Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Alan Watts 2 of 3 by: Brad Parsley

As I said in my last post, Alan Watts has a great number of recorded lectures.  We can analyze the ideas of Watts and possibly use these teachings to improve our lives thanks to those recordings that have been preserved.  I feel like I have learned important concepts from these lectures.
Watts covers a wide range of topics.  I do not get bored listening to these lectures because Watts punctuates them with many jokes and examples to keep the listener interested.  This is why he referred to himself as a philosophical entertainer.

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In this post, I will be posting a few small clips from different speeches instead of one full lecture because i feel that I will be able to cover more differing material.  However, I’m not sure if I will go this same route for my final post.


This first clip is called “Willing To Die”.  Watts starts off by describing how one should go with the flow.  He gives an allusion of swimming against the stream, and urges the listener to stop resisting the change and “be absolutely willing to die”.  One’s death is just a disappearance of their personal collection of molecules.  Death is a part of life. It is a cycle.  There is birth, and there is death.  “When you don’t resist change… You will reach nirvana.”  Nirvana is the same thing as breathing out, therefore when one stops fighting change or the world, they will achieve nirvana.  A person will be free when they stop resisting change.  But you have to come to grips with death.  A human being can not delay thinking about it.  The sooner one embraces it, the sooner one will be able to “let go”, and stop wasting time worrying about it.


Another great clip is “The Way of Waking Up”.  Waking up is finding out who you are.  Watts explains one has to be ready to “wake up”.  A person should not be looking out.  A person should be looking into himself.  Watt says that people inhibit themselves from waking up.  One has to stop acting like a “victim of the world”, and realize that each and every person is a part of everybody and everything else.


Through these talks you can see that Watts believes in eastern philosophy such as buddhism and taoism more so than the more popular christianity (more popular in America at least).  He has a way of explaining things in a very soothing and inspirational way.  That is why I am a fan of his lectures.

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