- € 19,99
The first and only full-length biography of one of
the most charismatic spiritual innovators of the twentieth century.
Through his widely popular books and lectures, Alan Watts (1915-1973) did more to introduce Eastern philosophy and religion to Western minds than any figure before or since. Watts touched the lives of many. He was a renegade Zen teacher, an Anglican priest, a lecturer, an academic, an entertainer, a leader of the San Francisco renaissance, and the author of more than thirty books, including The Way of Zen, Psychotherapy East and West and The Spirit of Zen.
Monica Furlong followed Watts's travels from his birthplace in England to the San Francisco Bay Area where he ultimately settled, conducting in-depth interviews with his family, colleagues, and intimate friends, to provide an analysis of the intellectual, cultural, and deeply personal influences behind this truly extraordinary life.
Popular Zen philospher Watts, whose bestsellers on oriental mysticism helped create a counterculture, privately insisted that he was a rogue, a fake and entertainer. Without either glorifying or sensationalizing Watts, this superb, intimately detailed biography assesses the impact of a flawed guru, the shy English-born scholar who, by the "summer of love'' in 1967, had become a flower child brimming with confidence and flowing hair. Heavy drinking fueled by a gnawing sense of loneliness, three marriages replete with sexual adventures, writing and lecturing to support his seven children marked the life of a very human sage who seems an odd mixture of wisdom and childishness. Watts sought to reawaken Christians to the ``innerness'' of their religion; he also believed that assimilating Asian wisdom could help Westerners heal their schizoid mentality. Furlong ( Merton: A Biography shows how his ideas evolved and suggests their relevance for a new generation of readers. Photos.