Author: Alan W. Watts
Release Date: 2011-09-28
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
Six revolutionary essays exploring the relationship between spiritual experience and ordinary life—and the need for them to coexist within each of us. With essays on “cosmic consciousness” (including Alan Watts’ account of his own ventures into this inward realm); the paradoxes of self-consciousness; LSD and consciousness; and the false opposition of spirit and matter, This Is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience is a truly mind-opening collection.
Explores language and mysticism, Buddhism and Zen, Christianity, comparative religion, psychedelics, and psychology and psychotherapy. To commemorate the 2015 centenary of the birth of Alan Watts (1915–1973), Peter J. Columbus and Donadrian L. Rice have assembled a much-needed collection of Watts’s scholarly essays and lectures. Compiled from professional journals, monographs, scholarly books, conferences, and symposia proceedings, the volume sheds valuable light on the developmental arc of Watts’s thinking about language and mysticism, Buddhism and Zen, Christianity, comparative religion, psychedelics, and psychology and psychotherapy. This definitive collection challenges Watts’s reputation as a “popularizer” or “philosophical entertainer,” revealing his concerns to be much more expansive and transdisciplinary than is suggested by the parochial “Zen Buddhist” label commonly affixed to his writings. The editors’ authoritative introduction elucidates contemporary perspectives on Watts’s life and work, and supports a bold rethinking of his contributions to psychology, philosophy, and religion. “This excellent volume is important in establishing Watts as perhaps the most important Western thinker and writer on Eastern religions and philosophy, as well as comparative religions, of the twentieth century.” — John W. Traphagan, author of Rethinking Autonomy: A Critique of Principlism in Biomedical Ethics
Author: Alan W. Watts
Release Date: 2012-07-11
In Nature, Man and Woman, philosopher Alan Watts reexamines humanity’s place in the natural world—and the relation between body and spirit—in the light of Chinese Taoism. Western thought and culture have coalesced around a series of constructed ideas—that human beings stand separate from a nature that must be controlled; that the mind is somehow superior to the body; that all sexuality entails a seduction—that in some way underlie our exploitation of the earth, our distrust of emotion, and our loneliness and reluctance to love. Here, Watts fundamentally challenges these assumptions, drawing on the precepts of Taoism to present an alternative vision of man and the universe—one in which the distinctions between self and other, spirit and matter give way to a more holistic way of seeing. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The widespread influence of Buddhism is due in part to the skill with which a way of liberation was refined by it's teachers and became accessible to people of diverse cultures. In this dynamic series of lectures, Alan Watts takes us on an exploration of Buddhism, from its roots in India to the explosion of interest in Zen and the Tibetan tradition in the West. Watts traces the Indian beginnings of Buddhism, delineates differences between Buddhism and other religions, looks at the radical methods of the Mahayan Buddhist, and reviews the Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path
In this collection of essays, Watts displays the playfulness of thought and simplicity of language that has made him one of the most popular lecturers and authors on the spiritual traditions of the East. Watts draws on a variety of religious traditions and explores the limits of language in the face of spiritual truth.
In order to come to your senses, Alan Watts often said, you sometimes need to go out of your mind. Perhaps more than any other teacher in the West, this celebrated author, former Anglican priest, and self-described spiritual entertainer was responsible for igniting the passion of countless wisdom seekers to the spiritual and philosophical delights of India, China, and Japan. With Out of Your Mind, you are invited to immerse yourself in six of this legendary thinker's most engaging teachings on how to break through the limits of the rational mind and expand your awareness and appreciation for the great game unfolding all around us. Distilled from Alan Watts’s pinnacle lectures, Out of Your Mind brings you an inspiring new resource that captures the true scope of this brilliant teacher in action. For those both new and familiar with Watts, this book invites us to delve into his favorite pathways out of the trap of conventional awareness, including: • The art of the “controlled accident”—what happens when you stop taking your life so seriously and start enjoying it with complete sincerity • How we come to believe “the myth of myself”—that we are skin-encapsulated egos separate from the world around us—and how to transcend that illusion • Why we must fully embrace chaos and the void to find our deepest purpose • Unconventional and refreshing insights into the deeper principles of Buddhism, Hinduism, Western philosophy, Christianity, and much more
Author: Alan W. Watts
Release Date: 2011-04-06
Just as groundbreaking today as it was when it first appeared, Behold the Spirit is philosopher Alan Watts’s timeless argument for the place of mystical religion in today’s world. Drawing on his experiences as a former priest, Watts skillfully explains how the intuition of Eastern religion—Zen Buddhism, in particular—can be incorporated into the doctrines of Western Christianity, allowing people of all creeds to enjoy a deeper, more meaningful relationship with the spiritual in our present troubled times. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Laurence Coupe
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Release Date: 2013-07-19
Genre: Literary Criticism
This book reveals the ideas behind the Beat vision which influenced the Beat sound of the songwriters who followed on from them. Having explored the thinking of Alan Watts, who coined the term 'Beat Zen', and who influenced the counterculture which emerged out of the Beat movement, it celebrates Jack Kerouac as a writer in pursuit of a 'beatific' vision. On this basis, the book goes on to explain the relevance of Kerouac and his friends Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder to songwriters who emerged in the 1960s. Not only are new, detailed readings of the lyrics of the Beatles and of Dylan given, but the range and depth of the Beat legacy within popular song is indicated by way of an overview of some important innovators: Jim Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Donovan, the Incredible String Band, Van Morrison and Nick Drake.
Author: Al Link
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Family & Relationships
Two leading experts on sexuality and Tantra help individuals explore the physical senses, establish trust, cultivate emotional intimacy, achieve sacred sex, and build spiritual bonds by awakening and uniting the body, mind, heart, and soul. Original.
Author: Arthur Versluis
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2014
By the early twenty-first century, a phenomenon that once was inconceivable had become nearly commonplace in American society: the public spiritual teacher who neither belongs to, nor is authorized by a major religious tradition. From the Oprah Winfrey-endorsed Eckhart Tolle to figures like Gangaji and Adhyashanti, there are now countless spiritual teachers who claim and teach variants of instant or immediate enlightenment. American Gurus tells the story of how this phenomenon emerged.Through an examination of the broader literary and religious context of the subject, Arthur Versluis shows that a characteristic feature of the Western esoteric tradition is the claim that every person can achieve "spontaneous, direct, unmediated spiritual insight." This claim was articulated with special clarity by the New England Transcendentalists Bronson Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Versluis explores Transcendentalism, Walt Whitman, the Beat movement, Timothy Leary, and the New Age movement to shed light on the emergence of the contemporary American guru. This insightful study is the first to show how Asian religions and Western mysticism converged to produce the phenomenon of "spontaneously enlightened" American gurus.
Author: Alan W. Watts
Publisher: New World Library
Release Date: 2010-09-07
This classic series of essays represents Alan Watts's thinking on the astonishing problems caused by our dysfunctional relationship with the material environment. Here, with characteristic wit, a philosopher best known for his writings and teachings about mysticism and Eastern philosophy gets down to the nitty-gritty problems of economics, technology, clothing, cooking, and housing. Watts argues that we confuse symbol with reality, our ways of describing and measuring the world with the world itself, and thus put ourselves into the absurd situation of preferring money to wealth and eating the menu instead of the dinner. With our attention locked on numbers and concepts, we are increasingly unconscious of nature and of our total dependence on air, water, plants, animals, insects, and bacteria. We have hallucinated the notion that the so-called external world is a cluster of objects separate from ourselves, that we encounter it, that we come into it instead of out of it. Originally published in 1972, Does It Matter? foretells the environmental problems that arise from this mistaken mind-set. Not all of Watts's predictions have come to pass, but his unique insights will change the way you look at the world.
Author: Robert C. Fuller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2001-12-20
Nearly 40% of all Americans have no connection with organized religion. Yet many of these people, even though they might never step inside a house of worship, live profoundly spiritual lives. But what is the nature and value of unchurched spirituality in America? Is it a recent phenomenon, a New Age fad that will soon fade, or a long-standing and essential aspect of the American experience? In Spiritual But Not Religious, Robert Fuller offers fascinating answers to these questions. He shows that alternative spiritual practices have a long and rich history in America, dating back to the colonial period, when church membership rarely exceeded 17% and interest in astrology, numerology, magic, and witchcraft ran high. Fuller traces such unchurched traditions into the mid-nineteenth century, when Americans responded enthusiastically to new philosophies such as Swedenborgianism, Transcendentalism, and mesmerism, right up to the current interest in meditation, channeling, divination, and a host of other unconventional spiritual practices. Throughout, Fuller argues that far from the flighty and narcissistic dilettantes they are often made out to be, unchurched spiritual seekers embrace a mature and dynamic set of basic beliefs. They focus on inner sources of spirituality and on this world rather than the afterlife; they believe in the accessibility of God and in the mind's untapped powers; they see a fundamental unity between science and religion and an equality between genders and races; and they are more willing to test their beliefs and change them when they prove untenable. Timely, sweeping in its scope, and informed by a clear historical understanding, Spiritual But Not Religious offers fresh perspective on the growing numbers of Americans who find their spirituality outside the church.
Author: Alan Watts
Publisher: New World Library
Release Date: 2010-10-06
Alan Watts — noted author and respected authority on Far Eastern thought — studied Taoism extensively, and in his final years moved to a quiet cabin in the mountains and dedicated himself almost exclusively to meditating and writing on the Tao. This new book gives us an opportunity to not only understand the concept of the Tao but to experience the Tao as a personal practice of liberation from the limitations imposed by the common beliefs within our culture. The philosophy of the Tao offers a way to understand the value of ourselves as free-willed individuals enfolded within the ever-changing patterns of nature. The path of the Tao is perhaps the most puzzling way of liberation to come to us from the Far East in the last century. It is both practical and esoteric, and it has a surprisingly comfortable quality of thought that is often overlooked by Western readers who never venture beyond the unfamiliar quality of the word Tao (pronounced "dow"). But those who do soon discover a way of understanding and living with the world that has profound implications for us today in so-called modern societies. The word Tao means the Way — in the sense of a path, a way to go — but it also means nature, in the sense of one's true nature, and the nature of the universe. Often described as the philosophy of nature, we find the origins of Taoism in the shamanic world of pre-Dynastic China. Living close to the earth, one sees the wisdom of not interfering, and letting things go their way. It is the wisdom of swimming with the current, splitting wood along the grain, and seeking to understand human nature instead of changing it. Every creature finds it's way according to the laws of nature, and each of us has our own inner path — or Tao.
Author: Christopher Peterson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2004-04-08
"Character" has become a front-and-center topic in contemporary discourse, but this term does not have a fixed meaning. Character may be simply defined by what someone does not do, but a more active and thorough definition is necessary, one that addresses certain vital questions. Is character a singular characteristic of an individual, or is it composed of different aspects? Does character--however we define it--exist in degrees, or is it simply something one happens to have? How can character be developed? Can it be learned? Relatedly, can it be taught, and who might be the most effective teacher? What roles are played by family, schools, the media, religion, and the larger culture? This groundbreaking handbook of character strengths and virtues is the first progress report from a prestigious group of researchers who have undertaken the systematic classification and measurement of widely valued positive traits. They approach good character in terms of separate strengths-authenticity, persistence, kindness, gratitude, hope, humor, and so on-each of which exists in degrees. Character Strengths and Virtues classifies twenty-four specific strengths under six broad virtues that consistently emerge across history and culture: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Each strength is thoroughly examined in its own chapter, with special attention to its meaning, explanation, measurement, causes, correlates, consequences, and development across the life span, as well as to strategies for its deliberate cultivation. This book demands the attention of anyone interested in psychology and what it can teach about the good life.