"Anyone whose life needs a course correction would be fortunate to be guided by "The Wisdom of Insecurity." My life still is, some thirty years later." --Deepak Chopra, from the Introduction
Alan W. Watts's "message for an age of anxiety" is as powerful today as it was when this modern classic was first published.
We spend too much time trying to anticipate and plan for the future; too much time lamenting the past. We often miss the pleasures of the moment in our anxious efforts to ensure the next moment is as enjoyable. Drawing from Eastern philosophy and religion, Watts argues that it is only by acknowledging what we do not and cannot know, that we can find something truly worth knowing. In order to lead a fulfilling life, one must embrace the present--live fully in the now.
Elegantly reasoned and lucidly written, this philosophical achievement contains all the wisdom and spirit that distinguished Watts's long career and resonates with us still.
About the Author
Alan Watts was born in England in 1915 and received his early education at King's School, Canterbury. He received a master's degree from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Illinois and an honorary doctorate of divinity from the University of Vermont. He wrote his first book, The Spirit of Zen, at the age of twenty and went on to write over twenty other books including The Way of Zen, The Book, and Tao: The Watercourse Way, which though never fully completed was published after the author's death and introduced thousands of readers to Taoist thought.
In addition to being an acclaimed author and philosopher, Dr. Watts was also an Episcopalian minister, professor, graduate-school dean and reasearch fellow of Harvard University. By the early 1960s, he moved to Sausolito, California, and held seminars and lectures throughout the United States. Alan Watts died in 1973.
“Reading Alan Watts challenges us to explore new avenues of thinking, inspires us to lead more fulfilling lives. His legacy lives on in The Wisdom of Insecurity, a work that energetically displays Watts’s piercing intellect, razor-sharp wit, and winning grace. For the clarity and wisdom with which it engages timeless concerns crucial to us all, it is unmatched. An important book.”
—Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea
“Perhaps the foremost interpreter of Eastern disciplines for the contemporary West, Watts had the rare gift of ‘writing beautifully the unwritable.’”
—Los Angeles Times
“The wisdom of insecurity is not a way of evasion, but of carrying on wherever we happen to be stationed—carrying on, however, without imagining that the burden of the world, or even of the next moment, is ours. It is a philosophy not of nihilism but of the reality of the present—always remembering that to be of the present is to be, and candidly know ourselves to be, on the crest of a breaking wave.”
—Philip Wheelwright, Arts and Letters
“This book proposes a complete reversal of all ordinary thinking about the present state of man. The critical condition of the world compels us to face this problem: how is man to live in a world in which he can never be secure, deprived, as many are, of the consolations of religious belief? The author shows that this problem contains its own solution—that the highest happiness, the supreme spiritual insight and certitude are found only in our awareness that impermanence and insecurity are inescapable and inseparable from life. Written in a simple and lucid style, it is a timely message.”
—Book Exchange (London)