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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Watts ,. Richard Alpert foreword. Timothy Leary foreword. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 8. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about The Joyous Cosmology , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jul 05, Erik Graff rated it really liked it Recommends it for: psychonauts. Shelves: religion. Alan Watts, the student of comparative religions and exponent of Zen to the West, was originally reluctant to equate some of the experiences readily afforded by the psychedelics to those obtained through long yogic disciplines.
He changed his views after some experiences with the drugs and this book is his contribution to the discussion, a contribution specifically focusing on the emotional and religious aspects of the experience.
I had a similar experience in college. For some months a Buddhist Alan Watts, the student of comparative religions and exponent of Zen to the West, was originally reluctant to equate some of the experiences readily afforded by the psychedelics to those obtained through long yogic disciplines. For some months a Buddhist monk from China lived on the Grinnell campus, conducting group meditations characterized by chanting. I participated in these sessions and befriended the fellow.
Among our many discussions, we debated the relative merits of his preferred method to that preferred by most of the students at the college. Not having had the experience, he tried micrograms of LSD. Afterwards, in the North Lounge of the Student Forum, he told me that the experience had, one, caused him to revise his originally negative opinion of the drug and, two, made him aware of having been conceited about his own spiritual achievement.
I was quite impressed by his honest humility. Oct 30, Aryeh rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. Alan Watts Effs the inEffable: Part View 1 comment.
This book does an incredible job at explaining the many thoughts that cross the minds of people who are fortunate enough to really explore their inner self while under the influence of certain chemicals. There is no way to explain what happens to consciousness during these experiences but Alan Watts does an incredible job at giving an idea.
One of the virtues of this book in comparison to something like The Doors of Perception Huxley is that Watts does not hesitate to express the sentiments tha This book does an incredible job at explaining the many thoughts that cross the minds of people who are fortunate enough to really explore their inner self while under the influence of certain chemicals.
One of the virtues of this book in comparison to something like The Doors of Perception Huxley is that Watts does not hesitate to express the sentiments that come about which aren't wholly He talks about the really frightening things that pass through your head once your subconscious mind has led you in a certain direction. I would suggest taking this book camping and reading a few pages at a time Some will certainly not be able to relate.
Very good. I would like to sit with him on the grass, observe the surrounding nature and contemplate the workings of this world. After all, how it would look like can be found by listening to his recordings or reading his books. The book The Joyous Cosmology surprised me above all opinions that you will not hear, or you will not see anywhere else.
Alan Watts by beautiful playing with words allowed me to get into a completely different world, whether it was physical or the world Mr Watts was trying to introduce to us, the world that for most of our population is hidden.
A book full of thoughts, for example, "What if we could remove our barriers and return to our roots? Mar 01, Arnold Wanker rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , would-recommend. I sometimes feel as though some of Alan Watts's descriptions of his cosmology can't possibly be improved upon.
He is at once very succinct and very poetic - his language is communicative and engaging without ever coming across as obtuse or obnoxious. I would have loved to have seen Watts write fiction, because his use of metaphor and analogy is inspiring. Ostensibly this is a book about a philosopher taking psychedelic drugs. While his views on drugs are interesting and probably ahead of his time I sometimes feel as though some of Alan Watts's descriptions of his cosmology can't possibly be improved upon.
While his views on drugs are interesting and probably ahead of his time, that's not the centrepiece of this book for me. For me, what makes this a great read is that the universe is being described by somebody who seems to be in both perfect understanding and absolute awe of it.
A lot of people who want to understand the universe start with popular science books; in my opinion they'd be better off starting here. Alan Watts is arguably one of the more important writers of the past century. He brings all of his theological experience to bear in this book. This book follows in the steps of Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception, but goes to a whole new elevation.
Watts held a doctorate in Divinity and a Masters in Theology, and was well versed in religions of East and West. The search for and acceptance of the self, as well as the spiritual way, permeate his work. This work, dealing with his epiphanies and Alan Watts is arguably one of the more important writers of the past century.
This work, dealing with his epiphanies and drudgeries while taking perception enhancing psychedelics, is necessary reading for any who wish to understand these drugs as a whole. Mar 29, Dimitris Hall rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , ebook-kindle. Seldom before have I read 30 pages of printed. A lot of it was profound, written in a time when psychedelic substances were a new unexplored area of the human experience. Research was being done on their medical and other properties with Watts being sceptical about whether the proper environment for relative experimentation really was research laboratories and clinics.
It was an innocent time, before the powers that be had really found out about what a gapin Seldom before have I read 30 pages of printed. It was an innocent time, before the powers that be had really found out about what a gaping hole into their walls of modern vices their initial allowance of the use of LSD and mushrooms had blown. A seed, floating in its white sunburst of down, drifts across the sky, sighing with the sound of a jet plane invisible above. I catch it by one hair between thumb and index finger, and am astonished to watch this little creature actually wriggling and pulling as if it were struggling to get away.
Common sense tells me that it is the "intelligence" of the seed to have just such delicate antennae of silk that, in an environment of wind, it can move. Having such extensions, it moves itself with the wind. When it comes to it, is there any basic difference between putting up a sail and pulling an oar? If anything, the former is a more intelligent use of effort than the latter. True, the seed does not intend to move itself with the wind, but neither did I intendo to have arms and legs.
It's a journey with the aid of these substances to planes of thought and existence impossible before to reach, far away from the egoistic mind and squarely in the consciousness behind the thinking mind. It's a story of a temporarily selfless being experiencing the world. It's very hard to describe actually. I'm not at all sure if anything from this book stuck with me for good, but I'm not even sure if it's supposed to, in the same way that powerful psychedelic trips are fleeting and strong cosmological realisations during them feel like dreams after the trip is over.
Tim Leary warns in the foreword that this is a difficult book. Perhaps a couple of powerful entheogenic experiences are indeed the correct required "reading" for tackling it. The fact that the substances needed for having these experiences are almost ubiquitously illegal says much more about the laws, the lawmakers behind them and their intentions, than it does about the substances themselves.
I feel like it would be impossible to review this book without comparing it to The Doors of Perception. Watts himself mention the book in the first sentence of the preface and he then write that " The main body of the work, while occasionally poetic and beautifully written, is rambling and friv I feel like it would be impossible to review this book without comparing it to The Doors of Perception.
The main body of the work, while occasionally poetic and beautifully written, is rambling and frivolous.
Unlike Huxley's sharp description of his experience Watts convey the feeling of someone on drugs, not someone who've reached a higher understanding. There's no shortage of interesting ideas presented in the preface, prologue and epilogue but many of them either go to far or does not say anything that I have not already been said.
The Joyous Cosmology : Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
“The Joyous Cosmology” by Alan W. Watts