I’ll be damned if I live and die without ever looking to see who is doing that.

from You Are Not What You Look Like (1991)

Portrait of Douglas Harding

Douglas Harding

Philosopher
February 12, 1909 – January 11, 2007

Douglas Edison Harding was an English philosophical writer, mystic, spiritual teacher and author of a number of books. Though he never thought of himself as a guru, Harding dedicated his life to empirically investigating the question of his true identity and later sought to share his insights, primarily through his writings and via workshops requiring audience participation. Simultaneously directing attention 'inwards' and 'outwards,' Harding explored what was immediately given regarding the Subject and its relationship with the objective world, testing mystical claims about the true nature of the self, for example, against his own experience. He took seriously, too, the scientific account of what a man amounts to, seamlessly integrating the outside and inside views into a new map of humanity’s place in the universe.

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Alan Watts

Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown

Over the course of nineteen essays, Alan Watts ruminates on the philosophy of nature, ecology, aesthetics, religion, and metaphysics. Assembled in the form of a mountain journal, written during a retreat in the foothills of Mount Tamalpais in California, Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown is Watts’ meditation on the art of feeling out and following the watercourse way of nature, known in Chinese as the Tao. Embracing a form of contemplative meditation that allows us to stop analyzing our experiences and start living into them, the book explores themes such as the natural world, established religion, race relations, karma and reincarnation, astrology and tantric yoga, the nature of ecstasy, and much more.

Alan Watts

The Book

At the root of human conflict is our fundamental misunderstanding of who we are. The illusion that we are isolated beings, unconnected to the rest of the universe, has led us to view the “outside” world with hostility, and has fueled our misuse of technology and our violent and hostile subjugation of the natural world. In The Book, philosopher Alan Watts provides us with a much-needed answer to the problem of personal identity, distilling and adapting the ancient Hindu philosophy of Vedanta to help us understand that the self is in fact the root and ground of the universe. In this mind-opening and revelatory work, Watts has crafted a primer on what it means to be human—and a manual of initiation into the central mystery of existence.