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Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening from the Alan Watts Audio Archives Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

4.8 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born in England in 1915, Alan Watts attended King's College School Canterbury, served on the Council of the World Congress of Faiths (1936-38), and came to the United States in 1938. He held a Master's Degree in Theology from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and an Honorary DD from the University of Vermont in recognition of his work in the field of comparative religions. Alan Watts become widely recognized for his Zen writings and for The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. He died in 1973 at his home in California. For more than forty years, Alan Watts earned a reputation as a foremost interpreter of Eastern philosophies for the West. Beginning at age sixteen, when he wrote an essay for the journal of the Buddhist Lodge in London, he developed an audience of millions who were enriched through his books, tape recordings, radio, television, and public lectures. In all Watts wrote more than twenty-five books and recorded hundreds of lecture and seminars, all building toward a personal philosophy that he shared in complete candor and joy with his readers and listeners throughout the world. His overall works have presented a model of individuality and self-expression that can be matched by few philosophers. He held fellowships from Harvard University and the Bollingen Foundation, and was Episcopal Chaplain at Northwestern University during the Second World War. He became professor and dean of the American Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco, made the television series "Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life" for National Educational Television, and served as a visiting consultant for psychiatric institutions and hospitals, and for the United States Air Force. In the mid-sixties he traveled widely with his students in Japan, and visited Burma, Ceylon, and India.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Sounds True, Incorporated; Unabridged edition (June 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591791650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591791652
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 11 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I don't mean to be irreligious with this title, obviously Alan Watts' CD's are not to be put on the same level as "The Bible" but as someone who has sought answers for most of my life, the set of CD's came as something of a godsend.

This collection does an excellent job of covering the essentials of Watt's philosphies. Most of his books (if you get them) are more detailed reiterations of his lectures here (or more correctly these lectures are synopsese of his books).

If you enjoy having "mondo" or enlightening dialogue - these CD's are for you. In them Watt's personality comes across clearly and his philosphy rolls from him naturally. If you're not already familiar with Watts its hard to describe what you're missing. What I can say is this collection is worth the cost. In it Watts speaks in a manner that is recognizably truthful and attempts to present a new 'mythology' by which we can see the world as it really is.

I can not recommend this too highly - I have listened to the entire 12 CD set more than 10 times. If nothing else it will help you sleep at night.
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After reading the transcripts of his talks, I wanted to hear Watts' voice. There had to be more to what was being said than what could be seen in the page. With my assignments on Watts in college three decades ago, I had just given them a cursory reading for classes on Zen and Taoism. I never gave a lot of consideration about them until recently. Having listened to the CD's and my readings, I was surprised at how much my view points on life were either shaped by those writings or helped along.

Like him, I was raised a Protestant. I was felt comfortable about Zen Buddhism because of Watt views. His Buddhism, though, is his own form of Buddhism because down to his bones Watt really is quite the Anglican. You won't understand that until you hear him lecture, his inflections or his jokes.

Working through my third round of the CDs, I'm in awe of him. In these discussions he lays out the philosophical basis for the environmental movement. There is a discussion of Basho's poetry that makes me wonder how much impact he had in shaping Beat poetry then and our poetry now. There discourse on bits, bytes and nets that anticipated our digital world and information technology. He was much ahead of his philosophical contemporaries and spiritually unlike them he doesn't hide anything from his audience.

What a fine mind and spirit he was.

These CD's are worth the purchase.

Eric Otto

Cincinnati
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Its hard to believe these lectures are 50+ years old. There is absolutely no sense of these tracks being dated in any way. I can listen to the same lecture/episode/track over and over again; like others, I just like listening to his voice. I was already familiar with AW as I used to have some of his tapes in my car in a previous era.

Very few lemons in this bunch, in fact, perhaps only two or three out of the 100+ sections. Best investment I've made in some time.

Its difficult to summarize the content. Perhaps a simple table of contents would be useful (sure wish amazon would make a habit of publishing these!).

CD 1. The nature of consciousness, Part 1
1. Intro
2. Our image of the world
3. The myth of the ceramic construct
4. The myth of the automatic universe
5. A wiggly world
6. A game that's worth the candle
7. An independent system
8. Whose game is it?
9. The world as a drama

CD 2. The nature of consciousness, Part 2
1. Intro
2. Being aware of awareness
3. Captivated by the drama
4. The game of hide and seek
5. Consciousness beyond awareness
6. How do we define ourselves?
7. What it is to see
8. The road to here
9. A re-examination of common sense

CD 3. The web of life, Part 1
1. Intro
2. What did you forget?
3. A spontaneous life
4. Seeing beyond our separateness
5. Intervals between what happens
6. Existence as a function of relationship
7. Understanding the unitive world
8. An implicit agreement
9. To be aware of the melody

CD 4. The web of life, Part 2
1. Intro
2. Web as mutuality
3. The nature of selfishness
4. A perfectly genuine act
5.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
In general, recordings of Alan Watts lectures, even more than his books, convey his playful approach to his teachings. The rare gift of being serious and yet not being too serious is a rare quality that makes his legacy enduring. This collection was mostly recorded on his houseboat, on his own turf so to speak. I have heard many hours of Alan Watts lectures from LP, tape, CD, and mp3 sources. In these "houseboat lectures" he is even more clear, lucid, candid, relaxed, and spontaneous than usual. Whether he is talking about cultural myths and approaches to how the universe was created to sex and a hundred other topics you just get the feeling you are in his living room talking to a bunch of friends and worrying even less than usual, if this is possible for him, about what the officials at a college lecture hall, ministers at a church, or a business conference center would think. This collection is superb in giving you the feeling of what it was like to hear Alan Watts in the most informal of settings. If you are a fan of Alan Watts this CD collection is highly worth the price. I do not know who dug up these recordings and edited them but they did a great job. Thank you.
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