Alan Watts — noted author and respected authority on Far Eastern thought — studied Taoism extensively, and in his final years moved to a quiet cabin in the mountains and dedicated himself almost exclusively to meditating and writing on the Tao. This new book gives us an opportunity to not only understand the concept of the Tao but to experience the Tao as a personal practice of liberation from the limitations imposed by the common beliefs within our culture. The philosophy of the Tao offers a way to understand the value of ourselves as free-willed individuals enfolded within the ever-changing patterns of nature. The path of the Tao is perhaps the most puzzling way of liberation to come to us from the Far East in the last century. It is both practical and esoteric, and it has a surprisingly comfortable quality of thought that is often overlooked by Western readers who never venture beyond the unfamiliar quality of the word Tao (pronounced "dow"). But those who do soon discover a way of understanding and living with the world that has profound implications for us today in so-called modern societies. The word Tao means the Way — in the sense of a path, a way to go — but it also means nature, in the sense of one's true nature, and the nature of the universe. Often described as the philosophy of nature, we find the origins of Taoism in the shamanic world of pre-Dynastic China. Living close to the earth, one sees the wisdom of not interfering, and letting things go their way. It is the wisdom of swimming with the current, splitting wood along the grain, and seeking to understand human nature instead of changing it. Every creature finds it's way according to the laws of nature, and each of us has our own inner path — or Tao.
In order to come to your senses, Alan Watts often said, you sometimes need to go out of your mind. Perhaps more than any other teacher in the West, this celebrated author, former Anglican priest, and self-described spiritual entertainer was responsible for igniting the passion of countless wisdom seekers to the spiritual and philosophical delights of India, China, and Japan.
 
With Out of Your Mind, you are invited to immerse yourself in six of this legendary thinker's most engaging teachings on how to break through the limits of the rational mind and expand your awareness and appreciation for the great game unfolding all around us. Distilled from Alan Watts’s pinnacle lectures, Out of Your Mind brings you an inspiring new resource that captures the true scope of this brilliant teacher in action.
 
For those both new and familiar with Watts, this book invites us to delve into his favorite pathways out of the trap of conventional awareness, including:
 
• The art of the “controlled accident”—what happens when you stop taking your life so seriously and start enjoying it with complete sincerity
 
• How we come to believe “the myth of myself”—that we are skin-encapsulated egos separate from the world around us—and how to transcend that illusion
 
• Why we must fully embrace chaos and the void to find our deepest purpose
 
• Unconventional and refreshing insights into the deeper principles of Buddhism, Hinduism, Western philosophy, Christianity, and much more
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