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Alan Watts and Eastern Beliefs

 

Insofar as any belief system is worth study, I think that Buddhism/Hinduism would be my choice. Don't get me (or Alan Watts) wrong, I do NOT buy into mysticism of any sort - reincarnation included - but, as Watts shows in these lectures, we need to put aside the easy, cliched notions that most of us have imbibed through movies, and be open to a world-view that is genuinely interesting. 

I'm not a Buddhist (and I'm almost sure that neither was Watts), but I take several ideas from Buddhism and include them in the humanist part of my materialist world-view. Ideas like avoiding the entanglement of attachments; realising that the universe is so much more than the tiny, sense-limited picture we are able to perceive; looking in, not out, for answers and understanding - and several more 'memes' that I find convincing, useful or both.  To dismiss the genuine scholarship and thinking that underpins Buddhism/Hinduism would be parochial to the point of delusion, but to study it in depth is the work of a lifetime (or, perhaps, several....:-) ).

Watts explains the often deeply ineffable Buddhist/Hindu world-view with a clarity, empathy and scholarship that gets as close as anyone I've ever read or heard to expressing the basic nature of Buddhist beliefs, coherently,  to an audience willing to devote a few hours, but certainly not months, let alone years, of attention.

 

Click below to listen to his entire lecture series, titled 'Loosing your Mind'. 

I'm sorry, but I've made this only available to members - call it a treat to the few that have bothered to register :-)

 

Alan Watts Lectures

 

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