Discuss The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

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Discuss The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

Post Number:#1  Postby Scott » March 31st, 2013, 5:31 pm

Please use this topic to discuss the March/April 2013 philosophy book of the month, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts.
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Re: Discuss The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You A

Post Number:#2  Postby Toadny » April 11th, 2013, 12:01 pm

Alan Watts was a charlatan, he didn't even consider himself a philosopher, he described himself as an entertainer. He was a disgusting hypocrite, preaching abstinence and renunciation while he drank and smoked himself to death, and he was a sexual predator, taking advantage of his gullible disciples. So a typical priest, and indeed he was an Episcopalian priest until his wife found out he was having an affair and he was kicked out of that organisation.

Don't read his book, look elsewhere for wisdom.
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Re: Discuss The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You A

Post Number:#3  Postby Granth » April 14th, 2013, 6:16 pm

Toadny wrote:Alan Watts was a charlatan, he didn't even consider himself a philosopher, he described himself as an entertainer. He was a disgusting hypocrite, preaching abstinence and renunciation while he drank and smoked himself to death, and he was a sexual predator, taking advantage of his gullible disciples. So a typical priest, and indeed he was an Episcopalian priest until his wife found out he was having an affair and he was kicked out of that organisation.

Don't read his book, look elsewhere for wisdom.

Did you read his book?

For me, this particular book from Watts, comes fourth behind Wisdom of Insecurity, Nature Man and Woman and Psychotherapy East and West.

I'm not interested in any author's personal life and even more particuarly so from a perspective of 2nd or 3rd and beyond parties. To do so is to be somewhat corrupted by celebrity culture and idle gossip. We have all lived and live in a mad world and are all, therefore, subject to its mad condition. And it is never surprising to me that a great mind will often also use forms of anaesthetic substances as an attempt to take holidays from it all. for all I know Watts' wives could have quite conceivably had their own personal emotional issues. I would be surprised if they did not. And then there are the personal emotional conditions of followers of any great mind whom are more often just looking for daddy or mummy substitutes whom hide their sychophantic tendencies behind guises of that of a listener and intelligent digestor of words and whom when feel rejected by their "saviour" seek some form of retribution via the media.
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Re: Discuss The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You A

Post Number:#4  Postby Toadny » April 15th, 2013, 3:47 am

Granth wrote:Did you read his book?


Yes, I was lied to by this hypocritical creep decades ago.

I'm not interested in any author's personal life


That would be fine if he was writing about mechanical engineering, or if it was a novel, but in this case he is telling the rest of us how to live, he is preaching at us. A drunken sexual predator telling his followers to renounce desire. It's extremely naive to ignore your spiritual guide's personal life, Granth the Enlightened.
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Re: Discuss The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You A

Post Number:#5  Postby Granth » April 15th, 2013, 4:40 am

Toadny wrote:(Nested quote removed.)


Yes, I was lied to by this hypocritical creep decades ago.


(Nested quote removed.)


That would be fine if he was writing about mechanical engineering, or if it was a novel, but in this case he is telling the rest of us how to live, he is preaching at us. A drunken sexual predator telling his followers to renounce desire. It's extremely naive to ignore your spiritual guide's personal life, Granth the Enlightened.


A spiritual guide was/is he? This sarcastic criticism sounds like it came from a rejected sycophant. He was merely a clever scholar, an ordinary and highly intelligent man, who translated and interpreted zen and taoism for the English speaking public.

I have never read anything he has written where he has renounced desire. Because this is one of your critiques, then the onus is really on you to provide the evidence of this. Otherwise your words of criticism are really no more than your predictable emotional vomit.
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Re: Discuss The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You A

Post Number:#6  Postby Quotidian » April 15th, 2013, 5:00 am

That book is on my all-time favourites list. Read it in 1972 and it has had a life-long effect. I did later learn that Watts did have his problems, including being - let's not pull any punches - an alchoholic. But he was an excellent prose stylist, extremely insightful, and also an important influence on the nascent counter-culture movement in the West. I would recommend the book to any contributor here.
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Re: Discuss The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You A

Post Number:#7  Postby Toadny » April 15th, 2013, 7:53 am

Quotidian wrote:Watts did have his problems, including being - let's not pull any punches - an alcoholic.


And a serial sexual predator, taking advantage of his gullible followers and betraying his partners, leading to a divorce and sacking as a priest, don't let's forget that shall we?
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Re: Discuss The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You A

Post Number:#8  Postby Granth » April 15th, 2013, 5:46 pm

.....

-- Updated April 17th, 2013, 5:03 am to add the following --

Toadny wrote:(Nested quote removed.)


And a serial sexual predator, taking advantage of his gullible followers and betraying his partners, leading to a divorce and sacking as a priest, don't let's forget that shall we?




Many of us have chemical addictions to childhood emotional states/conditions. Drugs, such as alcohol, is 'chemistry', as a reaction, in the body.

The alcohol influenced chemistry corrupts our ability to reason. Emotional chemistry influence's corrupts our ability to reason.


Another thing about a writer is that their words are what is important, at least to me. Everything else is just the personality. And with personality aspects being brought into any debate, which is an emotional tendency rather than necessarily a reasoned one, what inevitably develops are forms of personality politics. "Granth the Enlightened" is just an example of personality politics.

For me, Alan Watts' personality, once I was introduced to it via youtube where it was displayed either with just his voice or film, I found to be an irritation. I found his personality made him come across as a bit of a show pony. However, this never put me off his books which will ever remain favourites of mine. I just do not bother to look up any of his lectures online. His fine works are well accounted for in literature.

It wouldn't surprise me if Alan Watts allowed his alcohol addiction to influence his reasoning capability in social life and situations, or, in fact, allow his personality and the influence of it on others, to influence HIS reasoning capacity in social life and situations. All he would have influenced however, in the latter scenario, in the superficial sense (as personalities are inherently superficial aspects of ourselves), is the SUPERFICIAL PERSONALITY of others and, possibly also, their superficial sexual demands.

One's sex is often used by either gender to glean some sense of power from or over another whom one may assume to be more powerful than themselves (eg, Monica Lewinski and Bill Clinton). Sexual politics and personality politics are really one and the same. They are just parts of social politics in this animal kingdom we sometimes confuse as humanity ('humanity' being an ideal or potential rather than a global actuality, on a universal scale. Individually, however, we can achieve at eventually becoming Human).

Personality does not interest me unless it is a social occasion designed around games with rules. Personalities are inherently superficial. People who only behave as their personality become a bore to me.

Personalities are like stars of their own parade. People who attempt to use their personalities, rather than any actual talent, BECOME MERELY stars of their own parade.

Alan Watts' scholarly TALENT is unsurpassed as an English interpreter of Eastern philosophies.



Toadny wrote:(Nested quote removed.)


And a serial sexual predator, taking advantage of his gullible followers and betraying his partners, leading to a divorce and sacking as a priest, don't let's forget that shall we?


So his presumed sexual weaknesses and his alcoholism ARE forgotten by me (as I read his books, which is the only 'Watts' I am interested in) and quite deliberately and consciously so.
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