The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are : Helping Friendly Book Club

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The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are : Helping Friendly Book Club
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The Helping Friendly Book Club says
We are back at The Kennedy Room this month in the Blue Room in the back! Because Old Warsaw moved over it is now business casual dress requirement, but everything else remains the same. Be dapper! See you on the 11th!

NOW READING: "The Book About the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are" by Alan Watts.

Download it here for free:
http://selfdefinition.org/zen/Alan-Watts-1966-The-Book-On-The-Taboo-Against-Knowing-Who-You-Are.pdf

Listen to it here for free:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5hLnNRxYqc&index=1&list=PLC08230E51CF8718B

PREFACE

THIS BOOK explores an unrecognized but mighty taboo—our tacit conspiracy to ignore who, or what, we really are. Briefly, the thesis is that the prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East—in particular the central and germinal Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism. This hallucination underlies the misuse of technology for the violent subjugation of man's natural environment and, consequently, its eventual destruction.

We are therefore in urgent need of a sense of our own existence which is in accord with the physical facts and which overcomes our feeling of alienation from the universe. For this purpose I have drawn on the insights of Vedanta, stating them, however, in a completely modern and Western style—so that this volume makes no attempt to be a textbook on or introduction to Vedanta in the ordinary sense. It is rather a cross-fertilization of Western science with an Eastern intuition. Particular thanks are due to my wife, Mary Jane, for her careful editorial work and her comments on the manuscript. Gratitude is also due to the Bollingen Foundation for its support of a project which included the writing of this book.

Sausalito, California
ALAN WATTS
January, 1966


"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."

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By: The Helping Friendly Book Club

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