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Nature, Man and Woman
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Nature, Man and Woman

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  633 ratings  ·  26 reviews
A provocative and enduring work that reexamines humanity's place in the natural world -- and the spirit's relation to the flesh -- in the light of Chinese Taoism.

That human beings stand separate from a nature that must be controlled, that the mind is somehow superior to the body, and that all sexuality entails a seduction -- a danger and a problem-are all assumptions upon
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ebook, 224 pages
Published July 11th 2012 by Vintage (first published January 1st 1958)
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Carrie
Jan 07, 2008 Carrie added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Arun
Watts says: "We know that the fish swim in constant fear of their lives, that they hang motionless so as not to be seen, and dart into motion because they are just nerves, startled into a jump by the tiniest ghost of an alarm. We know that the 'love of nature' is a sentimental fascination with surface-that the gulls do not float in the sky for delight but in watchful hunger for fish, that the golden bees do not dream in the lilies but call as routinely for honey as collection agents for rent, an ...more
Greg
Can't go wrong with Alan Watts. Can't go right either. Opposites implied and all.

Nancy Bevilaqua
Damn--over too soon. Watts describes and explains the alternatives to our often utilitarian, puritanical, guilt-ridden (and anything but spiritual) ways of thinking about love-making, and considers that, contrary to popular opinion, sex, the natural world, and spirituality need not be mutually exclusive at all-he doesn't denounce the celibacy of the spiritual seeker, but he doesn't see it as the only way. Taoism and Zen have always appealed to me, but Watts has a way of breathing life into his i ...more
Chaz
Alan Watts is brilliant and at times mind spinning philosopher that often is beyond my intellectual grasp. In this work he questions our divorce, abuse, and distrust of the natural world.
He suggest that in time and technological expansion that we will be increasingly isolated and find ourselves at odds with ourselves and the environment. To state the obvious -- he got it.

Further on He delves into Eastern fertility practices and the Kundalani/serpent yoga experience.
A noteworthy quote:
"for the
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Gusmenary
Buddhism isn't for everyone. I recently began working at a temple out west (in chicago) and so my interest in this subject has resurfaced. My family converted (as much as one can convert to a non-religion) to buddhism when I was about twelve. Church on sunday immediately ceased and we were all a lot happier. I didn't really start understanding the precepts of the middle way until, perhaps, high school. I had tried like many others to understand buddhism by trying to read D.T. Suzuki's Understand ...more
Erik Graff
May 10, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: persons interested in Zen and Taoism
Recommended to Erik by: Anne-Lise Graff
Shelves: philosophy
This, along with The Book, were the two books Mother had by Alan Watts which I read at the end of high school and which got me interested enough to read other volumes by him as I encountered copies at used bookstores. These two volumes and the influence of a friend, Michael Miley, got me into the study of religion through the back door of Eastern mysticism despite strong prejudices against the whole concept of religion.
Travis Hosgood
He seems to take the best bits of Christianity, Buddhism, zen, Taoism, Vedanta and mold it into simple linguistics. Be my babies daddy Mr. watts.
Matthew
This book was just what I needed to read when I read it. I love when that happens. It reminded me of just what part of myself has been neglected thus far in my life.... instinct, feeling (as opposed to logical thinking) and helped me relax around 'knowing' and remind me I have an 'understanding' of a different sort when I can tune it in.

And written in a beautiful style, not at all academic or verbose, but beautiful and evocative and occasionally poetic in the same way as the subject he describe
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J Ruth
Alan Watts demands your mind and soul in this book. And I mean REALLY. Readers cannot be halfway there, almost awake, kinda into it. His brain is complex. His comprehension of the deeper layers of humanity and struggle with everything from religion to sexuality is delusion-shattering and beautiful. This is another book I have read but will always have sitting nearby with a page marked by notes. This is read and currently always reading. He's that gifted.
Bryan
Not the place to start with Alan Watts. Often meanders repetitively, almost as if to decrease the proportion of sexy parts. And also perhaps pad what should be a couple really long essays. I really feel like it could have easily been a third to a half shorter. Also, being a Watts fan, and given the topic, I had inflated expectations. If it weren't for that, and the extra fat, this would probably be five stars.
Steve Woods
The master! This work is pretty dense and it takes some work but it is worth it. Watts develops some ideas that I have seen in his work before but here in great detail. The writings of this man have changed my life. He never ceases to amaze me with hi intellect and his grasp of the human condition! Great stuff
Brandyn
I love Alan Watts; this book, however, feels a bit dated. So far, I'm not really getting much out of it that I don't either already agree with, and what I don't agree with, it's often because it seems to me a bit naïve and uninformed due to the era he was writing in. Time will tell as I work through it.
Charlotte
I could be strangled by scientific knowledge. This book describes truth, and the need to feel to know. This book gives me the courage to strive for life without inner conflict, but rest with the paradox that life wouldn't exist without contradictions.
Katalin Koda
One of my favorite authors, his writing is pure poetry; the abstract of the East captured by the English language, something that remains effortless in his writing, effortless as Zazen, something that is incredibly difficult.
Curt
This book really did it for me...had me going for quite awhile. It still flavors any physics, evolution, or economics that I read.

Follwed it up with Aikido and the Harmony of Nature and I'd say that was good choice.
Joy
This book started me on an authentic seeker path. Though I eventually left Alan Watts behind, I am so grateful for this little book. Whatever truly speaks to you, go with it.
Alicia Grega
pulling from thorough and broad research, digs deep and eloquently summarizes that which makes so much sense it's got to be true - exactly what we've come to expect from Watts.
Vanessa
This man abounds with theories on the historical meanderings of the roles of men and women and nature... and religion. It gets preachy, just to warn you.
Ben Patterson
Worth a read, though Watts' thinking is less clear and his reasoning weaker. There are a lot of ideas here, some good and some more questionable.
Rob Springer
This may have been the last Watts I read. If so, it was the one where he took Oneness to an extreme where good and evil seemed to meet.
Scott
absolutely amazing insights into human nature. just he sucks at writing and never really gets to the point.
Leonardo
Tons of wisdom, and for a book written pre-1960's, it reads as if it was a live commentary on today.
Artie
Dec 12, 2012 Artie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: some people
Shelves: religious-study
Watts describes this book as his personal favorite. I don't think so. Still pretty good though!
Brian Dean
Oct 25, 2007 Brian Dean is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Whenever I ask my friends if they've heard of him they say, no. Unbelievable
Scott
wow.

turn everything upside down and start over.

Joshua
Sep 05, 2010 Joshua is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
"I am God, you are God, everything is God, and God is a boundless and featureless, sea of dimly conscious tapioca pudding."
Juliet
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Dec 18, 2014
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Dec 17, 2014
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Alan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher, writer, speaker, who held both a master's in theology & a doctorate of divinity. Famous for his research on comparative religion, he was best known as an interpreter & popularizer of Asian philosophies for a Western audience. He wrote over 25 books & numerous articles on subjects such as personal identity, the true nature of reality, higher ...more
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“Thought and science are therefore raising problems which their terms of study can never answer, many of which are doubtless problems only for thought. The trisection of an angle is similarly an insoluble problem only for compass and straight-edge construction, and Achilles cannot overtake the tortoise so long as their progress is considered piecemeal, endlessly having the distance between them. However, as it is not Achilles but the method of measurement which fails to catch up with the tortoise, so it is not man but his method of thought which fails to find fulfillment in experience.” 5 likes
“The answer to the problem of suffering is not away from the problem but in it. The inevitability of pain will not be met by deadening sensitivity but by increasing it, by exploring and feeling out the manner in which the natural organism itself wants to react and which its innate wisdom has provided.” 2 likes
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