4 responses

  1. Gregor
    January 6, 2015

    Thank you for this, James O’Meara!

    I also “attended church” on Sunday mornings, listening to those KPFA broadcasts. They had a huge effect on the direction of my life, at one point leading to “becoming” a Zen Buddhist monk. I “outgrew” that … or at least my aching legs did. To this day, I refer to Watts’ books, as well as selected audio files of his talks, on a regular basis. A little more “Sunday School” keeps the spirits up, whether on a Sunday or any old time.

    I truly appreciate Dr. Greg Johnson’s “inclusion” of Alan Watts among the great thinkers of our European tradition. It’s very easy for people to think that a man who wrote and spoke about “Zen” was all about Japan and China, and not about the spiritual and intellectual underpinnings of European Man. This essay, and others about Watts which have appeared on Counter-Currents, do much to prevent this misperception, the perception that the mindset of “Zen” and Watts is a merely “oriental” thing.

    I still have dog-eared imprints of Watts’ books published in the sixties. But I don’t have ALL of his works … yet. This essay stimulated me to buy the book reviewed, as well as a 12-disc audio set of Watts’ talks. Of course, all purchased via the Amazon link provided at Counter-Currents. The “cut” Counter-Currents gets by way of using their link isn’t a lot, but it’s something; a very small price to pay for the excellent work done at this site.

    Thank you James O’Meara. You’re welcome to teach “Sunday School” ala Alan Watts any time, and we all learn much from your efforts.

  2. Jaego
    January 5, 2015

    Any trace of White Nationalism or Race Loyalty to be found in Watts? Any concern that we were losing our Civilization? Any sympathy for the Germans in the War? I’ve never heard of any or saw any in my reading of him, though admittedly not comprehensive. So since many men had realized these facts, and he had not, how enlightened could he be? If he was involved in a world denying path that would be one thing, but the Mahayana glories in not being like that. And the Zen he liked was especially worldly, so he has no out on this. Let’s face it: he probably didn’t know because he didn’t care. He also had contact with Japanese Culture and if he was so inclined, it’s own version of National Socialism could have been an inspiration for him.

    Really enlightened people will take care of their vehicle (physical body) so as to serve. Any hedonism is a deviation from the Truth. With his heavy drinking and love of gourmet dining, including sausage, he was the very essence of deviation. The more one knows, the heavy the karma and the more one can be blamed. There is a tradition of using alcohol in Zen, and apparently some respected Masters have made use of this and even become alcoholics. Zen training is very hard, and such men typically admit that the temptation to over indulge got the best of them. Watts is denied this “out” since he didn’t train hard – he just over indulged because he was like that in every area of his life.

    He did come clean a bit towards the end. As his health failed, he admitted that square Zen was the real thing. I think someone asked him about Gary Snyder who had left the circle to practice in a famous monastery in Japan. Watts said it was a good thing, since he was just an entertainer at the level of words and thought – and real Zen was beyond these things (without disdaining them).

  3. Margot Metroland
    January 5, 2015

    Re ‘Bored of the Rings’: I actually owned two copies of the original paperback edition. I think it was promoted in Kenney/Beard’s 1969 TIME parody. A few years later I got to know them both. Henry still seemed to think it was the best thing they had ever done together. The whole NatLamp pump-and-dump was an anticlimax.

  4. Athanaeus
    January 5, 2015

    Watts’ Way of Zen and Karen Armstrong’s biography of Buddha were my introductions to Buddhism. Yes, I am a White Nationalist, you might even say a Nazi studies eastern religions. Ironic perhaps. I would probably be a Buddhist monk translating ancient Mahayana texts into English right now if witnessing the genocide of White people in our own countries hadn’t called me away from that path in life. For me, myrace trumps everything except my family, which is 100% white so there’s no real conflict of interest there. I just couldn’t sit back and chant to Amitabha while knowing my race is being extrminated by a hostile jewish elite. It is breaking heart to see my beloved race genocided…crucified for no sins. Occasionally I still find time to delve into Buddhism. But being a WN activist keeps me pretty occupied, and if it ever comes down to which master do I serve, I never forget that my race is my nation.

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