Book Notes: The Book (On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You are)

The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts
Read May 2, 2020 - May 14, 2020

Alan Watts’ The Book explains his view of what the “self” really is, drawing heavily on Hindu Vedanta philosophy. The central idea is that everything we are and perceive are all aspects of one Universe (or God), which is just playing a game of hide-and-seek with itself. We are, thus, all one with the Universe, with each other, with God, and with Nature, which are all but different aspects of the same entity.

Although there are some interesting ideas buried here (self as not separate from Universe, interdependence of all beings, interplay of opposites), I do not recommend this book. It is often repetitive and hard to read, and it uses 60s’ gendered language and imagery that has not aged well.

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