Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Zen of Alan Watts

Alan Watts was a philosophical giant, and one of the many great thinkers who was a significant influence in my attempt to understand life & the reality we experience.

His book, titled The Book (on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are), was really one of my earliest glimpses into the realm of Eastern thought.

I found the book at home, around the time I was in college. Along with Eastern Religions class, reading it blew open my mind to the myriad perspectives and philosophies outside my familiar American Judeo-Christian mindset. All of the worlds major & esoteric religions have teachings and ideas that can help us become wiser and more insightful. However, discovering the inner focus and meditative aspects of the Zen tradition was like kicking down a gate in my brain that opened up a completely new outlook.

I wouldn't say I'm a Buddhist (...maybe a Monkey Buddhist!), but it is a system of thought that syncs with my personal sense of the world:

The reality we experience is apparently a lightshow inside (what we perceive to be) our head.

Of course, that doesn't mean that nothing is real!
It means we can only experience & understand things from our particular, limited interpretation of our world. All our knowledge is like a single star in the infinite cosmos of universal possibilities.

The general Buddhist acceptance of scientific theory and rigorous intellectual inquiry also make it flexible enough to effectively address the complexities of the modern world.

I see the different religions and philosophies as simply guides that can help us navigate through life's journey. How we use the teachings is our choice.

Recently on Deroidify I saw the 2 videos in this post. The one at the top is only a couple minutes, & the video below is an hour plus, but they are both excellent.

No comments: