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Alan Watts

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posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 01:06 AM
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Alan Watts is best known as a scholar on Zen Buddhism, and Indian Philosophy, in general.

Not too long ago I started reading some of his books. I've known about him for the longest time and it's almost strange that it took me 10+ years to get around to reading something by him. I was reading so many other books along this line, but never picked one of his up. But, glad I finally did! It's very interesting stuff.

I recently came across these videos I thought I would share. There are several parts to both videos, and they're kinda long.

This first series is basically a summary of what he writes about in his book "The Book: On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are"

Amazon

Swiss philosopher Amiel sums up well what Watts' book is about and what this video series talks about:

“Nothing is more hidden from us than the illusion which lives with us day by day, and our greatest illusion is to believe that we are what we think ourselves to be.”



The next series is on myth and religion, specifically Jesus. It's not your typical Christian viewpoint and can almost be rather shocking, epsecially when he says stuff like this:


I think the Bible ought to be ceremoniously and reverently burned every Easter. We need it no more, because the Spirit is with us. It’s a dangerous book, and to worship it is of course a far more dangerous idolatry than bowing down to images of wood and stone. Nobody can confuse a wooden image with God, but you can very easily confuse a set of ideas with God, because concepts are more rarified and abstract.


This is an extension of idolatry, where the idol is not something physical and external, but rather a concept, or something internal. God is beyond any concept, so getting hung up on a concept is ultimately as self-defeating as getting hung up on a golden calf. As Meister Eckhart said, "The ultimate leavetaking is the leaving of God for God".



Hope at least some of you enjoy the vidoes as much as I did.

I'll leave you with some Alan Watts quotes ;-)

"Life exists only at this very moment, and in this moment it is infinite and eternal, for the present moment is infinitely small; before we can measure it, it has gone, and yet it exists forever...."

"How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself anything less than a god.

"I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is"

"No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now."

"Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe."

"I had a discussion with a great master in Japan... and we were talking about the various people who are working to translate the Zen books into English, and he said, "That's a waste of time. If you really understand Zen... you can use any book. You could use the Bible. You could use Alice in Wonderland. You could use the dictionary, because... the sound of the rain needs no translation."


edit on 19-6-2011 by EthanT because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 10:09 AM
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posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 12:50 PM
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reply to post by stephinrazin
 


Another good set of vidoes! Thanks for sharing stephinrazin.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 09:52 PM
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thanks for posting this I have been meaning to post some of Watts lectures for some time now...



when i first started reading philosophy books Alan Watts was the one who I really connected with, I hope more people can understand him because our world needs a dose of his knowledge and understanding if LIFE.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 11:15 PM
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Originally posted by -W1LL

thanks for posting this I have been meaning to post some of Watts lectures for some time now...



when i first started reading philosophy books Alan Watts was the one who I really connected with, I hope more people can understand him because our world needs a dose of his knowledge and understanding if LIFE.


I agree, his viewpoint are really enlightening, imho. But, he doesn't seem overly popular at times too, and I can't figure out why. He is a bit abstract and maybe he loses people there - not sure?

Glad you enjoyed the lectures.



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 12:42 AM
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Listening to Alan Watts is almost hypnotic. His voice has this almost fatherly teaching sound to it that keeps you tuned in. He maid philosophy entertainment. Some more vids

edit on 23-6-2011 by juveous because: order

edit on 23-6-2011 by juveous because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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Alan Watts is the best.
Period.



posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 04:37 PM
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reply to post by EthanT
 


This is one of my all time favorites from Alan. I haven't made it through all of the vid posts above yet so forgive me if repost:



Namaste,



posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 05:37 PM
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reply to post by EthanT
 


Alan Watts is definitely a great source of info for Zen Buddhism, and life in general, but more-so then that he was amazingly talented at articulating his thoughts. I still feel the Theravada tradition is the better path for those who are serious about achieving liberation and those who want to grasp a better understanding of reality, and Zen is better for the layman who wants to simply quiet the mind, but that is for a different discussion.

Peace.
edit on 7-9-2011 by LifeIsEnergy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 25 2012 @ 07:54 PM
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Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy
reply to post by EthanT
 


I still feel the Theravada tradition is the better path for those who are serious about achieving liberation and those who want to grasp a better understanding of reality, and Zen is better for the layman who wants to simply quiet the mind, but that is for a different discussion.

Peace.
edit on 7-9-2011 by LifeIsEnergy because: (no reason given)


Do you actually follow the small path?


Not to turn this into a discussion on the size of a path, but rather if there really is a path at all. It is here and all happening.
Your life is a thought to who you really are.



posted on Mar, 25 2012 @ 08:29 PM
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reply to post by broahes
 


There is no path, I agree. What I said then was narrow minded and downright dumb. To be fair, I was planning on ordaining as a monk in the Theravadan tradition, then I saw there was no path and let go of that idea.

Thanks for rehashing an old post though just so I can see how dumb I was,
, jp.


Peace.



posted on Mar, 25 2012 @ 11:34 PM
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reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


I was just referring to the Theravada as in the small wheel. I genuinely wanted to know, as I respect the discipline it takes to practice. I just like these faces.


Any thread on Alan Watts should be bumped from time to time.

One of my favorite clips of Alan's audio:




edit on 25-3-2012 by broahes because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 25 2012 @ 11:57 PM
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Originally posted by EthanT

"I had a discussion with a great master in Japan... and we were talking about the various people who are working to translate the Zen books into English, and he said, "That's a waste of time. If you really understand Zen... you can use any book. You could use the Bible. You could use Alice in Wonderland. You could use the dictionary, because... the sound of the rain needs no translation."



Absolutely Pee On!


"The truth can be found in a lie but a lie cannot be found in the truth." - Old Toad Proverb

If you look closely, at anything or anywhere, you can find the truth.


Ribbit



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 01:12 AM
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Thank you for this thread, once I get around to viewing all those videos I will come back and write about my 2 cents of it. Hopefully I will learn something new!

Cheers!



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 03:26 AM
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The Way Of Zen was one of the first books that really changed the way I saw things, will always have respect for him. He really seems to have been able to translate the perceptions of the east to us in ways that many of us can understand a lot easier at the start. Also like how closely the Taoist mindset was shown to be to the Zen one in that book. If we're ever lost or having problems with things we could do a lot worse than take the time to read or listen to some of what he said/wrote.

Edit : If you've not read The Way of Zen and you're new to this type of thing you can take a look inside the book here - The Way of Zen - Amazon
edit on 26-3-2012 by robhines because: added link



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:06 AM
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I have listened to a great deal od what Alan has to say regarding Agenda 21 and the comming tyranny. He is a very learned man indeed and has been asked by the elite to speak for them on occasion. To his credit He has always refused.

More on AW can be found at cutinghroughthematrix.com.



posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 04:56 AM
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A absolutely brilliant thinker, I'm surprised this one hasn't been popsted yet. Wisdom in cartoon format from the creators of south park.




posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 12:53 AM
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Originally posted by TheMindWar
I have listened to a great deal od what Alan has to say regarding Agenda 21 and the comming tyranny. He is a very learned man indeed and has been asked by the elite to speak for them on occasion. To his credit He has always refused.

More on AW can be found at cutinghroughthematrix.com.



You are thinking of Alan Watt.. This thread is about Alan Watts.



posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 01:00 AM
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I always liked this Alan Watts quote, from his book In My Own Way: An Autobiography:

"... Hindu philosophy was a local form of a sort of undercover wisdom, inconceivably ancient, which everyone knows in the back of his mind but will not admit. This wisdom was simultaneously holy and disreputable, and therefore necessarily esoteric, and it came in the dress of a totally logical, obvious, and basic common sense....polar vision; by which I mean that the basic pairs of opposites, the positive and the negative, are seen as the different poles of a single magnet or circuit. This knowledge is repressed in any culture that accentuates the positive, and is thus a strict taboo. It carries Gestalt psychology, which insists on the mutual interdependence of figure and background, to its logical conclusion in every aspect of life and thought; so that the voluntary and the involuntary, knowing and the known, birth and decay, good and evil, outline and inline, self and other, solid and space, motion and rest, light and darkness, are seen as aspects of a single and completely perfect process. The implication of this may be that there is nothing in life to be gained or attained that is not already here and now, an implication thoroughly disturbing to any philosophy or culture which is seriously playing the game which I have called White Must Win."




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