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The Wisdom of Insecurity

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Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master's degree in theology.

Knjižica mi je baš legla, jer se Vots ne bazira na isključivo logičkim argumentima (ima par falinki, nije da ih nema, ali koga briga), nego igra na foru intuicije. In fact, it could be argued, that self-improvement is exactly the problem Watts’ argues against, trying to “improve” something which is illusory. Picked it up one day last month thinking I could reread it during a lunch hour between depositions downtown.In such feeling, seeing, and thinking life requires no future to complete itself nor explanation to justify itself. Such a system is a vicious circle, and has the same logical structure as a statement which states something about itself, for example, "I am lying", when it is implied that the statement itself is a lie. The irony is that many of us have little patience or use for the present moment unless we are experiencing pleasure. Oh, not a self with added contextual meaning - but our selves Alone - without the meaning of our environment. Watts unquestionably rips apart the wound and studies it to its very bottom, however much it may hurt.

Alan Watts is an ex Episcopal priest who converted to Zen Buddhism and then to Taoism, and then sort of moved beyond both in his own way. If being more anxious made us slightly less likely to be eaten by a tiger, but it destroyed many moments of uncomplicated bliss, that would be a positive trade-off. I don't think it would do the book justice to summarize but I will do my best to give you an idea of whether or not you should read this book. Beside the examples of saints and heroes I feel ashamed that I amount to nothing, and so I begin to practice humility because of my wounded pride, and charity because of my self-love. If the simplest things caused wonder, if you had little use for thinking of the past or worrying about the future, then the "childish" you was truly living in ways you cannot even begin to fathom as an adult.It's still a bit of a must read though, because Watts isn't trying to sell us on anything, instead, he seems truly invested in helping us reach the next realization.

This philosophy exists only in few schools of world philosophy: two schools in Buddhism, two in Indian Hinduism, and Chinese Daosim. Watts' starting point is the predicament of western man in the mid twentieth century; the book is definitely a product of 'you've never had it so good' 1950's materialism. In spite of these similarities, however, Watts' fascinating blend of eastern and western thinking and his own distinctive turn of phrase give him a memorable voice all of his own.It's fascinating to see how his thought from the 1950s are still valid today in a seemingly completely different society. Self-improvement implies a split of self, one of the past, negative view of the self (the mistakes I made, what I need to fix) and one of the future, idealistic self (an unrealistic ideal of the future self, that may or may not come to be). Yet, if you look at a large amount of human activity, it does seem to fall into Watts’ diagnosis that we’re in a state of anxiety and hunger, for no discernible net benefit to happiness. Facebook sets this cookie to show relevant advertisements to users by tracking user behaviour across the web, on sites that have Facebook pixel or Facebook social plugin.

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