He later equated mystical experience with ecological awareness, and typically emphasized whichever approach seemed best suited to the audience he was addressing. Citation needed Applied aesthetics edit watts sometimes alluded to a group of neighbors in Druid heights (near Mill Valley, california) who had endeavored to combine architecture, gardening, and carpentry skills to make a beautiful and comfortable life for themselves. These neighbors accomplished this by relying on their own talents and using their own hands, as they lived in what has been called "shared bohemian poverty". 30 Druid heights was founded by the writer Elsa gidlow, 31 and Watts dedicated his book the joyous Cosmology to the people of this neighborhood. 32 he later dedicated his autobiography to Elsa gidlow, for whom he held a great affection. Regarding his intentions, watts attempted to lessen the alienation that accompanies the experience of being human that he felt plagued the modern Westerner, and (like his fellow British expatriate and friend, Aldous Huxley ) to lessen the ill will that was an unintentional by-product.
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27 His lectures and books gave him far-reaching influence on the American intelligentsia of the 1950s1970s, but he was often seen as an outsider in academia. 28 When questioned sharply by students during his talk at University of California, santa Cruz in 1970, watts responded, as he had from the early sixties, that he was not an academic philosopher but rather "a philosophical entertainer." Experimentation edit some of Watts writings published. Watts had begun to experiment with psychedelics, initially with mescaline given to him by Oscar Janiger. He tried lsd several times in 1958, with various research teams led by keith. Ditman, Sterling Bunnell., and Michael Agron. He also tried marijuana and concluded that it was a useful and interesting psychoactive drug that gave the impression of time slowing down. Watts' books of the '60s reveal the influence of these chemical adventures on his outlook. He later said about psychedelic drug use, page "If you get the message, hang up the phone. For psychedelic drugs are simply instruments, like microscopes, telescopes, and telephones. The biologist does not sit with eye permanently glued to the microscope, he goes away and works on what he has seen." 29 For a time, watts came to prefer writing in the language of modern science and psychology ( Psychotherapy east and West.
The book sold well, eventually becoming a modern classic, and helped widen his lecture circuit. In 1958, watts toured parts of Europe with his father, meeting the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung and the german psychotherapist Karlfried Graf Dürckheim. 23 Upon returning to the United States, watts recorded two seasons of a television series (19591960) for kqed public television in San Francisco, "Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life". S, watts became increasingly interested in how identifiable patterns in nature tend to repeat themselves from the smallest of scales to the most immense. This became one of his passions in his research and thought. 25 Though never affiliated for long with any one academic institution, he was Professor of Comparative philosophy at the california institute of Integral Studies (as mentioned above paper had a fellowship at Harvard University (196264 and was a scholar at San Jose State University (1968). 26 he also lectured to many college and university students as well as the general public.
17 18 Watts continued to give numerous talks and seminars, recordings of which were broadcast on kpfa and other radio stations during his life. These recordings are broadcast to this day. (For example, reviews in 1970 Watts lectures were broadcast on Sunday mornings on San Francisco radio station ksan; 19 and even today a number of radio stations continue to have an Alan Watts program in their weekly program schedules. ) Original tapes of his broadcasts and talks are currently held by the pacifica radio archives, based at kpfk in Los Angeles, and at the Electronic University archive founded by his son, mark watts. In 1957 Watts, then 42, published one of his best known books, The way of Zen, which focused on philosophical explication and history. Besides drawing on the lifestyle and philosophical background of Zen, in India and China, watts pdf introduced ideas drawn from general semantics (directly from the writings of Alfred Korzybski ) and also from Norbert wiener 's early work on cybernetics, which had recently been published. Watts offered analogies from cybernetic principles possibly applicable to the zen life.
Besides teaching, watts served for several years as the Academy's administrator. One notable student of his was Eugene rose, who later went on to become a noted Orthodox Christian hieromonk and controversial theologian within the Orthodox Church in America under the jurisdiction of rocor. Rose's own disciple, a fellow monastic priest published under the name hieromonk damascene, produced a book entitled Christ the Eternal tao, in which the author draws parallels between the concept of the tao in Chinese philosophy and the concept of the logos in classical Greek. Watts also studied written Chinese and practiced Chinese brush calligraphy with Hasegawa as well as with some of the Chinese students who enrolled at the academy. While watts was noted for an interest in Zen Buddhism, his reading and discussions delved into vedanta, " the new physics cybernetics, semantics, process philosophy, natural history, and the anthropology of sexuality. Middle years edit After heading up the Academy for a few years, watts left the faculty for a freelance career in the mid-1950s. In 1953, he began what became a long-running weekly radio program at Pacifica radio station kpfa in Berkeley. Like other volunteer programmers at the listener-sponsored station, watts was not paid for his broadcasts. These weekly broadcasts continued until 1962, by which time he had attracted a "legion of regular listeners".
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He entered seabury-western Theological Seminary, an Episcopal (Anglican) school in evanston, Illinois, where he studied Christian scriptures, theology, and church history. 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: a study in the necessity of Mystical Religion. He later published Myth ritual in Christianity (1953 an eisegesis of traditional Roman Catholic doctrine and ritual in Buddhist terms. However, 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, islam, hinduism, or Buddhism. As recounted in his autobiography, alan was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1945 (aged 30) and resigned the ministry by 1950, partly as a result of an extramarital affair which resulted in his wife having their marriage annulled, but also because he could.
He spent the new year getting to know Joseph Campbell and Campbell's wife, jean Erdman ; as well as John Cage, the notable composer. In early 1951, watts moved to california, where he joined interviewing the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco. Here he taught from 1951 to 1957 alongside saburō Hasegawa (19061957 Frederic Spiegelberg, haridas Chaudhuri, lama tada Tōkan (18901967 and various visiting experts and professors. Hasegawa, in particular, served as a teacher to watts in the areas plan of Japanese customs, arts, primitivism, and perceptions of nature. It was during this time he met the poet, jean Burden with whom he had a four-year love affair. 16 Alan credited her as an "important influence" in his life and gave her dedicatory cryptograph in his book "Nature, man and Woman to which he alludes in his autobiography (p.
In 1936, aged 21, he attended the world Congress of faiths at the University of London, heard. Suzuki read a paper, and afterwards was able to meet this esteemed scholar of Zen Buddhism. 12 beyond these discussions and personal encounters, watts absorbed, by studying the available scholarly literature, the fundamental concepts and terminology of the main philosophies of India and East Asia. Influences and first publication edit watts's fascination with the zen (or Ch'an) 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. "Work "life and "art" were not demoted due to a spiritual focus.
In his writing, he referred to it as "the great Ch'an (or Zen) synthesis of taoism, confucianism and Buddhism after 700 ce in China." 13 Watts published his first book, the Spirit of Zen, in 1936. Two decades later, in The way of Zen 14 he disparaged The Spirit of Zen as a "popularisation of suzuki 's earlier works, and besides being very unscholarly it is in many respects out of date and misleading." Watts married Eleanor everett, whose mother Ruth. Ruth Fuller later married the zen master (or "roshi sokei-an Sasaki, who served as a sort of model and mentor to watts, though he chose not to enter into a formal Zen training relationship with Sasaki. During these years, according to his later writings, watts had another mystical experience while on a walk with his wife. In 1938 Watts and his wife left England to live in the United States. Watts became a united States citizen in 1943. 15 Christian priest and after edit watts left formal Zen training in New York because the method of the teacher did not suit him. He was not ordained as a zen monk, but he felt a need to find a vocational outlet for his philosophical inclinations.
Watts, alan WorldCat Identities
Education edit watts attended The king's School, canterbury next door to canterbury cathedral. Though he was frequently at the essay top of his classes scholastically and was given responsibilities at school, he botched an opportunity for a biography scholarship to Oxford by styling a crucial examination essay in a way that was read as " presumptuous and capricious." 11 When. He spent his spare time involved with the buddhist Lodge and also under the tutelage of a "rascal guru" named Dimitrije mitrinović. (Mitrinović was himself influenced by peter Demianovich Ouspensky,. Gurdjieff, and the varied psychoanalytical schools of Freud, jung and Adler.) Watts also read widely in philosophy, history, psychology, psychiatry and Eastern wisdom. By his own reckoning, and also by that of his biographer Monica furlong, watts was primarily an autodidact. His involvement with the buddhist Lodge in London afforded Watts a considerable number of opportunities for personal growth. Through Humphreys, he contacted eminent spiritual authors (e.g. The artist, scholar, and mystic Nicholas roerich, sarvapalli radhakrishnan, and prominent theosophists like alice bailey ).
8 These works of art emphasized the participatory relationship of man in nature, a theme that stood fast throughout his life, and one that he often writes about. See, for instance, the last chapter in The way of Zen. 9 Buddhism edit by his own assessment, watts was imaginative, headstrong, and talkative. He was sent to boarding schools (which included both academic and religious training of the muscular Christianity sort) from early years. Of this religious training, he remarked "Throughout my schooling my religious indoctrination was grim and maudlin" 10 Watts spent several holidays in France in his teen years, accompanied by Francis Croshaw, a wealthy Epicurean with strong interests in both Buddhism and exotic little-known aspects. It was not long afterward that 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, and sought membership in the london Buddhist Lodge, which had been established by Theosophists, and was now run by the barrister presentation Christmas Humphreys. Watts became the organization's secretary at 16 (1931). The young Watts explored several styles of meditation during these years.
kent (now south-east London. Watts' father, laurence wilson Watts, was a representative for the london office of the michelin Tyre company ; his mother, Emily mary watts (née buchan was a housewife whose father had been a missionary. With modest financial means, they chose to live in pastoral surroundings and Alan, an only child, grew up playing at brookside, learning the names of wildflowers and butterflies. 4 Probably because of the influence of his mother's religious family 5 the buchans, an interest in "ultimate things" seeped. But it mixed with Alan's own interests in storybook fables and romantic tales of the mysterious Far East. 6 Watts also later wrote of a mystical dream he experienced while ill with a fever as a child. 7 During this time he was influenced by far Eastern landscape paintings and embroideries that had been given to his mother by missionaries returning from China. The few Chinese paintings Watts was able to see in England riveted him, and he wrote "I was aesthetically fascinated with a certain clarity, transparency, and spaciousness in Chinese and Japanese art. It seemed to float.".
Watts gained a large following in the. San Francisco bay area while working as a volunteer programmer. Kpfa, a, pacifica radio station in, berkeley. Watts wrote more than 25 books and articles on subjects important. Eastern type and, western religion, introducing the then-burgeoning youth culture to, the way of Zen (1957 one of the first bestselling books. In, psychotherapy east and West (1961 watts proposed that Buddhism could be thought of as a form of psychotherapy and not a religion. Nature, man and Woman (1958) to be, "from a literary point of view—the best book i have ever written." 2, he also explored human consciousness, in the essay "The new Alchemy" (1958 and in the book the joyous Cosmology (1962). Towards the end of his life, he divided his time between a houseboat in sausalito and a cabin on mount Tamalpais.
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Alan Wilson Watts ( /wɒts/ ; 16 november 1973) was a british philosopher who interpreted and popularised, eastern philosophy for a, western audience. Chislehurst, england, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began. Zen training in New roles York. Pursuing a career, he attended. Seabury-western Theological Seminary, where he received a master's degree in theology. Watts became an, episcopal priest in 1945, then left the ministry in 1950 and moved. California, where he joined the faculty of the. American Academy of Asian Studies.