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Nature, Man and Woman [Kindle Edition]

Alan W. Watts
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.01 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1165 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (July 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008C83F54
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,396 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taoism applied to Life and Love June 28, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Although clearly directed to a male audience, I as a woman found much of interest here -- in the application of a Taoist/Zen approach both to love and life in general. A deeply thought and well-articulated book, the scope of Watts' topic is wide but well-supported both logically and factually. A deeply satsifying read with profound implications.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic September 22, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Using some of the basic principles of Taoism, Alan Watts is able to explain to us the true meaning of life, love, and simple existence in an astonishingly simple way. This book is both creative and enlightening. It provides a fresh new perspective on Western culture and how we have sent ourselves to purgatory by developing a certain type of consciousness emphasized in Western culture. If you read another exceptional book called "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" by Toru Sato, you will also learn that this is part of the process of both life and evolution. These are the kind of teachers we truly need more of in this age of chaos and confusion. Highly recommended!
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is possibly my favorite of all Watts' books, and according to his autobiography In My Own Way (another of his best), he considered this one his best-written (not that he was putting down the content, either).
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nature is a Seamless Unity, Whole. September 14, 2005
By Butch
Format:Paperback
For a more formal account of the Chinese philosophy of Nature you may want to look to Mr. Watts book, "The Way of Zen", or to Joseph Needham's "Science and Civilization in China".

This book is about the problem of man's relationship with Nature. A problem that gives rise to the problem of man's relation to woman and to himself. This book was published in 1958. I am certain that today Alan would have taken a more egalitarian approach to the subject of Mankind's alienation from Nature. Even our sages are to an extent the product of their immediate environment. Nurture is the yang to Nature's yin. In my opinion this book should be read by every High School student in America,.. by everyone.

The Taoist philosophy of Nature is more than a theoretical system, it is primarily a way of life in which the original sense of the seamless unity of Nature is restored without the loss of individual consciousness. To follow the watercourse way of Taoism is like a hand that has been reunited with its body. It is still a hand, but now it is part of something bigger than its narrow sense of self.

For the Taoist the mystery of life is not so much a problem to be solved intellectually as it is a reality to be experienced intuitively. Intuition is of a higher order because it includes the rational mind. Synthesis is the product of the whole person. The left and right hemispheres of our brains working as one. Nature is a synergetic whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, a synergetic organic unity. Nature, though it has mechanistic characteristics, is not a machine. We are a microcosm of the macrocosm, Nature in miniature. Nature is not made up of space and matter. Nature is an energy field of varying density. Nature is whole, more a volume than a line.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing... February 26, 2008
By David
Format:Paperback
This is a beautiful and truly enlightening book. I read it in less than a week because I couldn't put it down. I bought about 9 other copies and passed them out to my professors and my friends in the Christian ministry. The only regret I'll ever have about my life is that I didn't get to meet this man in person to express my gratitude.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best! March 5, 2014
By Gabe
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One does not complete this book. This book serves as a constant reference to not only spiritually, but just generally for life's ills and triumphs. Watts exemplifies his ability to engage the reader so directly in easy to understand language and conceptually simple examples, while still being broad enough to suggest his wisdom for the majority of one's spiritual, emotional and cognitive queries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Alan Wilson Watts (1915-1973) was a British-born philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as a populariser of Eastern philosophy. He and his then-wife left England for America in 1938 on the eve of WWII, and he became an Episcopal priest---but he left the priesthood in 1950 and moved to California, where he became a cult figure in the Beat movement of the 1950s and later. He wrote many popular books, such as The Spirit of Zen, The Way of Zen, This Is It, Psychotherapy East & West, Beyond Theology, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, Does It Matter?, Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown, Tao: The Watercourse Way, and his autobiography, In My Own Way.

He wrote in the Preface to this 1958 book, "I have been puzzled by the way in which exponents of the life of the spirit do not seem to be at home in nature and in their bodies...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Old friend
I read Nature "Man and Woman" in paper back, when just out of high school. It introduced me to Eastern philosophy and to Alan Watts. Read more
Published 5 months ago by R. V. Clayton
5.0 out of 5 stars Erudite and eloquently written food for (deep) thought
I have been reading and rereading this book since 2002, when a dear friend mailed it to me as a present. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jos Knippen
5.0 out of 5 stars Transcendental, revealing, empowering
It's as if Mr. Watts speaks directly through your voice, and every proposal illustrates the truth right before your eyes.
Published 10 months ago by TTyme
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Watts is still important
Watts' work is still amazingly relevant. His exposition of timeless philosophical themes is deep and accessible at the same time. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Timothy Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably his best work.
I have read most of his work and continue to study his lectures and writings. This book is probably his best. Read more
Published 18 months ago by mister hister
5.0 out of 5 stars Social Understanding
I decided to transition into a better person decades ago. That everything that I know and believe was founded on my social experiences to date. Read more
Published on July 17, 2011 by Danielle Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Alan Watts in his prime.
That's all you need to know. If the forces of the universe brought your attention to this book then buy it, enough said.

Enjoy :)
Published on June 13, 2011 by Tree Truffle
3.0 out of 5 stars Nature Man and Woman
I had read 2 books by Alan Watts. This is the 3rd.
This book is positively boring if you are not a Christian. Read more
Published on October 7, 2009 by Ashvini Vishvakarma
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