Nature, Man, and Woman

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Vintage Books, 1991 - Religion - 209 pages
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A provocative and enduring work that reexamines humanity's place in the natural world -- and the spirit's relation to the flesh -- in the light of Chinese Taoism.

That human beings stand separate from a nature that must be controlled, that the mind is somehow superior to the body, and that all sexuality entails a seduction -- a danger and a problem-are all assumptions upon which much of Western thought and culture is based. And all of them in some way underlie our exploitation of the earth, our distrust of emotion, and our loneliness and reluctance to love.

Few books have challenged those assumptions as directly as this erudite and engaging work by the author of The Way of Zen. Drawing on the precepts of Taoism, Alan Watts offers an alternative vision of man and the universe -- one in which the distinctions between self and other, spirit and matter give way to a more holistic way of seeing. Nature, Man and Woman is a book of great elegance and far-reaching implication -- one of those rare texts that can change the way we think, feel, and love.
 

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Contents

Urbanism and Paganism
25
Science and Nature
51
The Art of Feeling
70
The World as Ecstasy
97
The World as NonSense
119
Spirituality and Sexuality
139
Sacred and Profane Love
160
Consummation
184
Bibliographical References
207
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About the author (1991)

Alan W. Watts, who held both a master's degree in theology and a doctorate of divinity, is best remembered as an interpreter of Zen Buddhism in particular, and of Indian and Chinese philosophy in general. Standing apart, however, from sectarian membership, he has earned the reputation of being one of the most original and "unrutted" philosophers of the twentieth century. Watts was the author of some twenty books on the philosophy and psychology of religion that have been published in many languages throughout the world, including the bestselling The Way of Zen. An avid lecturer, Watts appeared regularly on the radio and hosted the popular television series, Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life,in the 1960s. He died in 1973.

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