Alan Watts

Alan Watts

Postby simon13 » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:41 pm

Hello Everyone, :)

I have read the POW and seen lots of ET talks. Later on I came accross Alan Watts.
Knowing more about both, they were both affected by Jiddu Krishnamurti and usually ET mentions other teachers in his talks like Jiddu.

However, he never mentions Alan Watts, despite the fact that Alan had his head so deep in Oriental Philosophy and has told many Zen stories and Koans.

I was wondering if anyone came across Eckhart mentioning Alan in any of his talks...

Thank you,
Simon
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Re: Alan Watts

Postby beginnersmind » Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:30 am

I've never heard Eckhart speak of Alan Watts. I've heard Eckhart speak of such people and books such as:

- J. Krishnamurti
- Jesus (both Canon and Gnostic)
- The Buddha
- A lot of Zen koans (which seems to be his favorite form of Buddhism)
- A Course in Miracles
- various western philosophers

I think of Alan Watts as having a little Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson in him. Maybe that's not Eckhart's cup of tea, LOL.
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Re: Alan Watts

Postby Onceler » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:11 am

beginnersmind wrote:
I think of Alan Watts as having a little Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson in him. Maybe that's not Eckhart's cup of tea, LOL.


And more than a little booze. I believe he was an alcoholic.
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Re: Alan Watts

Postby KathleenBrugger » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:07 pm

Onceler wrote:
beginnersmind wrote:
I think of Alan Watts as having a little Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson in him. Maybe that's not Eckhart's cup of tea, LOL.

And more than a little booze. I believe he was an alcoholic.

Maybe he was, but Watts's books are filled with insight, particularly when you consider when they were written (1930s-1960s), long before any of the Eastern religions were popular in the Western world. Imo, the personal limitations of a teacher do not necessarily invalidate the teachings that come through him or her.
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Re: Alan Watts

Postby beginnersmind » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:08 am

KathleenBrugger wrote:Maybe he was, but Watts's books are filled with insight, particularly when you consider when they were written (1930s-1960s), long before any of the Eastern religions were popular in the Western world. Imo, the personal limitations of a teacher do not necessarily invalidate the teachings that come through him or her.


On the flip side, nor does rewording and repeating what a "teacher" has read and learned necessarily validate the teacher. That is not really aimed at Alan Watts, but I do find it interesting in general how people are willing to overlook unethical, hedonistic, materialistic, and even cruel behavior (emotionally, and/or physically, and/or sexually) simply because a "teacher" can cleverly reword ancient teachings/sayings and make them seem new and insightful. Teachers like Rashneesh/Osho and Adi Da come to mind.

For me, it is reminiscent of when fans overlook athletes unethical and/or cruel behaviors because the athlete is good at their particular sport.

While it is true that the teacher is not the teaching, when the teacher presents the teaching, I do not find it unreasonable to expect the teacher to be in line with what they are teaching. This is not a request of perfection, but at least an attempt at healing one's own imperfections. If the teacher cannot live what they are teaching, then it seems to just become a pontification of spiritual platitudes in which the ideas may sound nice, but are hardly attainable. After all, if the teacher cannot even begin to live them, we are then left with another, "Do as I say, not as I do", scenario.

Unfortunately, since the introduction to eastern philosophy in western society the scandals from Zen, Tibetan, and other lineages of Buddhism, along with newer non-dual Advaita Vedanta offshoot teachings have been many. Unfortunately, this is partly to do with the spiritual communities passively condoning the unethical, because to speak up of such things seems to be unforgiving and "unspiritual", or due to one's affinity for the particular teacher. Also, people have been silent on some of the scandals in fear that it might tarnish the teaching itself. Kind of like the Catholic church trying to cover up their scandals.

We could probably learn much more through example from people like Bob Ross and Mr. Rogers, than people claiming to be the very first enlightened or 7th stage enlightened beings. Spirituality can be pretty flaky sometimes.

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