I found the words of Alan Watts a decade ago when I first began to seriously question my beliefs and understandings of man, religion, spirituality, and my place in it all. It was 2003 and a friend of mine asked me to clarify my thoughts on religion, that led me to find the voice of Alan Watts in a YouTube video and I knew instanteously that I loved him.
His choice of words, the way he easily spoke of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism, Shintoism, and more… He never spoke ill of a religion or path, but instead he was able to see them through the eyes of the devotee.
Oh, I had so much to learn. I still have more to understand, but all along the way Alan’s voice has answered questions I didn’t have the vocabulary to ask.
The original foreword by Dr. Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, himself better known today as Ram Dass, was a nice read as well. The new introduction by Daniel Pinchbeck , a modern day pioneer into the psychedlica landscape is exactly what someone new to this type to work will need to slide into the right frame of mind.
Picking up this book, getting lost into the words and information, leafing through it slowly, it was as if I was sitting beside Alan on the deck of his houseboat in San Fransico bay, quietly listening to him expound upon the universe. I would have been mesmerized there, just as I was sitting in my room at night, reading by lamp light.
I stopped frequently to let something sink in, some new way of seeing it all, trying not to get lost in my own reverie before I moved on deeper into his explorations. Okay, okay, I know that this will seem strange to some of you, but this book is written from the standpoint and experiences of his use of the mind altering (expanding) substances of LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin to induce and prolong psychedelic experiences.
This subject matter isn’t for some, and I understand that, but his descriptions and eloquence on the subject of consciousness are something to behold.
“Consciousness peers out from a center which it cannot see – and that is the root of the matter.”
Whether you are already well versed in the subject of consciousness or not, this is a tour de force of psychedelic exploration, and I could not recommend it more.
I want to thank New World Library for bringing this sacred tome back and delivering it to the modern man. Alan Watts is a sage, and this is a worthy edition to his poetic work. You can buy this book from Amazon by following this link: The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness by Alan Watts