Alan Watts (1915-1973) was a great explicator of the Oriental way of being. This is the fifth volume in the Love of Wisdom Library edited by his son Mark. In these lectures given between 1968 and 1973, he examines Taoism.

The anxiety, the body tension, and the constant stress of our lives in the West is partly the result of trying to make things happen and to control outcomes. The antidote is "Wu Wei" (don't force it). Or as Watts notes, "When you force a lock, you usually bend the key, so instead, jiggle gently."

Instead of fighting the external world, adopt the watercourse way of Taoism — go with the flow. By following the course of least resistance, we keep the door open for spontaneity and surprise. Watts also talks about art as a controlled accident, the wisdom of accepting yin and yang (the constant interplay of differences), and the value of following intuition. These lectures seem as relevant to our times as when they were first presented over 25 years ago.

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