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The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety Paperback – February 8, 2011
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—Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea
“Perhaps the foremost interpreter of Eastern disciplines for the contemporary West, Watts had the rare gift of ‘writing beautifully the unwritable.’”
—Los Angeles Times
“The wisdom of insecurity is not a way of evasion, but of carrying on wherever we happen to be stationed—carrying on, however, without imagining that the burden of the world, or even of the next moment, is ours. It is a philosophy not of nihilism but of the reality of the present—always remembering that to be of the present is to be, and candidly know ourselves to be, on the crest of a breaking wave.”
—Philip Wheelwright, Arts and Letters
“This book proposes a complete reversal of all ordinary thinking about the present state of man. The critical condition of the world compels us to face this problem: how is man to live in a world in which he can never be secure, deprived, as many are, of the consolations of religious belief? The author shows that this problem contains its own solution—that the highest happiness, the supreme spiritual insight and certitude are found only in our awareness that impermanence and insecurity are inescapable and inseparable from life. Written in a simple and lucid style, it is a timely message.”
—Book Exchange (London)
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Top Customer Reviews
Alan Watts writes about the obvious. But, like so many simple things, we need his clear and effective writing to see that what he says is truely obvious. Basically, we spend too much time planning and anticipating the future and too much time thinking about, lamenting and wishing to change the past. I have dogeared too many corners underlying too many quotes to reproduce them all here, but let me give you a flavor:
"If happiness always depends on the future, we are chasing a will-o-the-wisp that ever eludes our grasp, until the future,and ourselves,vanish in the abyss of death."
This quote is taped to the cover of my fanancial notebook that contains my financial portfolio data, 401K information and reams and reams of retirement plan calculations.
He also wrote:
"But tomorrow and plans for tomorrow can have no significance at all unlessyou are in full contact withthe reality of the present,since it is in the present and onlyin thepresent that you live. There is no other reality than present reality, so that, even if one were to live for endless ages, to live for the future would be to miss the point everlastingly."
This short book contains so many pearls, go get yourself a copy, pick some quotes, write them down, look at them, reread them (e-mail them to me) and get on with living today.
Oh, and if anyone becomes desperate for the answer to the anagram, I know it (after ten years of crossing my eyes at it). But it's much more satisfying to see it for yourself.
The only problem with this book is its short length, although some might consider this an advantage. If you are looking for a more in-depth and rigorous study, try _Behold the Spirit_ or _Psychotherapy East and West_, also by Alan Watts.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a book that can really rock the way you think. After reading it once, I think I will put it down and reread it again in a few months. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Robert Kirk
Provocative and challenging read! I intend to read other works by Watts! When will I? Can't begin to say! Ha, ha!Published 2 days ago by Stuart M. Moore
This book should be required reading for anyone that is alive. Once you are dead you don't have to worry about it.
I love the premise (living in the moment) of this book, but the book itself simply sucked.Published 28 days ago by MLeland
I researched for the best book of Alan Watts' to read first, and this title was nearly always listed. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Josh in FLA
I liked this book A LOT. All the contemporary wisdom of "Advaita" is here. Simply written, nicely put. Glad to have read this book.Published 1 month ago by Soren Kerk
Absolutely the best book I have ever read. When anxiety strikes over circumstances in your life, read this. Its a healer, to say the least.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer