Alan W. Watts, who held both a master’s degree in theology and a doctorate of divinity, is best remembered as an interpreter of Zen Buddhism in particular, and of Indian and Chinese philosophy in general. Standing apart, however, from sectarian membership, he has earned the reputation of being one of the most original and “unrutted” philosophers of the twentieth century. Watts was the author of some twenty books on the philosophy and psychology of religion that have been published in many languages throughout the world, including the bestselling The Way of Zen. An avid lecturer, Watts appeared regularly on the radio and hosted the popular television series, Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life,in the 1960s. He died in 1973.
Nature, Man and Womanby Alan W. Watts
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.
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Using some of the basic principles of Taoism, Alan Watts is able to explain to us the true meaning of life, love, and simple existence in an astonishingly simple way. This book is both creative and enlightening. It provides a fresh new perspective on Western culture and how we have sent ourselves to purgatory by developing a certain type of consciousness emphasized in Western culture. If you read another exceptional book called 'The Ever-Transcending Spirit' by Toru Sato, you will also learn that this is part of the process of both life and evolution. These are the kind of teachers we truly need more of in this age of chaos and confusion. Highly recommended!
In this book, Alan Watts takes a tiny step back from his typical debates and on to a specific argument about man, nature, woman, and the relationships between them. I read a lot of Alan Watts, and found it astonishingly refreshing to read such a different styled book. If you have ever read his books or heard his audio before, this book only touches on some of his more common writings and suggests an application of these thoughts into the world around us. Starting with why man feels the need to be separate from nature, onto the common social and cultural issues regarding the relationship to men and women. I have just finished reading, and felt compelled to write a review (before beginning a second read of it! If you only read his books once, you are missing out!) for the first time on B&N. I do not think I would recommend this as a first Watts book, however. His book the taboo or some of his zen books may give a better background to his philosophy before jumping into this one. BUT I think this might be my favorite so far...