The Book by Alan Watts
This note was originally shared in my newsletter Reading Slowly, Savoring the Journey.
I started this book at the beginning of the year, and was so blown away by the first chapter that I had to put it down to reflect for a while. Watts presents his ‘theory of everything’, and it is quite a proposition to ponder. The premise of this book is the singular book Alan Watts would want to give his children to educate them on how to think about life. I’m waiting to rebuild the energy needed to come back to this one.
I’ve been absorbing Watts’ wisdom in a variety of formats — his perspectives are so profound, while also being highly applicable to one’s daily life. I shared earlier that I think this is going to be the year of Watts for me, but it will likely take me many years to absorb even a small portion of his works. Personally, I find that the best way to absorb Watts’ works isn’t to read and study them in detail. Instead, listen to his lectures in audio format, and let them simmer in your mind. You can find many of them for free on YouTube, in podcasts, or purchase collections of them on alanwatts.org.
The thing I love most about Alan Watts is that even when tackling heavy topics, he brings a sense of lightness and humor that makes it so enjoyable. My favorite example of this is hearing him tell the fable of the horses. It’s an incredible story with a powerful lesson, made even more special by his narration. It just hits different.