Alan Watts On Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life

Watch Alan Watts On Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life

  • 1971
  • 1 Season

Alan Watts On Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life is a series of lectures by philosopher and writer Alan Watts, recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In this series, Watts explores the intersection of Eastern and Western philosophy and spirituality, offering insights and guidance for how we can live meaningful lives in the modern world.

Throughout the lectures, Watts draws on a range of Eastern spiritual traditions, including Taoism, Zen Buddhism, and Hinduism, to shed light on questions central to the human experience. He addresses topics such as the nature of self, the illusions of ego and time, and the interconnection of all things. He also offers practical advice for living a more mindful and fulfilling life, such as the importance of letting go of attachment and embracing change.

One of the strengths of this series is Watts' ability to make complex concepts accessible to a broad audience. He uses vivid metaphors and examples to illustrate his points, making it easy for even those who are new to these ideas to follow along. At the same time, his lectures are also intellectually rigorous, offering a deep exploration of the insights and wisdom of Eastern philosophy.

Another highlight of the series is Watts' engaging and charismatic presence. He is a dynamic speaker, with a wit and humor that keeps the lectures lively and engaging. He is also deeply compassionate, and his talks are infused with a sense of genuine caring for his audience and a desire to help them find meaning and purpose in their lives.

In addition to its philosophical and spiritual content, Alan Watts On Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life also offers a fascinating window into the cultural and political context of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Watts was a prominent figure in the counterculture movement of the time, and his lectures reflect both the optimism and disillusionment of that era. He speaks candidly about the challenges of finding meaning and purpose in a society that often seems to prioritize material wealth and success at the expense of individual well-being.

Overall, Alan Watts On Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life is a powerful and thought-provoking series that offers valuable insights and guidance for anyone seeking to live a more mindful and fulfilling life. It is an excellent resource for anyone interested in Eastern philosophy or spirituality, as well as those seeking to navigate the complexities of the modern world with greater wisdom and compassion. Whether you are a long-time fan of Alan Watts or are encountering his work for the first time, this series is a must-watch.

Alan Watts On Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (18 episodes). The series first aired on December 31, 1971.

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Buddhism And Christianity
18. Buddhism And Christianity
December 31, 1960
Alan Watts brings his expertise to bear in this presentation of Mahayana Buddhist and traditional Christian world views (he was once an Episcopal priest), and how to bring the two together.
Zen In Fencing And Judo
17. Zen In Fencing And Judo
December 31, 1960
Alan Watts demonstrates how the Taoist influence in Aikido and Judo also influenced swordsmanship.
Zen In Gardens And Architecture
16. Zen In Gardens And Architecture
December 31, 1960
Alan Watts speaks about the remarkable integration of traditional Japanese homes and gardens within the rural landscape, and the celebration of natural forms of mountains and waters in Zen gardens.
Zen In Painting
15. Zen In Painting
December 31, 1960
This program focuses on Zen-inspired brush painting in the Chinese and Japanese traditions, and it looks at the approach of the contemporary artist Sabro Hasegawa in his inspired return to primitivity in the arts.
The Life Of Zen
14. The Life Of Zen
December 31, 1960
A look inside Zen monastic life and practice reveals a culture of dialog and subtle humor between master and student.
13. Omnipotence
December 31, 1959
Watts explores the contrast between organic and mechanical world views and the difference between the growing process and the making process, and he explains why one corresponds to a democratic principle and the other to a monarchical hierarchy.
Law And Order
12. Law And Order
December 31, 1959
Alan Watts speaks on the contrast between organic and legalistic views of the order of nature, the former being based on visual pattern intelligence and the latter on verbal conventions.
On Being Vague
11. On Being Vague
December 31, 1959
The idea of clear-cut "definiteness" reflects as a sharp and somewhat hostile attitude to life. In this talk, Alan Watts shows the value of the vague and gentle approach reflected in Far Eastern poetry and painting.
10. Nonsense
December 31, 1959
Sense or meaning is a property ascribed to symbols rather than the real word. Alan Watts uses this differentiation as a prelude to the Taoist and Zen Buddhist idea of the perfectly "purposeless" life and its parallels in Christianity.
9. Pain
December 31, 1959
Alan Watts discusses the Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist ideas about physical and moral pain, emphasizing the art of accepting pain by ridding it of its contextual associations.
Queries And Sources
8. Queries And Sources
December 31, 1959
Alan Watts reveals his research resources for the series of Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life thus far, and he answers questions about points in the previous programs. He recommends books for further study.
7. Recollection
December 31, 1959
This program focuses on the East Indian idea that we have forgotten who or what we really are through identifying ourselves with the individual personality. The person or "persona" is also discussed as the social or dramatic mask assumed in daily life.
On Death
6. On Death
December 31, 1959
Alan Watts explores Buddhist ideas of the value of death as the great renovator, including the Wheel of Life, and the idea of reincarnation as it is understood by philosophical Buddhists.
The Silent Mind
5. The Silent Mind
December 31, 1959
One who talks all the time can never hear what others say. And one who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. Alan Watts examines the value of silent-mindedness or the practice of meditation in Hinduism and Buddhism.
The Void
4. The Void
December 31, 1959
Buddhism symbolizes its basic spiritual experience as a void, but Alan Watts explains this must not be taken literally. Watts explores the void as a symbol of freedom and of a world feeling which can be described poetically though not logically as the "absolute rightness" of every moment.
3. Time
December 31, 1959
This program looks at the East Indian concept of time and the illusion of living for the future as the tomorrow that never comes. Plans for the future are only useful for those able to live fully in the present.
Things And Thinks
2. Things And Thinks
December 31, 1959
Alan Watts presents an explanation of the East Indian idea of maya: the division of the world into separate things and events is a work of human thought and not a fact of nature. Watts examines the disastrous consequences of confusing thought with fact.
Man And Nature
1. Man And Nature
December 31, 1971
Alan Watts speaks on the contrast between classical Chinese and historic Western attitudes in regard to man's place in nature. Do we see ourselves as nature's conquerors or collaborators?
Where to Watch Alan Watts On Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life
Alan Watts On Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life is available for streaming on the Gaiam website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Alan Watts On Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Hoopla and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    December 31, 1971