01 December 2012

A thought-provoking view of life

Narration by Alan Watts.
Watts felt forced to decide between the Anglican Christianity he had been exposed to and the Buddhism he had read about in various libraries, including Croshaw’s. He chose Buddhism...

Watts' fascination with the Zen (or Chan) tradition—beginning during the 1930s—developed because that tradition embodied the spiritual, interwoven with the practical, as exemplified in the subtitle of his Spirit of Zen: A Way of Life, Work, and Art in the Far East...

He attempted to work out a blend of contemporary Christian worship, mystical Christianity, and Asian philosophy. Watts was awarded a master's degree in theology in response to his thesis, which he published as a popular edition under the title Behold the Spirit. The pattern was set, in that Watts did not hide his dislike for religious outlooks that he decided were dour, guilt-ridden, or militantly proselytizing—no matter if they were found within Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, or Buddhism...

As part of his growing popularity, Matt Stone and Trey Parker—creators of the animated series South Park—have also contributed a video tribute by animating some of his lectures. 
Via Boing Boing.


  1. Absolutely beautiful. We miss so much of life because we are looking for it.

    1. "The lyrics of "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)" contain the famous Lennon quote "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.""

  2. I'm very much a fan of Watts, most of the time. He conjured magnificent ideas, too often wallowed in the "otherness" of eastern philosophy in a way that suggests (to me) he was still rebelling against Christianity in his later years.

    He spent a little too much time kicking against western thought; better that he had built bridges and connected common dots, but some people just delight in finding self identity by being unorthodox.

    I stumbled into Watts while listening to a Flooting Grooves' song "Immersion", and was impressed by (most of) his lecture on the limits of language. He was an engaging speaker, even if he occasionally spewed nonsense, and used some awfully broad brushes.


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