He was born January 6, 1915, which means Alan Watts would be 100 years old today. The British-born writer, philosopher, and speaker significantly influenced mid-20th-century American audiences with his books and lectures on Eastern philosophy - and changed America in the process.
A former Episcopal priest, he left the ministry in 1950 and joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies. His books include The Way of Zen, The Wisdom of Insecurity, and Tao: The Watercourse Way.
Consider what the United States was like during the Eisenhower years when these influential books began to be published, and you will understand how reading him must have shaken things up.
Here is his complete lecture, "The Veil of Thoughts" (1 hour, 13 minutes) in which he explores how "thought" can be a means of concealing the "truth."
TAGS: Famous Birthdays, Writers & Writing, Historical Figures & Events
I like big books, and I cannot lie. My background includes talk radio, newspapers and TV news. I've hosted a morning-drive classical music program on the California coast and published nationally in Reader's Digest, the Christian Science Monitor, and Playboy. I've won awards for my journalism and my fiction. One of my essays even made it into an anthology for college English courses. For real? Yes, for real.
If you’re reading this website, think of me as a troubadour standing on the street corner, strumming a guitar and singing a few songs. Not everyone who comes this way is able to make contribution. But if you’re one of the passers-by who can, then feel free to drop a little spare change in my hat by clicking either the Donate or the Become a Patron button below.