We thought it would be interesting to tell you about some heroes of ours. Some of the writers/thinkers/artists/activists who have informed the way we see things here at Conscious Cuts.
The child in the black and white photo is a young Alan Watts. Watts was a philosopher/spiritual thinker born in the early 20th century in Britain and who later moved to the US where he became an American citizen.
In later life Watts wrote of a mystical dream he had as a child while ill with a fever.
When I read about that dream it made me think of those lines from Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb about a fever dream in childhood, about catching “a fleeting glimpse” of something “out of the corner of my eye”.
‘The child is grown, the dream is gone’
The song goes on:
“I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone”
All of Alan Watts’ philosophy is in a sense about the pursuit of that elusive thing, glimpsed fleetingly in childhood. Watts was a pantheist but Buddhism is definitely at the cornerstone of his belief system. Like a lot of Buddhist thinkers he taught a lot through negation. Lifting the veil of illusion by showing us everything life is not. So we might finally approach what it truly is.
If you want an easy introduction to Watts get his book the Wisdom of Insecurity. In the book he uses this technique of negation to pull apart dogmatic religion and show the limitations of scientific materialism.
It’s a beautiful book that asks us to make peace with the essential insecurity of life.
There are also many audio recordings of Watts’ lectures you can find on Youtube. He’s a great companion, eloquent and poetic and incredibly inspiring. Here’s a great one to start you off with.