Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Alan Watts 1 of 3 By: Brad Parsley
Alan Watts was born January 6th, 1915 in London. His parents were Christian, so he was exposed to the Christian religion. However when he was teenager, he took the chance to travel to France.There he heard tales of eastern beliefs that intrigued him. This is where he first learned of Buddhism, and it influence his philosophy for the rest of his life.
Watts began writing on eastern themes by the time he was fourteen. Subsequently, he was accepted into the London Buddhist Lodge when he was sixteen. He published his first book in 1936 The Spirit of Zen. Watts was the first person to really popularize and spread the teachings of Buddhism in the West.
Watts moved to America in 1938 to study theology. Originally studying under a zen monk, the teacher’s style of teaching did not suit Watts, so Watts pursued a masters in theology from a college of the Anglican church in Illinois. His thesis merged Christianity and Asian philosophy. Eventually, Watts was not able to incorporate his Buddhist beliefs into Christianity. This led to him leaving the church. Watts would never again declare a religious belief.
Alan Watts moved to California in 1951, and taught in San Francisco from 1951-1957. Afterwards, he started giving weekly lectures on the Berkeley radio station. These works catapulted him into a counter-culture star. He continued recording lectures as well as touring as a freelance speaker and writer until his death in 1973. “Overall Alan Watts developed an extensive audio library of nearly 400 talks and wrote more than 25 books during his lifetime.” Many of his lectures are still broadcasted today. I will delve into some of my favorites in my later posts.
In the meantime, enjoy a recent smooth electronic song released that samples my favorite Alan Watts quote in the beginning. :