Friday, November 4, 2016

Arthur Hlavaty on Alan Watts and on Illuminatus!


Arthur Hlavaty (with Bernadette Bosky)

You have too many publications to keep up with, I have too many to keep up with, we all do. But I look at the Supergee Livejournal blog every day.

Arthur Hlavaty on Alan Watts:


Watts Happening 


Shortly after reading Stranger in a Stranger Land, I read my first Alan Watts book. Oh. That's what "Thou art God" means. (Well, one part of it.) Watts introduced me to the whole Hindu/Buddhist/Taoist thing (and as a full-fledged sloppy syncretist, that's how I still think of it). Yes, I do realize that quantum physics doesn't really tell us that we must eat our vegetables and refrain from clubbing baby seals, but the images of unity and wholeness and interdependence that the East teaches us do have some relevance. Watts may be the best spokesman for this sort of thing, or at least he speaks to me, and he has furnished my mind: Light shines in darkness because what else would it shine in? The environment is my body. Laws against consensual sex and drugs turn the police into armed clergymen. 

On the other hand, he drank himself to death, which suggests that he was not entirely Enlightened.

My favorite brief introduction to Watts's thought is The Book: On the Taboo against Knowing Who You Are. In My Own Way is a charming, if not altogether reliable, autobio. Beyond Theology: The Art of Godmanship, The Supreme Identity, and The Wisdom of Insecurity are also excellent.

Here’s a discussion of him.

Thanx to RAW Illumination.
Tags: religion

Arthur on finishing Illuminatus!

01 November 2016 @ 05:01 am

Illumination day  


41 years ago today, I finally got my hands on the last volume of the Illuminatus! trilogy and read it. Like the authors, I knew that half of it was BS, but I wasn’t sure exactly which half. One part that was true was that it programmed me in ways that weren’t obvious for months or even years, and unlike W.C. Fields and the woman who drove him to drink, I thanked the authors for it.
Tags: annual message

[from the comments]

elenbarathi on November 1st, 2016 08:14 pm (UTC)
Sheesh, it must have been 1978 when I first read it - it was brand-new out in paperback then. How Time does fly.

Tom Jackson on November 2nd, 2016 01:53 pm (UTC)
How do you happen to remember the exact day? Do you know where you bought it? I still have my three original mass market paperbacks from the 1970s, but try as I might, I cannot remember where I bought them.

El Coyote Gordo: booksupergee on November 2nd, 2016 02:20 pm (UTC)
Paperback Booksmith in the Cross County Shopping Center (long gone of course). I kept track of things like that.



3 comments:

Neil_in_Chicago said...

RAW said that Watts claimed to be an entertainer, which I think is one way/part of the way Bob saw himself.

supergee said...

Thank you. Glad you liked it.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

@supergee I plan to use your recommended reading list to good advantage.