In My Own Way: An Autobiography

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New World Library, Feb 9, 2011 - Religion - 400 pages
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In this new edition of his acclaimed autobiography — long out of print and rare until now — Alan Watts tracks his spiritual and philosophical evolution. A child of religious conservatives in rural England, he went on to become a freewheeling spiritual teacher who challenged Westerners to defy convention and think for themselves. Watts's portrait of himself shows that he was a philosophical renegade from early on in his intellectual life. Self-taught in many areas, he came to Buddhism through the teachings of Christmas Humphreys and D. T. Suzuki. Told in a nonlinear style, In My Own Way combines Watts's brand of unconventional philosophy with wry observations on Western culture and often hilarious accounts of gurus, celebrities, and psychedelic drug experiences. A charming foreword by Watts's father sets the tone of this warm, funny, and beautifully written story. Watts encouraged readers to “follow your own weird” — something he always did himself, as this remarkable account of his life shows.

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Alan Watts is one of those writers I want to like more than I actually do. On the one hand, I cannot ignore his influence on the rise of understanding of Eastern Thought in America. And I have greatly ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Alan Watts was one of the most famous and insightful writers and speakers of the twentieth century on the subjects of Eastern thought and meditation. He was born in England in 1915 and lived in the United States, where he was an Episcopalian priest at Northwestern University until 1950. Soon after, he devoted himself to the study of Eastern philosophy and meditation at the Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco, and became one of the most famous and enduring writers on Asian philosophy. He died in his home in northern California in 1973. His books include The Way of Zen, Psychotherapy East and West, The Joyous Cosmology, and The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.

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