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Tao: The Watercourse Way Paperback – January 12, 1977
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"A gem to remember Watts by . . . There is a flamboyant and fascinating display of learning and complex indications of a personality that seems to have resisted inner pacification."
"Perhaps the foremost interpreter of Eastern disciplines for the contemporary West, Alan Watts had the rare gift of 'writing beautifully the unwritable' . . . Watts begins with scholarship and intellect and proceeds with art and eloquence to the frontiers of the spirit . . . This is a profound and worthy work, left by a teacher to echo and re-echo."
—Los Angeles Times
"A remarkable book because of Alan Watts's talent for communicating Eastern ways of thought . . . not only the last of his works, but the best . . . This book is a 'must.'"
"Watts's last book is in the category of his finest work, a lucid discussion of Taoism and the Chinese language . . . profound, reflective, and enlightening. Moreover, the text supplies a sense of his ebullient spirit behind the revelation of Tao."
From the Inside Flap
ncient and modern sources, Watts treats the Chinese philosophy of Tao in much the same way as he did Zen Buddhism in his classic The Way of Zen. Critics agree that this last work stands as a perfect monument to the life and literature of Alan Watts.
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I've had people ask me if this book was "actionable". That is to say, did it actually influence my judgment and decision making. The answer is a resounding yes. The tenants and principles of Taoism described in The Watercourse Way provide a very concrete framework to view the world through.
Ultimately: choose nature, be patient, capture essence, and don't forget to keep life playful :)
While it is truly impossible to describe what is beyond description, beyond thought or concepts ("The Dao that can be spoked of is not the true Tao.. from the Tao te Ching), Watts does a fine job.
Liked it then.
Still like it.
Watts is probably the best westerner to interpret Eastern thought, at least the Tao.
If you want to get a good feel for Taoist things in a compact format this is the place.
Older but still very relevant.