Chugh Yung In the final book of his prolific and creative life, Alan Watts shares his insights into the nature of the Tao; doing so in simple, authentic, and natural ways—ways of being perhaps. I consider this work to be a masterpiece and, until now, the most enjoyable book I read from the English-born American theologist, writer, speaker, father, and genuine Human Being that was Alan Watts. And, this way is not a way that can be approached through any means whatsoever. The Tao is simply a Pathless Path as the title of an equally marvellous book on the subject by Osho. The Tao that is cannot be approached, the Tao that is cannot be confined and, as such, the Tao that is cannot be defined. Lao Tzu What is Tao?

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Shelves: favourites , religion-and-science , philo-sophia It is very difficult to for me to write this review because, like water, Tao seems to be something so pervasive yet so elusive. It is the source of everything but it is not their Creator.

It permeates everything but it cannot be seen and cannot be grasp. It reigns but does not rule. Tao has order but it is not law. Because we are part of Tao, and Tao flows through us, we are part of the stream and it is difficult for us to see, understand or describe it objectively. Alan Watts acknowledged the irony of him talking and writing about Tao but explained that it was his way of trying to grasp what it is. Just as grass grows just because According to Tao, man too should try to follow the natural way of things and the path of least resistence.

But this path is not to be associated with inertia, passivity or a laissez faire way but needs to be approached with intelligence and alertness. It is a path of non forcing but flowing with the natural way of things. Like the soft branches of a tree that is able to survive the strong winds compared to the hard branches that resist and break. Or using our innate wisdom, being true to ourselves, being devoid of artifice.

For instance, the Tao approach advocates fewer laws and less intrusion by government. That people, in their small villages and towns will be able to sort things out.

I could not understand it. But apparently, close to the the times of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, Chin Shi Huang Di the first Chin emperor ruled with an iron first and wanted his empire to last a thousand years.

But it only lasted 10 years, and broke up upon his death. However, Emperor Han Kao Tsu that came next ruled with a light touch only making clear that harsh punishment will be meted out of manslaughter, assault and thievery and the Han Empire lasted years.

I will resist writing more than I should on the subject. I am just beginning to grasp a little of a beautiful and mysterious thing and will let nature, my kammic call or my destiny to lead me to those ah-ha moments when I can experience Tao in my heart and my being, without words to describe it.

Alan has written this subject, which is as difficult as water to grasp, beautifully and he has kept me entertained throughout. This is the first Alan Watts book I read.

It was the last one he wrote before he died in and it was eventually completed by his good friend Al Huang.


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Do not sit with a mind fixed on emptiness. The mystery of change. Alan Watts in, The Watercourse Way, has fully hit his twoismo as a disseminator of eastern thought to western minds—after a lifetime of struggling with the apparent contradictions inherent in this endeavor. Opposite Hearts we have Clubs, and it was not at once easy to decide whether Fire or Air should be called the opposite of Water. Just as you go over any other waterfall, just as you go on from day-to-day, just as you go to sleep at night. This book is a timeless classic that is both the perfect introduction to Watts and the essential summary of his philosophical exploration.


Tao: The Watercourse Way



Tao: The Watercourse Way ~ Alan Watts


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