was taken from. Theres a ton of Alan Watts stuff on YouTube, some of his lectures have even been animated by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. You can also get an Alan Watts app for the iPhone containing all his lectures. The official Alan Watts website. Im finally on Google+, check out the new Zen Pencils page.

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ALAN WATTS: What if money was no object? - ZEN PENCILS

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July 31st, 2015 at 9:43 am

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Alan Watts

Posted: July 8, 2015 at 11:44 am


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The Alan Watts Mountain Center is currently under construction in a rural area near the Pt. Reyes National Seashore north of San Francisco, and will facilitate the work of the educational non-profit. Our primary mission is to produce educational programs that enhance the human potential, and although we have traditionally created materials for public radio, today our offerings include a podcast and YouTube components with downloads approaching the ten million mark.

One of the long-term missions of the Center is to complete the Alan Watts digital archive, and of course to continue the dissemination of his extensive collection of recordings. In addition to online publishing, we will continue to make the Alan Watts archive accessible for educational and creative productions by providing materials to libraries, educators, producers, writers, musicians, editors, animators, and others.

In the near term the Center facilities will become home to Alan Watts web publishing, online broadcasting and podcasting (see alanwattspodcast.com). The Center will also be a meeting place for working groups and occasional retreats, and the Center's library will house a unique collection of works related to Alan Watts' passion for visual language, including calligraphy by Japanese artist Sabro Hasegawa and an extensive photo archive. The Center is being built using ecologically appropriate materials, including wood from fallen fir and cypress trees, and has been designed according to principles of sustainable architecture pioneered by organic architect Daniel Libermann. To date sixty-five percent of the main Lodge to house library and film resources has been completed, and studio and guest facilities are in various stages of construction. At present we are focusing on raising funds for completion of the library and film center in Phase I.

In Phase II we will complete a separate production studio, and in Phase III we will add a guest wing to the Lodge. Upon completion each building phase will add to the Center's capabilities.

The Center is currently seeking support on all levels, and anyone interested in helping should contact Mark Watts by email at watts@alanwatts.com.

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Alan Watts

Written by admin

July 8th, 2015 at 11:44 am

Posted in Alan Watts


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