The Early Writings of Alan Watts

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9780890874806: The Early Writings of Alan Watts

In 1936, when he was only 21, Watts became editor of the journal Buddhism in England. In its pages, he advised readers to adopt a Zen attitude and take things as they come. He urged a "not only but also" approach to life, recognizing that opposites can't exist without each other. In antipuritanical essays, he pleaded for bringing sexual enjoyment and a sense of humor back into spirituality. If Watts's youthful writings are often stilted and lack the inner voice of authority that made his later works so popular, they nevertheless contain much of interest to students of Eastern wisdom. His absolute pacifism, spelled out uncompromisingly in one essay, led him to flee London for the U.S. His Jungian interpretations breathe new meaning into the symbols of the lotus, wind, water and fire. A forthcoming volume will cover writings from this period that ran in other journals.

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From Library Journal:

Drawn largely from the journal Watts called Buddhism In England , these early pieces show the startling precocity of a vigorous and questing mind launching on a life-long career as confident interpreter of Asian thought to the West. Not a strict scholar or linguist, Watts shows that already he was primarily concerned to interpret, apply, and live, in his own idiosyncratic way, the teachings of Zen and Taoism. Though much of what he says here, he said later more articulately, the book does represent a useful source. Helpful, if perhaps uncritical, introductory prefaces to each section are provided by editor Snelling. Paul E. Muller-Ortega, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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