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Meaning of Happiness

by Alan Watts

  • Paperback
    $30.45
ISBN: 9781608685400
ANNOTATION:
The groundbreaking third book by Alan Watts, originally published in 1940 and out of print for years
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  • Paperback
    $30.45
ISBN: 9781608685400
ANNOTATION:
The groundbreaking third book by Alan Watts, originally published in 1940 and out of print for years

Annotation

The groundbreaking third book by Alan Watts, originally published in 1940 and out of print for years

Publisher Description

Deep down, most people think that happiness comes from having or doing something. Here, in Alan Watts's groundbreaking third book (originally published in 1940), he offers a more challenging thesis: authentic happiness comes from embracing life as a whole in all its contradictions and paradoxes, an attitude that Watts calls the "way of acceptance." Drawing on Eastern philosophy, Western mysticism, and analytic psychology, Watts demonstrates that happiness comes from accepting both the outer world around us and the inner world inside us -- the unconscious mind, with its irrational desires, lurking beyond the awareness of the ego. Although written early in his career, The Meaning of Happiness displays the hallmarks of his mature style: the crystal-clear writing, the homespun analogies, the dry wit, and the breadth of knowledge that made Alan Watts one of the most influential philosophers of his generation.

Author Biography

Alan Watts, the author of more than twenty books and a countercultural icon, was also a spiritual philosopher, scholar of Eastern spirituality, Anglican minister, and chaplain at Northwestern University. He died in 1973.

Table of Contents

Contents Preface to the Second Edition Preface to Laymen and Specialists Introduction 1. War in the Soul 2. The Answer of Religion 3. The Way of Acceptance 4. The Return of The Gods 5. The Vicious Circle 6. The One in the Many 7. The Great Liberation 8. The Love of Life Notes Bibliography Index

Review

"Pathbreaking." -- Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"Happiness is a sense of harmony, completion, and wholeness, Watts declares in this classic work. Though first published in 1940 when he was only in his mid-twenties and reissued now by New World Library, Watts' book remains foundational in its early impact on his later work. . . . rewarding and even enlightening." -- Booklist

"Novel and interesting." -- New York Times

"This volume springs from the depths of life and learning. It is wise and practical. The author gets our attention on his very first page. . . . The philosophy wrought from these elements of experience and thought is profound yet simple." -- New York Herald Tribune

"[Watts] has the ability to focus our attention on the really fundamental aspects of the human situation. This is what has made him the most interesting advocate of Eastern mysticism." -- Mountain Path

"This volume is suggestive and refreshing in that it recognizes happiness as the elusive and intangible reality which it is. Here one will find no neat formulas and disciplines for successful and happy living. . . . Here, in truth, is stronger meat for the more serious student, gathered from the wisdom of both East and West." -- G.W. Davis, Crozier Quarterly

Long Description

A lost classic, now back in print Most books about happiness sell the idea that happiness comes from having or doing something. In this bold and iconoclastic work, however, philosopher Alan Watts offers a more challenging thesis: authentic happiness comes from embracing life as a whole in all its contradictions and paradoxes, an attitude that Watts calls the "way of acceptance." Drawing on eastern philosophy, western mysticism, and analytic psychology, Watts demonstrates that happiness comes from accepting both the outer world around us and the inner world inside us -- the unconscious mind, with its irrational desires lurking beyond the awareness of the ego. Although written early in his career, The Meaning of Happiness displays the hallmarks of his mature style: the crystal-clear writing, the homespun analogies, the dry wit, and the breadth of knowledge that made Alan Watts one of the most influential philosophers of his generation.

Review Quote

"Pathbreaking." -- Maria Popova, Brain Pickings "Novel and interesting." -- New York Times "This volume springs from the depths of life and learning. It is wise and practical. The author gets our attention on his very first page. . . . The philosophy wrought from these elements of experience and thought is profound yet simple." -- New York Herald Tribune "[Watts] has the ability to focus our attention on the really fundamental aspects of the human situation. This is what has made him the most interesting advocate of Eastern mysticism." -- Mountain Path "This volume is suggestive and refreshing in that it recognizes happiness as the elusive and intangible reality which it is. Here one will find no neat formulas and disciplines for successful and happy living. . . . Here, in truth, is stronger meat for the more serious student, gathered from the wisdom of both East and West." -- G. W. Davis, Crozier Quarterly

Excerpt from Book

Introduction During the last fifty years the mental life of Western civilization has been invaded by two forces which are having a profound though gradual influence on our attitude to life. One of these forces has emerged from the West itself, while the other has come from far distant lands. At first sight no one saw that these two influences had anything in common, but with the growth of experience it is becoming clear not only that they are, in spirit, closely bound together, but also that their effects reach far beyond the places where they are professionally studied. The first, a product of the West, is the form of scientific psychology associated with the names of Freud and Jung, which bases its research and practice on the idea of the unconscious mind and whose object is the purely practical one of healing the mentally sick. The second force is a product if the Orient, and is the wisdom of ancient India and China which has been revealed to us in its fullness only in comparatively recent years by the labors of scholars in Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, and Japanese. At first it was thought that the wisdom they revealed was of little more than academic interest, and had the mis

Description for Sales People

Over four decades after his death, Watts is still a major presence on YouTube and social media Several popular Alan Watts Facebook pages promote his message, earning hundreds of thousands of likes Written when Watts was 24 years old, this early work allows fans to trace his philosophical development

Product Details

Author
Alan Watts
Pages
256
Publisher
New World Library
Year
2018
ISBN-10
1608685403
ISBN-13
9781608685400
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
2018-09-25
Media
Book
Subtitle
The Quest for Freedom of the Spirit in Modern Psychology and the Wisdom of the East
Country of Publication
United States
Short Title
The Meaning of Happiness
Language
English
Audience
General/Trade