“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

The Cosmic Body by Alan Watts

Let’s spend some time with Alan Watts. I recommend a decent dose of sour diesel just prior to pushing play.

So then, is it true? Is the modern idea of consciousness–the so-called “me,” my “I,” the “ego”–a hallucination, a sort of muscle knot inside our forehead in sorry need of a meditative massage? Is our battle with a mechanical nature just a terrible nightmare, a dream that our true identity will soon awaken from?






4 responses to “The Cosmic Body by Alan Watts”

  1. terenceblake Avatar

    I think Alan Watts has been unjustly neglected in philosophical circles. He gives a sort of “schizoanalysis before schizoanalysis” approach to the ego. My first published article was 36 years ago in a counter-cultural journal, on Alan Watts. I argued that structuralism had a theoretical critique of the ego, but that it needed to be complemented by experiential transformations. I gave the example of my philosophy department, which was very Althusserian and Lacanian at the time. I proposed that this theoretical approach be extended not by a Lacanian psychoanalysis, too élitist and inaccessible tomy eyes. Rather, it could be completed by practices such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, attention to dreams, etc. Needless to say the Althusserians found the idea ridiculous, and the counter-cultural readers scoffed at the “theory”. This explains why when I discovered Deleuze I embraced his ideas very enthusiastically.

    Perhaps times have changed, so keep up the good work!

  2. soulmechanic Avatar

    Drugs are helpful in realizing “I” is actually a transexual deviant oversoul incarnating in each of us for all time, imposing itSelf on its own fractal selves. Hence our historical arguments with our self (via selves):

    “I want to run naked through the woods screaming at the top of my lungs.”

    “Wait, do I? I’m pretty sure I don’t.”

    “No, I do. Right before I commit catastrophic atrocities.”

    “What am I talking about? Why am I having these thoughts I find totally out of order?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “Wait, do I really not know?”

    “I believe no, yes…”

    “But I don’t think no! Hmm, “I” no longer represents how I feel or what I know anymore.”


    “Wait, am I going through a psychotic break right now?”

    “Uh oh.”

    “Holy shit. I isn’t me! I’m something else entirely.”


    Opposites unite, life goes on…

  3. […] The Cosmic Body by Alan Watts (footnotes2plato.com) […]

  4. What If Money Was No Object? | Wonder Fanatic Avatar

    […] The Cosmic Body by Alan Watts (footnotes2plato.com) […]

Leave a Reply to soulmechanic Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: