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Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts (edition 1987)

by Monica Furlong

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Member:keylawk
Title:Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts
Authors:Monica Furlong
Info:Houghton Mifflin Company (1987), Paperback
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Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts (Skylight Lives) by Monica Furlong

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Fills in a lot of the blanks from his autobiography. Ironic, his autobiography is ' In My Own Way ' , which is exacty was this guy was, in his own way. He couldn't get out of his own way and that's what destroyed him. ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
Alan Watts published a few essays (including "This is It") compiled in 1958, many "radio" broadcasts of his lectures, and a book "In my Own Way" in 1972. He died in 1973. The author has written this Biography after a decade of research, interviews, and deft indulgence in the techniques of psychobiology.

Ms Furlong draws from Watt's own autobiography ("In my own Way")[206], but also freshly reconstructs the family heritage and childhood of Alan, an only child of attentive parents raised in a happy garden in Chislehurst during WWI. His mother was Fundamentalist and convicted that God was planning great things for Alan. [11]

The page on Watts' late experiences with sex while it tugged him hard is particularly acute but almost global in its compass. [60]

Watts was one of the first Christian clergy to put the Manichaean heritage in perspective, and seek to accept the body. "Behold the Spirit". [105] His parties at the vicarage in Canterbury House were a mix of perpetual fun and discussion. And singing and dancing [107].

So many Zen concepts are original with Watts:
"the Home behind the home", the "secret is in the seeker" [187], and of course, "breathing the Tao stream" [207].

Of course, Watts remained a "glamorous priest" who had been admired but was suddenly disgraced, in a loveless marriage, without a job or home. [126] His friend Gary Snyder described him as "one who sowed problems wherever he went" [149], and his 2d marriage adding 4 children to the previous 2, was failing, at the very time he was increasingly in demand as a speaker all over the country.[150] Watts met Jano and left his family. [151] He discovered and re-infused the "counterculture" of the 1960's. But the worst was the drinking.[199].

The touching account of his death at age 58 in bed--it was not the samadhi tank.[213] He told his daughter he would come back as her child, a red-haired girl. Joan conceived such a child. When Laura was still young she went to a cupboard, pushed some bottles aside, and removed a bottle of vodka. [216]
1 vote keylawk | Dec 29, 2012 |
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