The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

( 24 )

Overview

A witty attack on the illusion that the self is a separate ego that confronts a universe of alien physical objects.

A lucid and witty attack on the illusion that the self is a separate ego that confronts a universe of alien physical objects.

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The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

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Overview

A witty attack on the illusion that the self is a separate ego that confronts a universe of alien physical objects.

A lucid and witty attack on the illusion that the self is a separate ego that confronts a universe of alien physical objects.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679723004
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/1989
  • Series: Vintage Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 80,557
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2003

    Could alter the course of your thinking

    A High School English teacher handed me this book in 1971. I thought it was interesting then, the author a very erudite and amusing fellow with some imaginative notions. 21 years later, while listening to some recorded lectures by Alan Watts on my local public radio station, I suddenly realized what the real implications of what he was saying were, and that they must be true! I was at my desk at work, and for the next several days, I was walking about 3 inches off the ground. Still am, really. Many have tried to explain these concepts to Westerners, but none do it with the fluency, subtlety or entertaining style of Alan Watts. If you want to understand who you are, and what the universe is, read anything you can get your hands on by this guy. He casually and rather slyly accomplishes what religion is supposed to do, but doesn't. Hint: it's a single, central concept, but it isn't easy to 'get', so don't shrug it off until you've really let Watts' words roll around in your mind for a few years.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 8, 2009

    A book about what it means to be human.

    I started reading Watts in the late 60's, just out of high school. His works vary in flavor and message only a little (now that I look back on it 40 years later) but this is THE book that clearly and directly represents his central understanding of being alive on the planet and trapped in the bag of skin we call "I". Hint: you are not who or what you think you are.

    Most of his writing avoids tedium or becoming laborious and this book is no exception. He shows remarkable wit and humor while dealing with a topic that is (or should be) life changing. And, to be honest, while the central message comes from "Eastern" thought, i.e. Zen, Taoism, Hinduism, he often points to mainstream Western tradition as owning a great deal of that message.

    While one does not hear about Watts much these days his message transcends time since it derives from mystical traditions that date back forever. Forty years later much of the core truth of what this roguish, clever man wrote is still rattling around in this boys head. Definitely worth a look.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2000

    Alan Watts was an enlightened man

    This book is a classic in its genre.<P> If you seek spiritual wisdom, if you are interested in the age-old questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is the purpose of life? Is there a God? Is there a life hereafter? What am I supposed to do with my life? Then you could do no better than to read the late Alan Watts. He has no peer, in the English language.<P> Another author of perhaps equal rank is Joseph Pierre, whose THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS is one of the truly great classics in this area of interest. No seeker should fail to read it.<P>

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2013

    :D

    Brilliant

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Hopeful Philosophy for Modern Man

    Alan Watts sees western society from the outside. He elucidates with impressive clarity and wit the wisdom of Zen Buddhism specifically and eastern philosophy generally, liberally applying its precepts to the problems of the 20th and 21st century. I recommend this book for anyone no longer satisfied with the way they've been taught to see the world. Anyone looking not only for a comprehensive review of modern identity, but also for an alternative and entirely more sensible way to understand who they are should read this book. I wouldn't call this book life changing simply because it only seeks to explain. It opens the door to greater understandings, but does not force the reader to take that next step. An overall excellent read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2004

    One of my favorite books of all time

    I was 18 or 19 when I first heard Alan Watts speaking on a radio lecture series. I have been inspired and moved by his life and thoughts ever since. For me, 'The Book' was by far the most accessible and touching of his many writings. I have read and re-read it many times, and recommend it without reservation to any human being in search of meaning, purpose, and direction. I am ordering a copy for my soon-to-be sixteen-year-old daughter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2003

    Still one of the best

    I love most books on consciousness but this one takes the cake! Even after 30 years, I have not found a book that explains the duality of consciousness as articulately as Watts does. The only book I can truly recommend after reading this one is 'The ever-transcending spirit' by Toru Sato. It takes these ideas about consciousness and applies them to relationships and human development in a way anyone can understand. I can honestly tell you that my life is full of peace after reading these books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2003

    Amazing

    I loved this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2002

    Excellent!

    This is an excellent book on consciousness and life! Watts has a knack for explaining complex things in very simply ways. If you like this book I think you'll also like "Rhythm, Relationships, and Transcendence" by Toru Sato. It's also a fantastic book about consciousness and life!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2002

    A Definite Must Have!!!

    This book takes you on a journey that encompasses old Zen-like ideals and intertwines them with modern western philosophy. It mentions everything that you have always wondered about and makes sense of it. It is a quick, enjoyable read. Again, this is a definite must have.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2000

    Watts:' He knows What He Talks'

    I have read ,The Book, many times. It is Watts 'best' book to get the attention of people, who would never read a philosophy book .....simply.....because most non-philosophical people are 'afraid' to ask questions abut their 'owm'.....existence.

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