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In My Own Way

Alan Watts

Trying to catch the meaning of the universe in terms of some religious, philosophical, or moral system is really like asking Bach or Ali Akbar to explain their music in words. They can explain it only by continuing to play, and you must listen until you understand, get with it, and go with it…When you say the music is abominable, listen to the sound of your own complaint.

Alan Watts’ autobiography.

His life is a timeless case study in living vividly. The book chronicles the evolution of his philosophy, encounters with various influencers of the century (Aldous Huxley, Yogananda, Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, Suzuki, etc.), and portrays his altogether wild ride through the cosmos. He loved dancing, whiskey, and women, all three of which draw him criticism, but he takes these accusations head on, defending his dance.

He was, to me, precisely the thing he claimed to be most fascinated by: a creative exponent of the ever-evolving dharma. 

“I wanted to plumb and understand being itself, the very heart and ground of the universe, not to control it, but simply to wonder at it, for I was — and still am — amazed at my own existence”