jeeprs wrote:Not dying from excessive alcohol consumption whilst still in your fifties would be a good start.
As I said, I like Alan Watts. His writing was excellent, he was an original thinker, but he really didn't 'walk the walk'. In the last period of his life he drank a bottle of vodka every day 'to fill up the nothingness', I think was the phrase that Monica Furlong quoted in her biography. He was also not beyond reproach in his relationships with women.
So in the context of the discussion, that is relevant. He could have been a lot less 'antinomian' and I think his health would have benefited from it.
OK, wait a minute... did you listen to the audio? You judge him on precepts when he is talking about profound compassion beyond our petty opinions. He is offering a piece of development that I feel is missing in Buddhism, particularly in my experience with zen. He is much more than an original thinker, he speaks an integrated truth... perhaps because he experienced suffering and compassion himself. Undoubtedly he suffered, but he is presenting a teaching that will reveal a larger consciousness, wisdom and compassion only for our benefit. When we listen, it is only for our insight into ourselves and our suffering. It just ain't that easy to write him off. I've heard this controversy and judgement about him before, so we judge people by their behavior and success with practices and precepts in traditions that they don't follow ... doesn't work for me. We miss the larger view. Listen to him, is it a teaching? It is for us to take what teaches us, what gives us insight and leave the rest. We can learn according to what we hear if we don't rely on authorities.... we do know when we are honest with ourselves.
Alan Watts most definately walked his talk, all of it - some of it to his detriment, it just doesn't add up to our expectations. He is teaching us about compassion and mercy for ourselves and others... he is teaching us to be a lamp unto ourselves. If you don't understand, please remember, you may when you are ready.
And, you worry about the vodka. He paid a price for sure. It's none of our business. Do his words have any value? Alan Watts has my gratitude for it all.... the good, the bad and the ugly so-called. He was a pioneer, no one showed him the way.
This idea of antinomian that says anything goes is not accurate.... I have said this before. It is unkind and inaccurate to pin that on Alan Watts.
Thank you. End of rant.