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Remembering Alan Watts:
January 6, 1915 to November 16, 1973

124 words

Alan Watts was born on this day in 1915. A prolific scholar and dazzling stylist, Watts is best known as the chief popularizer of Asian philosophy for the Beat and Hippy movements, but he was also an original thinker in his own right and a quiet man of the Right. In commemoration of his birth, I wish to draw your attention to these works at Counter-Currents:

 

 

 

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One Comment

  1. Jeff Goodman
    Posted January 10, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    For me, as I am sure for many new readers, Counter Currents is proving to be the place where so much of what we have all been intellectually starved for seems to have collected. The first of the articles linked above is a prime example. It speaks directly to an intersection of Western identity and Eastern thought which has personal relevance for me but no doubt could prove crucial for many. Recognizing the growing need to place a higher value on our White identity means, for thoughtful people, resolving what we have been through heretofore in a thoughtful way. I know so far of few if any other outlets through which this need is being addressed so well.

    I have attempted as much as possible to live a Taoist way of life since the late 1990s, after going through my initial philosophical and religious exploration as a young adult. Early on it became apparent that living the kind of harmony the Tao Te Ching promotes meant embracing the physical, biological, and cultural realities in which I found myself. I am not Chinese, but rather a White American. The Tao itself seemed to speak against any attempt to take up the trappings of some other culture to which I was not born, though I also understood it was as intrinsic to traditional Chinese culture as Aurelio suggests in his article.

    So, after reading a few books on the subject, I decided it best to simply read the Tao Te Ching from time to time (for periods, including the last couple of years, on a daily basis) and try to apply its precepts to my life, taking instruction from any other sources as they might present themselves. When I went to college I studied Western philosophy. The Tao guided me in this study, however, as a kind of subtextual influence. Not surprisingly I developed a great enthusiasm for Arthur Schopenhauer, whom Aurelio also aptly mentions.

    More recently, I took up some study of Greek mythology. Taoist insights here allowed me to see the Gods and heroes as metaphysical realities in a way I do not think I would have been able to otherwise. Aurelio, in his reply to one of the comments below his article, describes something very like what I too experienced with relation to my classmates in a class I took on the subject.

    In its religious dimension, Taoism doesn’t just recognize one God or a handful but pretty much all Gods and then some. At the same time, that is not to say the Tao in any way prohibits acknowledging that some religions are clearly better, and even more or less valid, than others. There need be no contradiction here. Just as there need be no contradiction between acknowledging differences between people (whether on the level of the individual, of families, or of nations) and assigning to all human life the high value it deserves.

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