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The Supreme Identity

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  115 ratings  ·  12 reviews essay on Oriental metaphysic and the Christian religion

_The Supreme Identity_ is one of the more important among the earlier works by Alan Watts. It engages the reader with a rigorous theological discussion which is thought provoking yet mentally taxing. At times he lapses into hair-splitting minutae in examining theological issues, and the result is what the author
Paperback, 204 pages
Published September 12th 1972 by Vintage (first published 1950)
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Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'll admit it, it's a tough read, and took me several tries to get through it; but it is so very worth the effort. In fact, part of the reason I had such a hard time getting through it is because Watts kept blowing my mind, which made reading on impossible; I had to absorb it a bit at a time. It was the same way with Thoreau's Walden. But maybe I'm just slow?

This is a deep book, his most scholarly that I know about, and I've read most of his work. In the foreward to the new edition, he calls the
Timothy Muller
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I lent my copy of this book years ago, and it was never returned; so I don’t have it at hand. However it is one of Alan Watt’s best books and it was of great help to me.

Alan Watts was an intellectual in the best sense of the word. He seems a rare instance of a Jñana yogi, one whose approach to ultimate reality, both to the understanding of one’s own being and of the “Supreme Identity” is fundamentally intellectual, one for whom mere ideas had a greater impact than upon most people. In any case,
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Difficult at times to read. Many of his arguments are unnecessarily lengthy and there are several instances where he could have made his points equally well with fewer words. But it was an interesting read with several fascinating theories.
Shannon McKenzie
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-growth
I should always put this as "currently reading." Trees are treeing. People are peopling. We do not dance to arrive at a place on the floor. A profoundly dynamic read.
Rudolph Fernandez
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the most authoritative authors, on the relationship between the finite and infinite realms.
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fascinating and often compelling meditation on the through-lines of mystical Christian and Eastern thought.
Rob Springer
Aug 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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. He was trying to describe the Vedantic idea of Oneness. I realized I preferred to think of the One as Good, not beyond good and evil. It was an idea of God I would not let go of, and it became a turning point in my life. I realized I was of the West, and it was in the West I would find my way of God. For that, I'll give it five stars.
Aleksandar Janković
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Very dense read. It makes you want to stop and think quite often, before continuing on. Sometimes he goes into splitting theological atoms, but always manages to swim out of abstraction and into practicality. I didn't care for the Christian point of view and discussion, but I still managed to get really into this book. It sums up his entire philosophy quite well.
Mr Disco
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps the best book I've ever read outside of the Tao Te Ching.
Lloyd Robinson
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First read: profound but hard to get through. Second reading: mind blowing. Fifth read: still mind blowing.
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Alan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher, writer and speaker, who held both a Master's in Theology and a Doctorate of Divinity. Famous for his research on comparative religion, he was best known as an interpreter and popularizer of Asian philosophies for a Western audience. He wrote over 25 books and numerous articles on subjects such as personal identity, the true nature of reality, higher con ...more
“Our progress has been almost exclusively technological, which means that we are able to manipulate the physical world ever more sensationally, to increase the speed, the span, and the powers of material existence without any clear idea of what to do with the time gained and the powers acquired.” 0 likes
“... for as the reality of light cannot be proved or described in terms of visible shape, the reality of the infinite cannot be proved in terms of the finite. For this reason every attempt to prove the existence of God by logic is a foregone failure. Logic cannot reach God. It may travel backwards in time from effect to cause, effect to cause, but as long as it stays in time, as it must, it cannot touch the eternal. That which doesn't not begin with the infinite cannot end with it.” 0 likes
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