The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are explores an unrecognised but mighty taboo - our tacit conspiracy to ignore who, or what, we really are. Alan Watts, key thinker of Western Zen Buddhism, explains how to reconsider our relationship with the world.
Alan Watts was central in introducing Eastern philosophical and religious thought to Western readers. He was a philosopher, academic and theologian, who wrote and spoke widely on Asian philosophy and theology. He became a cult figure in the 60s and 70s, lecturing and presenting radio shows in San Francisco and the Bay Area. His ideas especially gained a following in counter-cultural circles, including among the Beat generation. He is best known as an interpreter of Zen Buddhism in particular, and of Indian and Chinese philosophy in general. He was the author of more than twenty books on the philosophy and psychology of religion including Behold the Spirit, The Way of Zen, and Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown: A Mountain Journal. He died in 1973.
The best book I've ever read on the nature of what actually is,
what the world is about, and how you should behave. -- John Lloyd *
Desert Island Discs *
Offering spiritual answers to the problems of a materialistic lifestyle, alienated from the natural world, Watts is the voice of all who seek a deeper understanding of their own identity and role in the world. * Watkins Review *
No words can describe just how profoundly perspective-shifting The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are is in its entirety, and with what exquisite stickiness it stays with you for a lifetime. * Brain Pickings *
For a new generation of readers... look at this ancient philosophy from a modern counter-cultural standpoint. Alan Watts explores the subject in concrete terms, using current idioms and expressions which will also appeal to the younger reader. -- Vedanta
"Offering spiritual answers to the problems of a materialistic lifestyle, alienated from the natural world, Watts is the voice of all who seek a deeper understanding of their own identity and role in the world. -- Watkins Review
Reminds us how Watts presented complex theories and views in a subtle yet straightforward fashion... Still an iconic figure... he made great breakthroughs in stretching our philosophical horizons. -- Beat Scene