Alan Watts’s Books

If you can really understand this, then the seed of that radical revolution has already been planted. Change comes into being when there is no fear, when there is neither the experiencer nor the experience; it is only then that there is the revolution which is beyond time. But that cannot be as long as I am trying to change the ‘I’, as long as I am trying to change what is into something else. I am the result of all the social and the spiritual compulsions, persuasions, and all the conditioning based on acquisitiveness -my thinking is based on that. To be free from that conditioning, from that acquisitiveness, I say to myself, ‘I must not be acquisitive; I must practice nonacquisitiveness.’ But such action is still within the field of time, it is still the activity of the mind. Just see that. Don’t say, ‘How am I to get to that state when I am nonacquisitive?’ That is not important. It is not important to be nonacquisitive; what is important is to understand that the mind which is trying to get away from one state to another is still functioning within the field of time, and therefore there is no revolution, there is no change. If you can really understand this, then the seed of that radical revolution has already been planted and that will operate: you have not a thing to do.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

“What I think an awakening really involves is a re-examination of our common sense. We’ve got all sorts of ideas built into us which seem unquestioned, obvious. And our speech reflects them; its commonest phrases. ‘Face the facts.’ As if they were outside you. As if life were something they simply encountered as a foreigner. ‘Face the facts.’ Our common sense has been rigged, you see? So that we feel strangers and aliens in this world, and this is terribly plausible, simply because this is what we are used to. That’s the only reason.”

Alan Watts

Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British-born philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master’s degree in theology. Watts became an Episcopal priest then left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies.

Watts gained a large following in the San Francisco Bay Area while working as a volunteer programmer at KPFA, a Pacifica Radio station in Berkeley. Watts wrote more than 25 books and articles on subjects important to Eastern and Western religion, introducing the then-burgeoning youth culture to The Way of Zen (1957), one of the first bestselling books on Buddhism. In Psychotherapy East and West (1961), Watts proposed that Buddhism could be thought of as a form of psychotherapy and not a religion. He also explored human consciousness, in the essay “The New Alchemy” (1958), and in the book The Joyous Cosmology (1962).

Alan Watts is one of the most widely read philosophers of the 20th century. In addition to his 28 books, Alan Watts delivered hundreds of public lectures and seminars the recordings. The Electronic University maintained by the Alan Watts Organization has a collection of recordings were created by Alan, Mark Watts, Henry Jacobs, and several various radio and television companies between the years 1953 and 1973.

Alan Watts’s Books

The Spirit of Zen 1936
The Legacy of Asia and Western Man 1939
The Meaning of Happiness 1940
Behold the Spirit 1947
Easter – Its Story and Meaning 1950
The Supreme Identity 1950
The Wisdom of Insecurity 1951
Myth and Ritual in Christianity 1953
The Way of Zen 1957
Nature, Man, and Woman 1958
This Is It: and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience 1960
Psychotherapy East and West 1961
The Joyous Cosmology 1962
The Two Hands of God 1963
Beyond Theology 1964
The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are 1966
Nonsense 1967
Does It Matter? 1970
Erotic Spirituality 1971
The Art of Contemplation 1972
In My Own Way (autobiography) 1972
Cloud-hidden, Whereabouts Unknown 1973
Tao: The Watercourse Way 1975

Alan Watts – Monographs and Pamphlets
An Outline of Zen Buddhism 1932
Seven Symbols of Life 1936
The Psychology of Acceptance 1939
The Theological Mystica of St. Dionysius 1944
The Meaning of Preisthood 1946
Zen Buddhism 1947
Zen 1948
The Way of Liberation in Zen Buddhism 1955
Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen 1956

Alan Watts – Records

Om: The Sound of Hinduism 1967
Why Not Now: Dhyana, The Art of Meditation 1969
This bibliography doesn’t include the numerous books of essays and lecture transcripts published after his death.


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