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The Collected Letters of Alan Watts

Hardcover Book
Publisher: 
New World Library
 | 
December, 2017
ISBN:
9781608684151
In stock now: 
3
$43.50 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

The New York Times has called Alan Watts, “the foremost Western interpreter of eastern thought for the modern world.” What an unexpected gift, after all this time to have the correspondence of a one-of-a-kind, free-thinking spiritual seeker and finder like Watts, who to this day (he lived 1915-1973), influences philosophers and deep thinkers of all stripes.

Alan Watts began life in a bucolic British setting, was sent off to schooling that might nurture his gifts, and wound up bumping into Zen Buddhism in a way that would influence several generations. This collection of letters, discovered and lovingly curated by two of his daughters (Joan Watts and Anne Watts), reveals a wonderfully well-rounded Alan Watts. It includes the charming missives he wrote to his parents through many decades, the back-and-forth with the editors of his many writings, and delightfully rich correspondence with diverse friends and thinkers. Throughout the book, there is fascinating commentary by his daughters that highlights and adds to the letters, including this piece by Joan Watts:

For Alan, the use of psychedelics was a religious experience. He felt that the abuse or constant use of such drugs was to nullify the spiritual effect one could garner from the experience. It was like finding a shortcut to satori or samadhi, but on an entirely different wavelength. To Alan, drug-induced altered states could be compared to certain states experienced in some Buddhist (and other religious) practices.

Throughout, readers gain an unprecedented and richly personal take on Watts as philosopher, interpreter of Eastern philosophy, and Christian thinker. His thoughts on the big questions—Why are we here? What is the meaning of existence?—will resonate with longtime Watts fans as well as seekers new to his work.

Publisher’s Description: 

Alan Watts began life in a bucolic British setting, was sent off to schooling that might nurture his gifts, and wound up bumping into Zen Buddhism in a way that would influence several generations. This collection of letters, discovered and lovingly curated by two of his daughters (Joan Watts and Anne Watts), reveals a wonderfully well-rounded Watts. It includes the charming missives he wrote to his parents through many decades, the back-and-forth with the editors of his many writings, and delightfully rich correspondence with diverse friends and thinkers. Throughout, readers gain an unprecedented and richly personal take on Watts as philosopher, interpreter of Eastern philosophy, and Christian thinker. His thoughts on the big questions - Why are we here? What is the meaning of existence? - will resonate with longtime Watts fans as well as seekers new to his work.

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