Alan Watts is a very cool geezer. His words dig deep into your psyche, and seem to pull epiphanies from every orifice. The ability attained by Watts to transport his reader (or often listener) to a state of absolute presence and what can be most aptly defined as ‘a zen vibe’ is unparalleled.
My personal dive into his philosophy has left me swimming in shallow waters however; I don’t know where Watts came from, I don’t know what his overall philosophies were, I don’t know what books he wrote. This is absolutely fine by me. Can’t learn everything in one hit, that’s what life’s for. This realisation came to me the other day when I was listening to one of his little clips on YouTube with the super emotional music -Obviously the music was not his idea- So I decided to research and teach it at the same time.
Here he is. The man himself. PLUS the emotional music. Try not to get too hyped.
I’m pretty sure this is the first Alan Watts video I ever saw. It might take a few listens for it to click, but when it does, or if it has; you’ll know why I’m writing this. Mr Watts must have done some serious thinking (or some seriously strong stuff) to come up with these ideas, so lets explore his life; just a little.
Those who love giving popular heroes a good kick in the balls, the ones who think anything but their own views are ‘uncool’ and continuously hold a confused expression with an amused smirk stapled to their faces, whilst holding within the overconfident
exterior, a deep self loathing that eats away at their soul day by day, breath by breath. *deep inhale* This kinda person might tell you that Alan Watts was an alcoholic who smoked like a chimney; they might say that he was a victim of his own excesses; they might claim he sometimes mischaracterized Buddhism and Taoism, and turned them into hippie dreams.
They aren’t wrong; however they are missing the point entirely. Nobody says Alan Watts was a saint. Watts himself never claimed it, nor would he have wanted it. What he craved and preached was an intense life, not a perfect one; a life subjectively well lived. Those who can’t appreciate his philosophical ideas, just because the man didn’t sh*t rainbows, miss out on the words of one of the most badass and influential minds of the 20th century. Shamezies.
Have Another Alan Watts Mindblower
Alan’s Life – from Alan Watts .org
A prolific author and speaker, Alan Watts was one of the first to interpret Eastern wisdom for a Western audience. Born outside London in 1915, he discovered the nearby Buddhist Lodge at a young age. After moving to the United States in 1938, Alan became an Episcopal priest for a time, and then relocated to Millbrook, New York, where he wrote his pivotal book The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety. In 1951 he moved to San Francisco where he began teaching Buddhist studies, and in 1956 began his popular radio show, “Way Beyond the West.” By the early sixties, Alan’s radio talks aired nationally and the counterculture movement adopted him as a spiritual spokesperson. He wrote and traveled regularly until his passing in 1973.
“Perhaps the foremost interpreter of Eastern disciplines for the contemporary West, Alan Watts had the rare gift of ‘writing beautifully the un-writable’. Watts begins with scholarship and intellect and proceeds with art and eloquence to the frontiers of the spirit. A fascinating entry into the deepest ways of knowing.”
— LA Times
Alan Watts. For me it was one distinct realisation:
DEATH is not scary, and life has a purpose. It’s the only inevitability of life, nobody has a f*cking clue what comes after. Even the really convincing theories like DMT, they have no concrete proof behind them. Just accept that its gonna happen, and stop trying to make yourself feel better by putting a big man in the sky who’s gonna take you somewhere nice as long as you do everything he says. That might be the answer, and according to the multiverse theory, IS the answer somewhere out there; just make sure you live your true life, and don’t f*ck with anybody else’s too much. In fact try to benefit them as much as possible. Even if you just listen to them for 5 minutes on the bus home.
-Then again for all we really know, only people who are massive assholes their whole life might get into ‘heaven’. We literally have no idea. So just get on with living the way that feels right.
Accepting that we won’t know what happens till we’re there could lead to two things: (which chemically and biologically are almost identical)
- Fear of death, or the unknown – falling apart and going insane.
2. Excitement or Loss of fear of death – and living to YOUR purpose/max/best life.
Luckily the world is not black and white, there’s a whole grey spectrum in between determining how you take this realisation. My advice? You have a purpose. You do. So live it.
Much love errrrrrrybody <3
The words in this one blow my mind. Some of the metaphors Alan Watts uses are incredible; seriously I dare you, watch this and don’t feel anything.