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Summary

Alan W. Watts' "message for an age of anxiety" is as powerful today as it was when this modern classic was first published. We spend too much time trying to anticipate and plan for the future, too much time lamenting the past. We often miss the pleasures of the moment in our anxious efforts to ensure the next moment is as enjoyable.

Drawing from Eastern philosophy and religion, Watts argues that it is only by acknowledging what we do not and cannot know that we can find something truly worth knowing. In order to lead a fulfilling life, one must embrace the present - live fully in the now.

Elegantly reasoned and lucidly written, this philosophical achievement contains all the wisdom and spirit that distinguished Watts' long career and resonates with us still.

©1951 Pantheon Books (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

What members say

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Still a must read for all

I first read this book 20 years ago and was struck by its clarity on the problems of being alive in this modern world. It's incredible that Alan Watts wrote this book in 1951 and his thoughts about man's predicament are still the same and maybe worse today. This is not a self help book but anyone reading it cannot help to be helped. Enjoy. Ps the reading is very very good but not sure why an English reader was not chosen as Alan Watts spoke with an English accent and it would have made it he reading more authentic, only a small gripe.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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excellent

runnette has a very soothing voice that delivers the message of watts' words perfectly I loved it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A book of wisdom!

Sometimes hard to follow but packed full of wisdom if you can stick with it!

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Best book ever written

This is probably the best Philosophy book ever written, also marvellously frequently touching on Psychology and Theology. Short and sharp, not dwelling on theories - a great introduction and also conclusion from other topics explored by Watts in other works.

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voice is jarring.

Try Watts just So lectures. This ruins the message. :/ distracting not relaxing. Ive read the book, this is poor like AI

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Incredible human being

Alan Watts had incredible insight...thoroughly enjoy everything by this philosopher! Comical, enquiring and calming...try it!

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  • IW, Albuquerque
  • 16-03-16

more pointed and considerate than his lectures

narrator was very good. easy to understand and pronounced words in the conventional way. Refreshing, especially if you ve only listened to Watts speak extemporaneously

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Amin
  • 03-12-16

Very very deep...

This was my first book by Alan Watts and I loved it so much. He explains insecurity in a whole new level of understanding, and if you think you are capable to understand, go ahead and dive.
I will definetly reread this book. This book is in a Top 10 book, that I read for the whole time, and the best book on insecurity. I Highly recommend it.

PS: I write this addition afterward reading this book after 2 weeks, and I can say, that this book have something really deep inside. I can definetly say, that it changed a lot of aspects of my life, on different levels of conciousness. I never before done rewieing afterward, but this book trully and absolutly worth it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Jah Alexander
  • 09-07-17

Relief

I was raised as a Christian, my parents, both mother and father are pasters. Wisdom is the structure for successful religions, in Christianity there is much to be found, yet I can't deny that I have heard life changing wisdom outside of my own beliefs. I am at the age now where I have began to question and keep an open mind, a game of, follow the wisdom. Anxiety disorder is something I continue to fight, win and lose on a daily basis, I see as well as who I am suppose to be in my religion contributes to that anxiousness I feel.
I would be a fool and have no since of wisdom in me if I where to deny this book, it speaks to me on a level I can't deny.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Darren Cadora
  • 24-10-17

Alan said it best.

Lacking the enthusiasm that Alan would have if he told it. Alan had a magical way of expression that would have been magnificent to hear. Sean did make me laugh and smile. The depth of this book is not easy to present but I find it was worth the price

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • alex
  • 01-09-17

Skipped it

I found it just didn't really feel like Alan Watts without having him be the narrator, the entertainment value just drops. Probably a good book, and nothing against the narrator, but it's just not as good

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-06-17

Should be required reading!

I grew up a preacher's kid, became a Vascular Surgeon, and today I am also as an Addiction Medicine physician. This concise book encompasses the things I was really seeking on this journey but did not realize I was seeking. Religion vs Science, Mind vs Body, Connection vs Separation, Self vs self. All of these and more are brilliantly stated and reconciled, not in a way to provide answers, but to bring wonder. These puzzle pieces are arranged enough to bring form and shape to big questions. I gave the performance a 4 only because I have heard tapes spoken by Alan Watts himself, and no one compares.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jay
  • 26-05-17

the book i never knew i needed

incredible. this gem is something ill cherish always. the present moment is a beautiful thing

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bridta L.
  • 07-10-18

oops

I forgot to check if this was audio by Alan. I love Alan's voice and cadence and this is read by another person. not that the narrator is bad just it doesn't have the same gripping interest for me without his voice. Still is wonderful content though.

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  • tem
  • 02-10-18

profound interpretation of Science and religion

Alan Watts is incredibly straightforward and poetic in his interpretation of science and a religion. in conjunction, he beautifully explains the magnificence of truly being present and living in the moment. this book is a philosophical Marvel. I highly recommend.

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  • molecula987
  • 27-08-18

Clear and concise insight!

Alan Watts somehow blends poetry and philosophy so well that each word sinks in deeply. My first read of Watts and it's as though I've started an enriching journey. The audio book is not something for background occupancy. Listen with a blank slate that is whole and not fractured with distractions.