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Just at this moment of the development of technology—when we suddenly see it’s a lot more complicated than we thought it was, and that our project to change the universe is not going to be as easy as even H. G. Wells imagined—it’s just at this moment that this Chinese wisdom becomes available to the West. And we can understand it because it’s now talking our language. It’s talking of the language of relativity. The whole Zhuangzi book starts out with an absolutely marvelous chapter on relativity: relativity of the opposites, the interdependence, the mutual interpenetration of everything that happens. And we’ve discovered it.

Alan Watts

Born: January 6, 1915

Died: November 16, 1973 (Age 58)

Alan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, England, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master's degree in theology. Watts became an Episcopal priest in 1945, then left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies.

Watts gained a large following in the San Francisco Bay Area while working as a volunteer programmer at KPFA, a Pacifica Radio station in Berkeley. Watts wrote more than 25 books and articles on subjects important to Eastern and Western religion, introducing the then-burgeoning youth culture to The Way of Zen, one of the first bestselling books on Buddhism. Towards the end of his life, he divided his time between a houseboat in Sausalito and a cabin on Mount Tamalpais.

Available Documents: 83