Tao: The Watercourse Way

  • Title: Tao: The Watercourse Way
  • Author: Alan W. Watts Chungliang Al Huang Lee Chih-chang
  • ISBN: 9780394733111
  • Page: 271
  • Format: Paperback
  • Tao The Watercourse Way In his last work Alan Watts treats the Chinese philosophy of Tao in much the same way as he did Zen Buddhism in his classic THE WAY OF ZEN
    In his last work, Alan Watts treats the Chinese philosophy of Tao in much the same way as he did Zen Buddhism in his classic THE WAY OF ZEN.

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      Published :2020-04-05T00:57:38+00:00

    About Alan W. Watts Chungliang Al Huang Lee Chih-chang


    1. Alan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher, writer and speaker, who held both a Master s in Theology and a Doctorate of Divinity Famous for his research on comparative religion, he was best known as an interpreter and popularizer of Asian philosophies for a Western audience He wrote over 25 books and numerous articles on subjects such as personal identity, the true nature of reality, higher consciousness, the meaning of life, concepts and images of God and the non material pursuit of happiness In his books he relates his experience to scientific knowledge and to the teachings of Eastern and Western religion and philosophy.


    825 Comments


    1. While I most enjoy the hundreds of hours of lectures by this, my favorite thinker of all time, I do treasure this book which was his last - and was a gift to me from his son Mark. After I received it, I noticed the musty smell of a fine old book. Watts died in the 70's while in his late 50's and he lived on a houseboat in Sausalito harbor near San Francisco (he also had a cabin in the forests just 30 minutes north where he would go for solitude). When I asked Mark about the smell of the book he [...]

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    2. Ha Ha Ha Ho Ho Ho !

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    3. .¿Qué es aquello que se aleja cada vez que es perseguido? La respuesta es: tú mismo.

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    4. I read this book, Watts' last, immediately after reading The Spirit of Zen, his first. What I got from The Spirit of Zen was to what great extent early Zen Buddhism was influenced by Taoism. What I got from The Watercourse Way was how utterly fucking cool Taoism is. A fitting swan song from the ever-lucid Watts.

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    5. Дао на водата: izumen/2015/10/bloНикога не съм се интересувал от източните философии и религии. За момче, израснало с традиционно християнско образование, те винаги са били символ на езичеството. Тази година обаче книжният път ме отведе до "Пътят на Дзен" на Алън Уотс - книга, която п [...]

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    6. 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."The Tao that can be spoken is [...]

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    7. "Just as Chinese writing is at least one step closer to nature than ours, so the ancient philosophy of the Tao is of a skillful and intelligent following of the course, current, and grain of natural phenomena— seeing human life as an integral feature of the world process, and not as something alien and opposed to it. Looking at this philosophy with the needs and problems of modern civilization in mind, it suggests an attitude to the world which must underlie all our efforts towards an ecologic [...]

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    8. This is the book which explaines why it is impossible to foollow the requets like " You have to relax" or "You need to love God with all your heart". There are things in life which are natural like loving, relaxing, gettinng inspiration. Fortunately, noone can hurry them or postpone them as noone can smooth out the waves on the sea (and one`s thoughts , to tell the truth). One can only attune to them and follow the course much like the coursewater.Alan Watts tells that living is turned to such a [...]

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    9. This was my first brush with the work of Alan Watts, and I have to say it was very intriguing. Not so much because of the content, I read quite some classical Chinese in university and there were no real surprises, but more because of the magnetic personality of the writer that radiates of each page. In the afterword there's an account from the coauthor about the great joy as well as the tragedy in Watts' life, which I found very moving.

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    10. The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon, and the Way that can be named is not the eternal Way. Watts knows this well, but points and names for fun anyway (more effectively than anyone else I've come across so far.)

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    11. Awesome, mind-blowing, effectively powerful and over all a magnificent piece of work. Watt's final books adjusts the ideas of ancient Chinese traditional philosophically-religious movements such as Taoism, Zen Buddhism, and Confucianism while briefly mentioning some of the most important principles of Christianity, points from Hinduism et. c Watts also presents his thought concerning traditional Chinese calligraphy. He also gives a brief info about historical foundations of the research of Buddh [...]

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    12. This is the book with which to start if you would like to explore philosophical Taoism--or Zen Buddhism, for that matter--as opposed to later religious Taoism. Alan Watts studied with Christmas Humphreys in England (founder of The Buddhist Society and author of an influential early edition on Buddhism entitled, Buddhism: An Introduction and Guide) before moving to the United States in the late thirties, and was largely responsible for the rapid spread of the writings of his teacher, D. T. Suzuki [...]

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    13. This is an excellent treatise on contemplative Taoism, that is the way based in meditation and oneness with nature rather than that involved in Chinese alchemical and quasi-magical practices. Watts elegatly explains the Tao as the watercourse way, showing how it is both life-philosophy and a deep expression of Chinese culture.The only difficulty I had had with Watts's approach was that it seemed a little disjointed. This is probably less a reflection on Alan Watts than a reflection of the sheer [...]

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    14. Tao: The Watercourse Way, the final work by philosopher Alan Watts, was published posthumously in 1975. This is the first book I've read that was penned by Watts himself and I was so pleasantly surprised. The first chapter is devoted to Chinese ideograms, which made perfect sense to me. How better to understand such an abstract worldview as Taoism without also trying to understand a bit of the language in which it developed? And even without the intellectual reasons, the ideograms themselves are [...]

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    15. Wow--that went quickly. I didn't realize when I started reading Tao: The Watercourse Way that Watts passed on before he could finish it. I wish he could have held out a little longer and gotten it done. Of course, it's not as if he didn't write anything else, and there are a mess o' his talks on YouTube to keep me going.There's no way that I'm going to be presumptuous enough to review Alan Watts, but I will mention that one thing (among many) that he helped me understand was the nature of "wu we [...]

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    16. Wow. A fitting capstone to Watts' catalog. A topic that necessarily defies linguistic elucidation is necessarily the most ambitious topic a writer can take on. The fact that Lao Tzu did it once should be enough to deter all other interpreters. Far beyond scholarship, this is nearly as essential as the Tao Te Ching itself. I will take some issue with Watts' dismissal of pranayama (and the bulk of yogic practice) toward the end, but I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one and sa [...]

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    17. "The Tao is that from which one cannot deviate; that from which one can deviate is not the Tao". "You may imagine that you are outside, or separate, from the Tao and thus able to follow it or not follow; but this very imagination is itself within the stream (Tao), for there is no other way than the Way (Tao).""For the game of Western philosophy and science is to trap the universe in networks of words and numbers, so that there is always a temptation to confuse the rules, or laws, of grammar and [...]

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    18. Here's a nice train of thought that, I particularly like as Alan Watts seemed to share my own view of Taoism. Thus, he is more concerned by its contemplative aspect than, what he refers to as 'Hsien Taoism' that is, all the metaphysical and religious stuff later added and uselessly burdening it. I agree indeed to say that all these asides (alchemy and other exercises to reach 'immortality') even contradict the basic teaching of its classical roots, found for instance in the 'Tao Te Ching'. More, [...]

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    19. I loved his "The way of zen," although half the time I was lost in his pedantic notes. However, this work, "Tao: The Watercourse Way" was written in an astoundingly facile way. Really resembles water movement in its use of words.Its first chapter on Chinese written language was truly thought-provoking. I had previously sensed his preference of ideograms in his previous works; now here he elaborated on this topic thoroughly.The next chapters were on the fundamental mindset of Taoism (polarity, wu [...]

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    20. I wish I could give this book (Alan's final and unfinished book [yet perfect in its way]) a thousand stars. I've wanted this book for quite some time, but it isn't sold in the local bookstores. My incredible wife gave it to me on my birthday. I love the concept of "Li", like flowing water or grains in the wood. "e only single event is the universe itself. Li, not causality, is the rationale of the world." Pg 54. This discussion is having a huge impact on me."ople would be much better off if they [...]

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    21. This is a nice introduction to Tao. Alan Watts was probably totally bonkers, and the hippy-style life he lived was one of those chaotic lives you don't know whether to envy or be thankful you've avoided. Insofar as he wrote about the Tao, he did not know Tao (Lao Zu, 56) - there's the paradox and dilemma. He left the book unfinished at his death and you have the same question in mind: Would it have been improved if he had finished and/or revised it at all? Or is it 'perfect' (i.e. imperfect) jus [...]

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    22. This book is a timeless classic that is both the perfect introduction to Watts and the essential summary of his philosophical exploration. His simple language, clear metaphors, and conversational tone reiterate the points I have seen him reference again and again:- everything is connected- life is meant to be enjoyed- it will all be all rightIt is a relatively short read, yet I found myself going slow and taking breaks so it wouldn't end so quickly. Whether you speed through it or not, make time [...]

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    23. I happened to start reading this during a very interesting time in my life. I have read and listened to lectures by Alan Watts, primarily on Buddhism and zen, but this was my first exposure to Taoism in many years. As usual, Watts does an excellent job of bridging eastern and western philosophy while retaining historical context. Now if only i learned Chinese so i could read some of the provided source material as written.

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    24. Alan Watts is a very, very good writer. In this book he examines the nature of the Tao. Chapters include one on the Chinese written language; the Yin-Yang Polarity; Tao; Wu-wei, and a chapter on Te. In each of these chapters he examines the concept discussed, providing quotations from the Tao Te Ching and other books to illustrate his explanations. In this way he helps make some very difficult concepts somewhat easier to understand.

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    25. A quick read that allows a deeper understanding of Taoism by interpreting its primary texts of Lao tzu and chuang tzu through a western author's perception. A great adjunct for the primary texts.

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    26. I'm more or less in love with this man.The philosophy he loved more than the one he was known for, he intended to get that last chapter in to truly express Tao, in perhaps bittersweet irony he never got to do so, thus furthering the misconception that it is too difficult to "get" Taoism.I love you Alan Watts.

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    27. I was glad to read this scholarly work delving into the how, why, and what of the Tao, even if its incompleteness (Watts wasn't able to finish it before his death) makes one wish for the "fun and surprises" Watts had hoped to include along with the more academic exploration of the Tao.

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    28. This was a book I read for a college philosophy class, but I love it, and pass it around still today. Full of wonderful philosophy and meaning. Not a book to read right thru, but a great bed side book.

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    29. Still a solid, breezy introduction to Taoism. My criticisms that stop this being higher rated are threefold:1. The first chapter on Chinese language is interesting, but kind of suspect. I don't know enough about Chinese linguistics to unilaterally say he's wrong, it's just one of those things that strikes me oddly.2. Although a generally very engaging personality, Watt's nature as a 70s "guru" is sometimes detrimental to the text. Some of his decrying of modernity, technology, etc. can't help bu [...]

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    30. Very good western approach to comprehend eastern philosophy. I would recommend to read it before digging origins like Lao Tzu ( Tao Te Ching) or Zhuangzi ( The Book of Chuang Tzu), however general understanding of Taoism is desirable.The Tao of Pooh might be a good start (:

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