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Become What You Are Paperback – March 11, 2003
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In this collection of writings, including nine new chapters never before available in book form, Watts displays the intelligence, playfulness of thought, and simplicity of language that has made him so perennially popular as an interpreter of Eastern thought for Westerners. He draws on a variety of religious traditions, and covers topics such as the challenge of seeing ones life just as it is, the Taoist approach to harmonious living, the limits of language in the face of ineffable spiritual truth, and the psychological symbolism of Christian thought.
From the Back Cover
In this collection of writings, including nine new chapters never before available in book form, Watts displays the intelligence, playfulness of thought, and simplicity of language that has made him so perennially popular as an interpreter of Eastern thought for Westerners. He draws on a variety of religious traditions, and covers topics such as the challenge of seeing one's life "just as it is," the Taoist approach to harmonious living, the limits of language in the face of ineffable spiritual truth, and the psychological symbolism of Christian thought.
- Publisher : Shambhala; Expanded ed. edition (March 11, 2003)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 144 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1570629404
- ISBN-13 : 978-1570629402
- Item Weight : 6.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.48 x 0.42 x 8.43 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #23,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Additionally, he discusses how forces seemingly in opposition are necessary in life, the yin and yang. For without one, we would not know the other. We would not know love without pain, night without day, life without death… Watts takes an opportunity to delve further into Taoism as a basis for living in peace and harmony with the way of the world. The Tao is a complex topic to truly grasp, and one that you may never fully ascertain due to the nature of the Tao.
I admit that I had to read several of the chapters multiple times to really grasp the deeper content that Watts was trying to get across. However, his writing flows like a river from thought to thought, painting you a vivid picture with colorful language. The metaphors he uses jump off the page and into your imagination. You walk alongside his travellers in their journey to seek answers to life’s toughest riddles while simultaneously questioning everything you thought you knew.
After reading this book, I found a new peace in my life that had not been there before. I realized that I am not able to control everything and should enjoy the life I have while I am still here. I also realized that there is nothing to fear in death. It is the other part of life; it is what we all knew before we were born, and what we will all know once more. There was no pain in those moments before birth, as there will be no moments of pain after death.
With the help of this book, as well as The Wisdom of Insecurity and several of his lectures on YouTube, I have started to take more chances and am no longer as afraid to try new things that once scared me. For instance, I have dreamed of becoming a DJ for many years now, but have always been too afraid to fail and for what my social circle would think if I told them I wanted to pursue a career in music instead of education. However, after reading this book, I found a new confidence within myself and enrolled in a two year DJ program. If there is something that you are afraid to do, after reading this book, I believe you will have found the courage to do it.
I believe Alan Watts was on to something that we all need to be in tune with and reading Become What You Are is the first step down an unknown path, but it is your path.
Watts is the western voice for eastern thought. Brilliant orator, iconic beard, and graceful, funny, impish and wise writer. DID I MENTION THE BEARD? Gaze upon it. NO. Don’t look away. Look harder. Peer longer. Yearn for its acceptance.
Actually, don’t yearn. Don’t worship beards, no matter how magnificent. Don’t look elsewhere for answers to the questions of you.
This book, yes, technically, is “elsewhere.” But it’s not an answer. It’s a map that might guide you to your own. Check it out.
And grow a beard. Ladies too.