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The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are Paperback – August 28, 1989
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First, with regard to the title and subtitle, Watts explains that "The Book I am thinking about [and later wrote] would not be religious in the usual sense, but it would have to discuss many things with which religions have been concerned -- the universe and man's place in it, the mysterious center of experience which we call 'I myself.' the problems of life and love, pain and death, and the whole question of whether existence has meaning has meaning in [in italics] any sense of the word."
With regard to the subtitle, Watts explains that there is no need for a new religion or a new bible. "We need a new experience -- a new feeling of what it is to be 'I.Read more ›
When I read these essays now, I am comforted by Watts' brilliant way of making the abstract, a little more "user friendly". The essay, 'How To Be A Genuine Fake' was most helpful as I was studying to become a spiritual counselor (a practitioner)for my church. It seemed as though everyone was holding themselves in some glorious light of what they were doing. It became a new game that they were playing with themselves. "Oh, when I get this practitioner license I will be this and I will be that...Read more ›
Well, looking back, that's perhaps too harsh an assessment, and I will say that Watts's book is an extremely well-written, concise, and clear introduction to Vedantic thought that is as relevant today as it was 35 years ago. I recently picked up the book after 30 years, and found that in many ways I enjoyed it even more than I did back then.
As others have commented more completely on the usefulness and relevance of the philosophy in the book, I will just mention one thing. I really enjoyed his discussion about the fear of death. Watts points out that the way western culture deals practically and philosophically with death, isolating the individual from feeling a part of the universe as a whole on the one hand, and as basically a taboo subject, on the other, is unproductive and ultimately does nothing to resolve the issue. He points out that the denial process of sweeping it under the rug only makes it worse, and that ultimately the only solution is to just face one's fear. If death frightens you or makes you afraid, well then, be afraid. At least be honest about it, because that's the first step to realistically starting to deal with the problem.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've read this short, yet enlightening and dense book before. I just love the way Mr. Watts gets To the heart of the matter. Had to get another copy for my daughter. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
This contained some very interesting ideas, but it was not very well composed.Published 18 days ago by Stephanie Garcia
My boyfriend is a huge fan of alan watts so I figured this book would be perfect. Smaller than expected but you get what you pay for.Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
As a Westerner with limited knowledge of Eastern thought I found The Book very enjoyable and though provoking. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Jaroslav Tuček
Here Alan Watts, demonstrate the 'go togetherness' of things and all conceptual things of the universe. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer