An exploration of man's quest for psychological security and spiritual certainty in religion and philosophy. From the Trade Paperback edition.
the wisdom of insecurity
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Classic. Proposes the reversal of ordinary thinking - how to live in an insecure world without the consolation of religious belief.
The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety (1951) by Alan W. Watts argues that the cause of human frustration and anxiety is people’s inability to live fully in the present, and their futile quest for psychological security. Drawing on Eastern philosophy and religion, with an emphasis on Buddhism, Watts explores why humans are so dissatisfied and unhappy. Purchase this in-depth summary to learn more.
Despite the availability of "Stuff," our lives are often not very fulfilling. As we pursue one shiny object after another we come to the realization that none of it is making us happy. And worse still, it estranges us from our true purpose in life. There must be another way. Alan Watts, in his book the Wisdom of Insecurity proposes a solution. In this edition of Summary Shorts, we will analyze and summarize the ideas put forth in The Wisdom of Insecurity and learn how to truly experience life when consumerism fails us. Enjoy!
#1 New York Times Bestseller and winner of the 2014 Living Now Book Award for Inspirational Memoir. 'An enormously smart, clear-eyed, brave-hearted, and quite a personal look at the benefits of meditation' - Elizabeth Gilbert 10% Happier is a spiritual book written for - and by - someone who would otherwise never read a spiritual book. It is both a deadly serious and seriously funny look at mindfulness and meditation as the next big public health revolution. Dan Harris always believed the restless, relentless, impossible-to-satisfy voice in his head was one of his greatest assets. How else can you climb the ladder in an ultra-competitive field like TV news except through nonstop hand-wringing and hyper vigilance? For a while, his strategy worked. Harris anchored national broadcasts and he covered wars. Then he hit the brakes, and had a full-blown panic attack live on the air. What happened next was completely unforeseen. Through a bizarre series of events - involving a disgraced evangelical pastor, a mysterious self-help guru and a fateful gift from his wife - Harris stumbled upon something that helped him tame the voice in his head: meditation. At first, he was deeply suspicious. He had long associated meditation with bearded swamis and unwashed hippies. But when confronted with mounting scientific evidence that just a few minutes a day can literally rewire the brain for focus,happiness, and reduced reactivity, Harris took a deep dive. He spent years mingling with scientists,executives and marines on the front lines of a quiet revolution that has the potential to reshape society. He became a daily meditator, and even found himself on a ten-day, silent meditation retreat, which was simultaneously the best and worst experience he'd ever had. Harris's life was not transformed into a parade of rainbows and unicorns, but he did gain a passion for daily meditation. While the book itself is a narrative account of Dan's conversion amid the harried and decidedly non-Zen world of the newsroom, it concludes with a section for the novice on how to get started.
Reality appears dualistic from a logical standpoint. Monism is the picking of one side of the issue as real and the other an illusion. Neomonism is the stance that the answer is not to be found in one or the other but in a nondualistic stance that is a paradoxical unity. I submit there is great confusion over the concept of one. There is the mathematical understanding of one as singular or exclusive and there is the metaphysical understanding of one as manifold or inclusive. Mathematical oneness comes from the language of the mind and metaphysical oneness comes from the language of the heart. This confusion is apparent when we talk about the oneness of -O- (My spelling of the word God.) as we assume a mathematical one that is separate while we are discussing a metaphysical one that is unity. It is true that -O- is one in the mathematical sense of the term, but it is also true that -O- is one in the metaphysical sense of the term. -O- is singular in that there is nothing but -O- and at the same time -O- is unity for the same reason. -O- is not a separate one nor separate manys for the one contains the many while the many contain the one. One of the biggest problems with using the mathematical concept when discussing Metaphysical issues is the idea of separate entities. -O- is separate from Nature. Man is separate from Nature. -O- is separate from Man. These separations are true only in a logical sense for one cannot separate one from the other in an existential sense. The Biblical and Science Literalists are equally hubristic by acting as if they have the authority speak for all of us on these issue of Science vs. Religion. It seems to me this is a false dichotomy with equally unreasonable choices. I find it somewhat amusing to listen to the arguments between the two camps as these people make idols out of images in their attempt to force all people to accept one or the other of the campfire stories as Truth. The Bibleist says only X is true while the Materialist says only Y is true and both fail to realize their respective images are irrelevant when it comes to Reality, which is at least A through Z. Perhaps the most hubristic is this assertion that in order to be considered a -O-image, the qualifier that it must be a being with volition and intent is included. To a Taoist, the concept of the Tao has the same function as the concept of God does to a Christian; why is one a -O-image and the other not? It does not follow that if some parts of one -O-image are shown to be mistaken from a Scientific P.O.V., that all -O-images are thereby invalid for the same reasons. Although they are two aspects of the same enterprise (the understanding of Reality), they occupy different functions in life. Religion is in the sphere of the Intuitive while Science is in the sphere of the Rational. This is why traditional monism misses the point; the One is not a choice between two sides of an issue. Unity is a Reality that encompasses Is and Is Not. We act as if our dictionary daffynitions are the only valid ones, which is certainly not the case, for neither the Biblical nor the Scietheistic images cover the entirety of the Reality. One does not have to give up the idea of -O- just because scientific evidence shows the universe to be self-generating. It seems a bit absurd to me that our Worldview be based on either one or the other when neither option fills the bill by itself. Neomonism questions the assumption of separateness as a fundamental truth. There may be a dichotomy between mind and matter, for example, but is the dichotomy logical or existential? Some take the stance of mind only as reality, some take the body only stance; each mistakes a logical paradox for an existential state of reality. Without body, as we understand it, we would not have mind, as we understand it. Mind only is a partial answer, body only is a partial answer. That any one particular answer is a partial answer does not mean it is a false answer, me
Self-help books don't seem to work. Few of the many advantages of modern life seem capable of lifting our collective mood. Wealth—even if you can get it—doesn't necessarily lead to happiness. Romance, family life, and work often bring as much stress as joy. We can't even agree on what "happiness" means. So are we engaged in a futile pursuit? Or are we just going about it the wrong way? Looking both east and west, in bulletins from the past and from far afield, Oliver Burkeman introduces us to an unusual group of people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. Whether experimental psychologists, terrorism experts, Buddhists, hardheaded business consultants, Greek philosophers, or modern-day gurus, they argue that in our personal lives, and in society at large, it's our constant effort to be happy that is making us miserable. And that there is an alternative path to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity, and uncertainty—the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid. Thought-provoking, counterintuitive, and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is the intelligent person's guide to understanding the much-misunderstood idea of happiness.
At one time or another, each of us must deal with the inner wounds left in the wake of life's changes, transitions, and losses. These challenging experiences affect every part of who we are: body, mind, and spirit. In Healing the Wounds of Change, Dr. Brady Reinsmith provides a practical guide to helping us understand and heal our wounds of change. She shares meaningful insights and suggestions that can help us move confidently forward, toward personal and spiritual renewal, and toward a more satisfying life. She suggests that we begin with a deeper understanding of the significance of change, of its many "faces." She then focuses on dealing with the stress of change, on the relational nature of change, the fears and anxieties it generates, and its opportunities for holistic renewal. Healing the Wounds of Change presents an inclusive approach to personal and spiritual renewal. It includes relevant information from the disciplines of psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, theology, and spirituality, and suggests ways that we can generate inner peace and joy for ourselves and for others.
In As Long as It’s Fun, the biography of Lin and Larry Pardey, Herb McCormick recounts their remarkable sailing career—from their early days in Southern California to their two circumnavigations to their current life in a quiet cove in New Zealand. Through interviews with their families, friends, and critics, McCormick delves deeply into the couple’s often-controversial opinions, sometimes-tenuous marriage, and amazing list of accomplishments. As Long as It’s Fun is as much a love story as it is a sea yarn, and, like all such stories, it’s not without complications . . . which makes it not only a sailing tale but also a human one.
Kornfield explains how simple it is to start and stick with a daily meditation practice, a time-honored skill of calming the spirit and clearing the mind for higher understanding.