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Publisher's Summary

Modern Western culture and technology is inextricably tied to the belief in the existence of a self as a separate ego, separated from and in conflict with the rest of the world. In this classic book, Watts provides a lucid and simple presentation of an alternative view based on Hindu and Vedantic philosophy.

©1966 Alan Watts (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Dylan
  • PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States
  • 04-09-15

Invaluable Insight

Just to get it out of the way, I gave the 'performance' 3 stars because the narrator has a bit of a lisp, but I got used to it. Anyway, the actual review:

I've long been a fan of Alan Watts. He communicates concepts from the East with much respect to the fundamental differences we in the West have in in terms of our understanding of reality and the thought process behind our actions. Most importantly, he does so with a sense of humor. I laughed out loud innumerable times throughout 'The Book', whether because of his taut mastery of dry humor or how it's used to illuminate something complicated in a refreshingly simple manner.

I've digested a lot of literature on Buddhism and meditation, and have been practicing every day for about a year now, and what's discussed in this book brought satisfaction to a number of puzzles and frustrations I've acquired on my journey, some that I didn't even realize I had until he laid them out for me. Not only did it teach me where I am on the path to understanding, but it instilled confidence in myself for the way forward.

I'd recommend this book to anyone, not until you've found some modicum of consistent success (good practice) with meditation, otherwise some of the musings may seem too ethereal to be of any value. Trust me, they aren't.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Diana
  • Antelope Valley, CA, United States
  • 07-01-15

Alan Watts is THE MAN! The HUMAN!

Alan Watts gives me so many light bulb moments when he talks that I feel all warm and bright and hopeful. He is the antidote to all the stupidity we are exposed to everyday.

That's all.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Greatly enjoyed listening to narrator.

The only thing that could have made listening to this book more perfect is if Alan Watts had narrated it himself.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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better muted

great book.... however,i could not get through a chapter of the narration. really tough to listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Superb! Enlightening!

Eloquence of what is and its finest. If you’re looking for peace in a world that has given you the option of ignorant religion or bleak death, this book untangles our deep connection to everything and offers a third, much needed perspective.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Mindblowing, eye opening, and beautifully written

Mindblowing, eye opening, and beautifully written... A must for everyone who is in the searching of oneself

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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This may be THE Book.

Buckle your seatbelt. Alan Watts is about to take you for a ride that might change your life. A brief, but comprehensive exploration of metaphysics, philosophy and the meaning of life.
It may take one 100's of books and 1000's of hours to compile the knowledge and understanding presented in this book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Like Watts not this book

Ideaa may have been eye opening in the 60's "everything is connected" but that concept is very common and accepted today. Then some dragged out discussions that went no where. Could not continue wiry this book. Mind numbing.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful Duality

The Book, with no pun intended, was a Godsend! There were so many intelligent points made throughout and fallacies laid to rest throughout The Book, with quotes from other rational intellects, besides the great Alan Watts himself! He is a voice of cool collectedness in a world of chaos. If anyone has any fear and worries of the end of life, I think Alan puts them to rest, or at the minimum, makes the thought a little easier to swallow.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Philosophy is lost on me.

There is nothing wrong with the book. A friend recommended it to me and I found I couldn't pay attention. The performer's voice is very calm. I could totally fall asleep listening to him, but I listen to audio boks while I drive...

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert Lumley
  • 09-29-15

Life changing

This IS the book we have been looking for, undeniable truth and thrilling in its premise. Incredible

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • billco
  • 11-17-16

Vedanta for 20th century.

Needs more than one reading, that's for sure. It's hard to remain separate from the universal atom after this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • shane
  • 10-19-16

Amazing

Articulate and enchanting view of life and the world. Alan Watts was and still is one of the best thinkers in philosophy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marlene Visser
  • 07-03-18

This is quite literally "The Book"...

You have to let go of what you know and then read this book. For anyone who has not heard of Alan Watts before, I recommend listening to some of his lectures on YouTube. It takes time to embrace some of rhe the concepts he speaks of, but they are well worth the mental battle.

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  • Vasemaca
  • 08-31-17

Simply stylish .

In typical Watt's style .He explains metaphysics and does it so well.I have listened to it 10 times.