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Book Club: Alan Watts -- The Book {on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are}

This week we will talk about some of the ideas of Alan Watts, especially those presented in The Book.  It's short, plentiful, and in my opinion well worth reading.  Feel free to show up even if you have not read it, but some of the discussion may be enriched by prior familiarity with Watts' material.   We will pay special attention to the considerations of the "self" (or no-self!).  What you are.  What are you?

In case you choose not to read the book, or alternatively you read the book and want more, here are links to a few Alan Watts tidbits from YouTube.  During his life, Watts recorded many hundreds of hours of talks, and the internet has magnificently arranged most of them for our easy free access.  Google him-- you will find stuff if you want stuff.  Here are a few:

Alan Watts animated by South Park Creators

Most of the videos are like that one-- Watts audio with something else to occupy the eyes.  It can help sometimes to have an idea about someone if you get to see them while you hear them, so here is one short one where you can see the guy.

Alan Watts on Time and Causal Influence

Is Life Serious?

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Early on, in describing the difficulty in trying to get our minds to understand what we truly are, Watts says, "it is as if the eyes were trying to look at themselves directly." Which reminded me of this video, which has a quite effective technique for achieving the effect Watts is talking about. It's called "How to Look at Yourself": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bskpIkpQhn4

    1 · May 20, 2013

    • RJ - Rene' G.

      Hay KriZzTin...I did the Experiment and it did take a Long Time, but it was worth it. I may ThiMk About Joining Da JuzZt One Look Community Idea, Conceot or PerszPectificationizZM Zoon...Here iZ a Thing I waZ ThimKN; 'Bout when DizZ Dude WazZ TalkiN'.

      May 25, 2013

    • RJ - Rene' G.

      It iz Not One Nail Dat HoldzZ Da Building Together, But a CluzZter-O-Nailz Makez Da BuildN' Stay Up...Zo Den, Why Not JezT Build-A-Love Shack Baby, Love-Shack (Said With Da Accent-O-Da B-52'z...HmmmM?)

      May 25, 2013

  • Todd N.

    ESTELLE: You're not Chinese!?!?

    DONNA: ...No.

    ESTELLE: I thought you were Chinese!!

    DONNA: I'm from Long Island.

    ESTELLE: Long Island?!?! I thought I was gettin' advice from a Chinese woman!!

    DONNA: I'm sorry...?

    ESTELLE: Well... then... that changes everything!

    GEORGE: What?!

    ESTELLE: She's not Chinese; I was duped!!

    GEORGE: So what?! She still gave you advice; what's the difference if she's not Chinese?!?!

    ESTELLE: I'm not taking advice from some girl from Long Island!! --- Seinfeld, Episode 90 - The Chinese Woman

    1 · May 23, 2013

    • RJ - Rene' G.

      I wazZ in Long Izland fer trainin-On-LAZER CutterzZ...After Trainning I wentz Ta Manhatann Ta Zee Da Big Zity...I Saw a Limo wit 2 Long Izlang Naged LAdiesZ Standing up through Da Zun Roof WaviN' At Everone...I thought-T-Myzelf...Howe Nize, DizZ iz Not Zuch-A-Bad PLaze After All....HmmmM? (HmmmM! iz Said wit a Native PakazTinian Accent)

      May 25, 2013

  • Todd N.

    A Zen buddhist monk walks up to a hotdog stand and says: "Make me one with everything."

    1 · May 23, 2013

    • Todd N.

      The hot dog vendor fixes a hot dog and hands it to the Zen master, who pays with a $20 bill.

      The hot dog vendor puts the bill in the cash drawer and closes the drawer.

      "Where's my change?" asks the Zen master.

      And the hot dog vendor responds...

      "Change must come from within."

      2 · May 23, 2013

    • RJ - Rene' G.

      Yep..Zo Tue..Now Da Zen Mazter Haz no Buz Fare and Da Hot Dog Dude izZ Zimplie a Snart ThimKer....HmmmM? Datz Howe Da Hot Dog CorporationzZ Operate with out Anaztziac....HmmmM?

      May 25, 2013

  • RJ - Rene' G.

    I really Thoughroughlie Enjoyed Interuptin People In-Da-Middle-O Deir Zentenzez az day spoke about deir Verie InterZzTin PerzZpectivicationZz....I likezZ People-ZoidzZ, Who GatzZ Diz Capazity-O-Humilitie & NizenezzZnicity In-Da-RealmificationzZ-O-Ztuff. (Thank You, Thank You Very Much - Wth an ElviZ Accent)
    Now, Back Ta Realitit...When Da Moment ComezZ,, ZieZe It...it LazT only a Zecond er Zo...Don Miz-Out On Da Moment-O-Truth, Cauze datz why We Came ta DizZ Earthification-O-Da PlanetZz Fer...Notin Elze...But Pleaze Leave Da Money Behind when Ya Goe..I could uze Buz Fare or Shoe lacez ta tie a Bow for a Racoon Trap....HmmmM?

    May 25, 2013

  • RJ - Rene' G.

    yeZ, I jezt j0ined...cAn ju F0lkZ have Da Capacity ta PuttiNg uPz wit my Thimk Snard ProcezzZ....HmmmM?
    ThimK Snart Ztarted in 2009 (give or take)...it iZ a Phenomenon-0-Da Mystery-0-Ztuff dAt Started back in 1956 orzo...I was only 4 yEarz-O-Age. I belived I could Walkz thru Da Retainer Wall. But I tried zo Hard dAt I now HaveZ a Chunk-0-Da Wall Inbeded in mY Forehead.
    It is Now covered wit Bone Skull Protective Ztuff just like a Zcalop makes a pearl when it gets Ztuff inside...Ok...Noe Da ya ghave Da Capacity to Underztand Why I aZked Da FirZt question....HmmmM?

    May 21, 2013

    • Michael G

      Sasha Baron Cohen a1nt done nuTTin since Bruno. Y0u iZn't by chAnce 'im...revivin'­ Ali G, iZ y0u?

      May 24, 2013

    • RJ - Rene' G.

      I neEdZ Ta Google Diz Perzon-O-InterezT...Alli­ G, Zo I may Anzwer Dat Correctly, but Da Way ya Rezponded iZ Da Coorect WayzZ Ta Communicate...Fianlly Zome wHo Actuallie KnowsZ Howe Ta Make Zcenze-O-Da Hole Thang! Manie Many ThanXzZ Ta Ju Michael Fer jur InterezZt In Diz Alli G, Who I knowsZ Notin Bout'.

      May 25, 2013

  • Michael G

    Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to pull tonight off after all. See ya next week.

    May 22, 2013

  • RJ - Rene' G.

    Zo don Forget...don't jeZt Think Smart....ThiMk Snart!
    _______.....:::::: 8~)

    May 21, 2013

  • RJ - Rene' G.

    Oh...and I wAz Struck By Lightning Too in a CubAn Tropical Ztrom onCe....Hmmmm?
    I cnaz tellZ You Da ZtoRy-0-Da Ztorm Journey HoMe Dat Day Daze.

    May 21, 2013

  • Bill D.

    Duh! just discovered a conflict that evening. Next time

    May 20, 2013

  • Bill D.

    I just bought the Kindle edition. I used to listen to audios of Alan and greatly enjoyed them. Haven't thought about him in too long

    Bill

    May 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wish I could attend this one... sounds interesting but I'll be out of town.

    May 17, 2013

  • Michael G

    Random share: A 1st person paraphrase of William James on the three stages of an idea gaining acceptance:

    1. "it's clearly absurd and should be combatted."
    2. "It's true, but of no importance."
    3. It is crucially important, and I thought of it first."

    May 16, 2013

  • Will D.

    Yea!

    May 7, 2013

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