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Summary

Before he became a counterculture hero, Alan Watts was known as an incisive scholar of Eastern and Western psychology and philosophy. In this 1961 classic, Watts demonstrates his deep understanding of both Western psychotherapy and the Eastern spiritual philosophies of Buddhism, Taoism, Vedanta, and Yoga.

He examines the problem of humans in a seemingly hostile universe in ways that question the social norms and illusions that bind and constrict modern humans. Marking a groundbreaking synthesis, Watts asserts that the powerful insights of Freud and Jung, which had, indeed, brought psychiatry close to the edge of liberation, could, if melded with the hitherto secret wisdom of the Eastern traditions, free people from their battles with the self. When psychotherapy merely helps us adjust to social norms, Watts argued, it falls short of true liberation, while Eastern philosophy seeks our natural relation to the cosmos.

©1975 Alan W. Watts (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Psychotherapy East and West

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Terrible Narration

The narrator does a truly terrible job reading this book.
His voice has a nice quality to it but other than that there’s nothing about him that qualifies him to narrate.
I’m staggered that the producer would hire him.
He clearly understands little contained in the text, this comes across in the dull delivery, with little inflection.
His pronunciation is extraordinary, a meld of Queen Elizabeth II and Lloyd Grossman. Vowels are either clipped, or stretched. E’s pronounced as I’s. It’s neither contemporary or traditional usage. Just a mess.
I don’t care how people speak, each to there own but here it just comes stale distracts from a very interesting text.
A very painful listening experience.
I wouldn’t listen to Jeremy Arthur under any circumstances.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Shiva Laxmi
  • Shiva Laxmi
  • 22-03-19

Not what I have come to expect from Alan Watts works

I didn’t find too much that I would say is helpful or useful in my everyday life. I have studied and listened to many Alan Watts books, and this isn’t as polished as his other works. Not too many similes like the dew drop line in “still the mind.” There are speech lectures and other Alan Watts books that will give you more. Who this book is for: I think this book is for people who want to compare and contrast east and west ideas of mental and spiritual health. For me all I can recommend listening to it at least once, but i am not keeping this title. Perhaps “you’re it” is a good title to judge Alan Watts on.

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  • Ryan Ohlin
  • 17-12-19

All roads lead to The Road.

Not for the faint of heart but for the initiated, the most succinct summation of Alan Watts's understanding of Western psychotherapy and Eastern liberation- a masterpiece manual for realizing one is already in the Bodhisattva's shoes.

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  • James Knight
  • 21-01-20

really great observations

really great observations the amount of knowledge and insight in this short book is very profound and still completely relevant today. this is a mist read if you are into philosophy and psychology.