Reddit Reddit reviews The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

We found 74 Reddit comments about The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Personal Transformation Self-Help
The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
Vintage Books
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74 Reddit comments about The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are:

u/qret · 21 pointsr/

For anyone particularly interested in this line of thought: look into Vedanta. Alan Watts's The Book was the first place I encountered it. The book appears to be available in .pdf if you google it, not sure if it's legal, but there you have it.

u/_amazingBastard · 15 pointsr/videos

I recommend his book where he explains this more in depth. Great read for anyone interested.

u/LibraVirtus · 13 pointsr/AlanWatts

"The Book: on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are" --

Awesome title btw

u/Trailokyavijaya · 11 pointsr/Buddhism

Science gives us elegant, nominal explanations of the universe which codify its operations/functions in useful terms and ideas. Science let us explore the universe and build incredible things, and generally really understand how things work (although, as we see at the quantum level, our understanding is still highly limited). Science certainly has a graceful art at its heart - for example in, say, the simulation of geometric patterns corresponding to snowflakes in flight, or the marvelous wave-particle duality in quantum physics, or the magnificent taxonomy of our planet's species, or our grandest ideas about the unobservable universe.

Yet, no matter what science can provide us, it is knowledge about an ultimately empty reality. The knowledge that science provides us is knowledge of what exists dependently, which is, therefore, actually knowledge that does not see the emptiness of the studied phenomena, only its form.

When phenomena are seen to be empty, what happens to he seeking to calculate the quantum physical laws? Not just phenomena, but that self observing it, is empty. When this emptiness is realized, this artificial distinction between the observer and observed is destroyed with crystal Samadhi.

We need knowledge that things exist dependently. We need the Dharma to overcome suffering. Science nor nothing else will be to do that, but it does seem quantum physics may represent the closest theoretical models pointing to the Dharma, in a creative analogical way.

Some pointers are found in the most cutting edge quantum physics. Impermanence abounds at the quantum level in paradoxical ways, for example. This is so exciting to me, to see Dharma 's illumination so brightly in modern science: I believe if you look carefully, there is a lot to learn in modern astrophysics and quantum science. The references to how perception shapes reality, how perceiver and perceived interpenetrate, are staggeringly numerous in many fields as complex as string theory.

Therefore, the inability of science to never actually explain reality completely like the Dharma, does not diminish the beauty of modern science. We must always be aware of the nature of reality, at the ultimate level, and by doing so we can even more greatly appreciate the mystery and beauty of the conventionally existent universe, in which our existence appears inseparable from everything else, and our quantum understanding of which is increasingly analogical to the Dharma.

If this piques your interest, then definitely read The Tao of Physics

I want to tag Alan Watts! That beautiful man says this elegantly. Please read his books, everyone, especially The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. :)

u/En_lighten, u/UsYntax

u/Kowthe · 9 pointsr/pantheism
u/woo-woo-way · 7 pointsr/awakened

You know what? I'm sure everyone's going to share any of the actual books on awakening or enlightenment or whatever (although I don't see The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts listed yet, and that was instrumental for getting the ball rolling for me before I even knew there was a ball to roll - I still pick it up every now and again and read passages).

But anyway, in my early 20's, I was REALLY into Tom Robbins, and I realize now that those books connected me with a truth I didn't yet know how to find. He's a freakin' genius. His words still, to this day, make me giddy.

So if you're ever interested in wild, hilarious, raucous fiction that gropes the awakened viewpoint like a drunk in a whorehouse, I recommend these books:

Skinny Legs and All

Jitterbug Perfume

Still Life With Woodpecker

He has more, and they're all equally is good in many ways - those three just happen to be my favorite.

u/[deleted] · 7 pointsr/TheRedPill

I'm currently reading "The book: On the taboo of knowing who you are" by Alan Watts, very similar stuff and pretty easy to understand. Good stuff so far. From the inside fap: A witty attack on the illusion that the self is a separate ego that confronts a universe of alien physical objects.

u/Kaioatey · 6 pointsr/suggestmeabook

I've read a few of Alan Watts books, I would recommend The Book (on the Taboo agains knowing who you are). The Way of Zen is also a great introduction to Buddhism. I also like the work of J. Krishnamurti. On Having No Head by Douglas Harding is also a classic for backpackers.

u/HerbAsher1618 · 6 pointsr/spirituality

Try Alan Watts for size. Start with his audio, and if you dig it, slip into one of his books, possibly even The Book

u/gulpy · 6 pointsr/videos

Honestly - I would look into Alan Watts talks on youtube. He's a Zen Buddhist, not a traditional tibetan buddhist, but the major philosophies are the same. He also as a book called "The Book - The Taboo of Knowing Who You Are" which I highly recommend.

u/HappinessPursuit · 6 pointsr/Psychonaut

The Book by Alan Watts is one of my favorite books of all time.

I also really suggest just listening to lectures/videos you can find on youtube of Alan Watts, Ram Dass, Terence McKenna, and more. Here are some good youtube channels to check out:


Study Yourself

Omega Point



The Journey of Purpose

Agape Insitori

Shots of Awe

Spirit Science

Science and Nonduality


Infinite Waters

One Mind Messiah

Also here is a playlist I'm working on that I update every few days. Hope you discover something of value :)

u/KetoSandwich · 5 pointsr/TheRedPill

Are you talking about this one

By Allan Watts?
I discovered it yesterday and its going to arrive in a couple of days. Glad To hear I’m not wasting my time with it.

u/TonyBagels · 5 pointsr/QuotesPorn

From his book "The Book: On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are"

u/airandfingers · 5 pointsr/BettermentBookClub

I haven't read most of the suggestions here, but I found Alan Watts' lectures to be very thought-provoking. I watched videos of his lectures on Youtube (probably starting with these excerpts, which were animated by the South Park creators), but he's written some books, too. This one seems interesting: The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

Watts (like many others) distills parts of Eastern philosophy so that it's more easily digestible by Western audiences, but I can't speak to his faithfulness to the source philosophies.

u/halhen · 5 pointsr/books

Alan Watts' The Book. Makes me tranquil like no other, and tranquil is the way I want to leave this world.

u/alphabetcereal · 4 pointsr/Psychonaut

If you haven't come across these yet, check out The Book and his audio lectures on amazon. I also have an e-copy if anyone needs it.

u/Wylkus · 4 pointsr/twinpeaks

To wake up from that dream is to wake up as a person. To use your consciousness and presence to realize there is no such thing as yourself or even the world you see, that it too is only a dream, that there is only one thing, the universe/God/Brahma. To wake up to that reality is to wake up as God/Brahma.

So goes this line of spiritual thinking, which Eckhart no doubt follows too. Alan Watts spells it out quite nicely in The Book. And David Lynch seems to be a fan of it too based on some of his Log Lady Intros:

>I am filled with questions. Sometimes my questions are answered. In my heart, I can tell the answer is correct. I am my own judge. In a dream, are all the characters really you? Different aspects of you? Do answers come in dreams?

>There are clues everywhere, all around us. But the puzzle maker is clever. The clues, although surrounding us, are somehow mistaken for something else. And the something else, the wrong interpretation of the clues, we call our world. Our world is a magical smoke screen.

So in short, most people live in a dream inside a dream. They live trapped in the dream that they are the role that they fulfill as dictated by society. With effort they can awaken from that dream and become their full self, but to live as a self is still to live inside a dream, trapped in the dream that you are a individual self disconnected from the universe. With even more effort you can awaken from that dream to your true self as the universe.

u/AvidyaZen · 4 pointsr/mindcrack

The Middle Way lecture changed my life.

Have you read: The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

For those not familiar with Watts check out the two quick clips the South Park guys made :P

u/prajna_upekkha · 4 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

PS: here some pointers –not to be taken for the Moon..



Alan Watts' The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are


Alan Watts' The Wisdom Of Insecurity


Alan Watts' Become What You Are


Charles Tart's Waking Up



There are zillions of bibliographies and references on the sub for healing from dysfunctional upbringings and other situations of systematic abuse: r/CPTSD

Search such authors in there for instance, and feel free to follow posts and comments speaking about this reprogramming and many other areas of the 'recovery' work; you may start by detecting, dissecting and unraveling the Consensus Trance.

For a first introduction, another book I can think of is Wayne Dyer's 'Your Erroneous Zones', which you'll find referenced over there too. Enjoy!


u/goodgilman · 4 pointsr/suggestmeabook

The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts

u/the_singular_anyone · 4 pointsr/infp

For me, meditating on no-thought daily. Reading into zen philosophy, and incorporating it into my life. I absolutely adore Alan Watts, and he's a great place to start - I'd recommend The Book if you want to jump in the deep end, or The Wisdom of Insecurity if you want to start more shallow.

Once you re-orient your life-philosophy (dorky as that sentence sounds) to focus on the now and the recognition that reality goes far beyond the labels we apply to it, the daily maintenance is rather easy. I meditate to clear my mind and re-orient myself, contemplate, and listen to what my body needs - not every person that follows zen does this, but I do, and for me, it's the healthiest, best thing I could possibly do.

u/digableplanet · 4 pointsr/dating_advice

I wanted to make a big reply at the bottom, but I think this thread will be grazed over in the next few days. However, I wanted to make it a point to reply to you, because I've been through what you've been through and to let you know that this stuff does work. Not because it's some "method," but rather it's changing how you perceive situations and how you walk into them.

Don't think of it as "Don't give a fuck" and "don't do anything" because that's not it at all. It's purely walk into every situation with zero expectations and you just being yourself. I've never been a guy that approaches women at a bar or in a social setting. Why? Because it's contrived, obvious, and I am not some stud that oozes confidence. It's really about being comfortable in the setting you are in, then being comfortable with yourself (yes, the rising anxiety OP describes is always bubbling up, right?), but you eventually get over the hump. After that, just continue doing what your doing and have situational awareness. At that point, I still won't approach a woman. Why? Because before I left my apartment, I had no intention and zero expectations of meeting anyone. I kind of strike that up to years and years of going out with that "pick up" mentality or the expectation that I'm going to meet some beautiful women that night. It never really happened, so it is quite easy for me now to go out with zero expectations of anything. Hell, I might not even have fun with my friends that night, or really suck at pinball, or the concert might suck, etc. Or all of that could be the opposite. The point I'm making is having zero expectations, but bringing a positive mindset. You are going out to "make yourself happy first" and everything is secondary.

That's the aura of confidence you are talking in your comment. If you're comfortable in your own skin and are moderately sociable, it's really easy to talk to people (men & women) and you look approachable yourself. This energy kind of carries over into the place you are in because you are just doing your own thing. You don't have an agenda. Don't have an agenda. Women sense that. And so do dudes! Have you ever been hanging out with your friends, and some weird guy interjects into your circle and throws the dynamic off? Women do that as well. On the flip side, the opposite is true. Some cool guy or girl simply makes conversation and it feels natural. There are a lot of things going on when that happens, but the ultimately, the vibrations they are putting out are non-threatening. Humans can sense that.

For me, this is how I approach dates as well. Zero expectations. I'm meeting a woman to have good conversation, have some drinks, hang out, and have fun. I want to have fun and I want them to have fun too. No agenda, no expectations besides having fun. Of course the nervous jitters are there and everything else, but all that will go away if you keep carrying on a conversation and getting to know them. Get out of that mental feedback loop of self-doubt and "Does she like me?" Who cares? Let your personality shine through, be respectful, be playful, and hang out. Everything else will unfold and if you dig each other, then that's date #2 if you want. Rinse and repeat. Next date, same thing. Naturally, your emotions and feelings will come out if you think there's chemistry. No need to think so much.

I struggled (still do) with anxiety, self-esteem, and all that, but things have gotten a lot better. I think it really comes down to accepting yourself, getting rid of that ego, and continually trying to improve yourself as well (career, health, exercise, dress). Those are the slow changes that are hard to observe, but like anything else you are putting effort into, you aren't really noticing them on a day-to-day basis, but one day you will. This stuff will all just start to click if you practice and put effort into it.

Sorry I rambled so much. I was going to add some more stuff, but those are just my thoughts. OP has a point though. We are thinking way too much about this and it cripples us mentally. No expectations, man. You do you. Enjoy the moment. Just be.

Read - Alan Watts: The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.

u/fight_collector · 3 pointsr/pantheism

Just finished reading The Book myself. What an awesome read! Whenever I read I like to highlight passages I want to revisit later. Pretty sure more than 50% of my copy is highlighted :)

u/lvltwo · 3 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Alan Watts - The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

And time.

You've started down the right path, and at the same time there is no right path. No person, no book, no movie can really tell you how letting go of your ego is done. Because no two people are the same. There may be a moment where something clicks and you 'get it'. There may be a few of those moments. There may be not a single one. It could be laid out in front of you in the clearest of writing, and it might make no difference. It's something that is lived through.

You won't really know once you've gotten there either. It is a slow, constant process.

And keep in mind it's a process every single one of us is involved in. In our own way. Each in our own heads, but together :)

u/oiwot · 3 pointsr/FindTheOthers

Alan Watts - pretty much anything, but especially "The Book on The Taboo against knowing who you are." [links:
Amazon, PDF]

u/jnethery · 3 pointsr/DecidingToBeBetter

I'd suggest: The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

Alan Watts is not light reading, nor necessarily uplifting, but is very introspective and may help some people out of dark times and find some inner peace.

u/sarkujpnfreak42 · 3 pointsr/Psychonaut
u/sbarret · 3 pointsr/Psychonaut


Please, read this book:
you can even find kindle/pdf versions online.

Why am I suggesting this?

This book is a great "mind opener" on totally different models of comprehension of Divinity, and is pretty much "atheism backwards compatible" just like most zen-Buddhism. Try it!

u/oaoao · 3 pointsr/philosophy

>The individual may be understood neither as an isolated person nor as an expendable humanoid working machine. He may be seen, instead , as one particular focal point at which the whole universe express itself---as an incarnation of the Self, of the Godhead, or whatever one may choose to call IT

>- Alan Watts, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, pg. 78 (1989)

u/maddnes · 3 pointsr/philosophy

Alan Watts - The Book (on the taboo against knowing who you are)

..and Buddhism - The Religion of No Religion

u/daxofdeath · 2 pointsr/shrooms

have you ever read Alan Watts? If not, I think you'll really like him :)

u/ColorOfSpace · 2 pointsr/intj

Depending on who I'm talking to I'm either an atheist or a a Buddhist because they are good shorthand. I generally avoid telling people anything because I feel that spirituality is extremely personal and isn't always meant to be shared. My beliefs on Buddhism are also based almost entirely on the works of Alan Watts (link to one of his books at the bottom).

I was raised in a very conservative Christian environment but went through all kinds of different phases after rejecting it. For a while a practiced witchcraft and ceremonial magick, studied christian mysticism, Kabbalah, shamanism, and was even part of a Chaos Magick group for some time(interestingly virtually every person in this group was an INFJ or INTJ). These things no longer play a major role in my life but to claim that I have left them behind would be dishonest. The ideas and beliefs, or rather the malleability of ideas and beliefs, that I encountered during this part of my life still affect every part of who I am. I won't try and justify any of this logically, all I can say is that it is a type of study that some people are naturally drawn to and they have to be really careful to not get lost in self delusion. The best way I can describe "Magick" is that it is the study of the nature of reality and the power of symbols in the human psyche.

Today my main form of spiritual practice is just meditation and automatic writing. I meditate anywhere from half an hour to an hour a day and It has more benefits than I could have ever imagined. I am more effective at everything I do, I'm more focused, I'm more confident, I rarely get depressed, my temper never flairs up, I'm more patient, I'm better at dealing with people, I'm now almost completely unaffected by other people's emotions etc... Automatic writing just means writing as fast as you can without consciously thinking about what you are putting down on the paper. The only goal here is to learn about yourself and dig into your beliefs. All of us have an incredible amount of unhealthy beliefs about every part of life and they can be replaced. I have also came across very interesting ideas and poetry this way. This is very personal and It's benefits are very personal. I cannot guess what someone else would learn about themselves by doing a similar practice.

This only scratches of the surface, but today the main belief I try and live by is that everything is one and my identity is an illusion. There is only one experience or one event that makes up the entirety of the universe. Practically it just means that everything is "environment". My "identity" is implied by the environment and the environment is implied by my identity, infact to divide the two is a logical fallacy. An itch, my idea's, a door, my roommate's emotions, a tree, and the sun are all really the same thing- environment, God, universe, experience, Ubik etc... There is only one experience and bliss can only be enjoyed by complete acceptance and love of the experience.

If you are curious about this idea check out The Book: On Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts and/or The Wisdom Of Insecurity.

I'm also willing to discuss, to the best of my ability, anything else I wrote here.

u/quinkjidink · 2 pointsr/dpdr

Dictionary of obscure sorrows - Lutalica

Personally, I think labels shouldn't be called as such. Labels, tend to be words steeped with meaning. AKA, a word with a deep connotations and complexity. Choosing to identify with labels tends to limit yourself. But they are useful because learning about new things and new ways to understand reality can help expand your understanding of yourself. You are more than a chronically ill, depersonalized, transsexual who lives in a van.

The Game of black and White - Allan Watts.

This essay is from his book The Book: on the taboo against knowing who you are

That's my take on it.

^edit: ^redudency

u/Mick8535 · 2 pointsr/kratom

You want to go on a serious self-discovery trip? Pick up a copy of this book by Alan Watts (its totally affordable used) --- kick back with this book, ingest some kratom, and contemplate the way of things. You'll never be the same, in a good way, of course!!!
Here is another good one:

u/calj · 2 pointsr/GetMotivated

No ego is far better than a big ego. Having no ego is much more difficult to achieve as well.

My advice, read this.

u/jersan · 2 pointsr/pantheism

Also by Alan Watts: The Book

The book isn't explicitly about pantheism but it is about our perceptions of life and the universe and discusses many themes that pantheism shares.

u/BalancedOpinion · 2 pointsr/philosophy

Einstein was a Panentheist and it aligns each of these concepts nicely. It's hard to deny how practical Panentheism is, when you get beyond the fragile ego of human beings. You should read Allan Watts, The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. Watts was a Buddhist, which aligns with Panentheism nicely.

Panentheism also solves the unreliability problem because if the universe is God, as well as everything else in the past, then there is an accessibility problem inherent in that whereby we exist, where do we draw the line between ourselves and everything else?

There are spaces between our atoms. There is space outside of Earth's atmosphere. We are therefore everywhere at once if we consider the space to be relevant to our beings. Watts looks at this as a connected theory.

There are some problems with proving a single brain creates everything, unless you consider the universe as the brain.

u/Niseione · 2 pointsr/QuotesPorn
u/haCkFaSe · 2 pointsr/books

I'd recommend Alan Watts. Here are two of my favorite:

The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
or maybe
The Way of Zen

u/proud2befat · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Dude, you are not crazy. This is actually what a lot of people experience. You could try reading some Alan Watts, he writes quite a lot about this Oneness that you experienced. [The Book] ( by Watts helped me to grasp the concept a bit better.

u/Roobomatic · 2 pointsr/videos

Watts' book: The Book changed my life when I read it in the 80s. I mean changed everything about the way I see the world.

its worth the read. Before you buy a book, watch this lecture:

u/Fealiks · 2 pointsr/askphilosophy

It's nice of you to be so polite and open minded in your response! Personally I'm scraping below the surface of being an autodidact so you'll have to take everything I say with a pinch of salt, but for what it's worth I have a twofold response for you.

First, I would say that it's probably important to note that a lot of the philosophy I mentioned above came about, obviously, a long time before quantum physics. I was just suggesting a strong parallel between quantum physics/relativity and eastern philosophies. The writings and philosophical musings of some of the early quantum physicists are certainly original, and you could categorize them as amateur philosophy, but the resemblance to eastern philosophy is still striking.

In the past few decades there have been a lot of amateur philosophers who use the word "quantum" as sort of a meaningless buzzword, and that's sort of devalued a lot of the cultural content of quantum physics as you phrase it. For that reason, I'd definitely exercise a bit of a critical eye if you're going to get into the philosophy of quantum physics, and to be honest, I think that if you search around specifically for philosophies based on quantum physics you're going to find that a large amount of it is pretty much drivel. Put simply, it might be better to read some of the philosophies that inspired people like Schroedinger rather than reading the philosophies that are loosely based upon quantum physics. The Hindu philosophy of vedanta is a particularly good place to start, and an absolutely engrossing and fun book on the subject is by Alan Watts, called The Book: On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.

Secondly, in order to appreciate any of this you've got to respect the differences between eastern and western philosophy. In a lot of ways, they're totally different. A lot of eastern philosophies we in the west would consider to be religious in nature, which can make them quite difficult to swallow. To get past this, you have to respect what I would argue is the chief difference between eastern and western philosophy, which is that while western philosophy is almost entirely prosaic and unambiguous in nature, a lot of eastern philosophers felt as though philosophy was best expressed not through prose but through poetry and storytelling. To us this is bizarre, so it can take some adapting to. To understand what's being said, you must respect the fact that a lot of eastern philosophy (Indian particularly) is done by analogy, otherwise you're likely to believe that those philosophers were the reductionists we are and that they believed in superstitious/irrational creatures and events. Joseph Campbell, the mythologist, made a very clear point regarding this, which is that in order to understand myth and religion, you have to read the connotations and not the denotations.

Another point I'd make is that since eastern philosophy can be so radically difficult to what we're used to, you have to be very vigilant about admitting when your resistance to an idea is ideological in nature. Some ideas expressed in eastern philosophy can seem clearly patently incorrect, and it's only with introspection and examination that you realise that sometimes (not necessarily always) eastern ideas might only seem false when compared with ideas we've been brought up with and never had to question. For example, Hindu cosmology treats the self as very much central to the universe, sort of taking relativism to its logical extreme. It can be very jarring to read about a view of the universe which treats the self as so meaningful and central, but a large part of this resistance comes simply from the stock which us westerners place in individualism and ego. There are certain eastern ideas which seem genuinely taboo or distasteful to us westerners, and that, in my opinion, is a sign of ideological resistance and not rational thought. You may find that you have to "suspend your disbelief" somewhat in order to digest some of the ideas completely.

tl;dr I would recommend reading about eastern philosophy first, and then, if you wish, examining quantum physics with some o those ideas in mind. The book I mentioned is a great place to start, and it's a very enjoyable and gratifying read. I'm sure anybody who reads that book will at least get something out of it, even if it doesn't spark a wider interest in eastern philosophy. I think that getting into eastern philosophy is very valuable because it's the Side B of the tape of human thought, and so really shouldn't be neglected.

u/jessebrown81 · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Pick up a copy of The Book by Alan Watts, sit under a tree, read it, and think about it.

u/StrawDawg · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Also not really specifically what you are asking for, but a subtle kick to the head with some perspective mixed with eastern philosophy may help.

Get into some Alan Watts... lots of videos/lectures online.

Book form:

Maybe also a slow read of Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.

u/UncleDrosselmeyer · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

For the New Intellectual by Ayn Rand, it is an insightful and short essay. Some editions include excerpts from her more famous novels.

The Book by Alan W. Watts, short and penetrating.📚

u/AtochaCastaway · 1 pointr/todayilearned

My number one recommended book..... The Book: On the Taboo of Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts, which gives many examples for a Western reader to help understand this 'philosophy', so to speak. I really have no words to describe the impact this book had on me spiritually when I first read it other than to say that the title is very fitting.
Other's have much more eloquent things to say than myself.

u/StopThinking · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism

A couple others here have recommended Alan Watts. I couldn't agree more. I would start with The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.

u/ac78913 · 1 pointr/makingfriends

Do you mind if I give a bit of an alternative answer/advice?
I recomend you read The Book by the late philosopher Alan Watts. While it may seem like crock, I recommend you keep an open mind and give it a read. It's relatively short, contains many profound concepts, and may give you a new perspective on all this.

u/r0kud · 1 pointr/IAmA

The Book - On the Taboo Against Know Who You Are by Alan Watts is one of my personal favorites.

His son also has a YouTube channel with some of his talks:


u/SingleMulletTheory · 1 pointr/Glitch_in_the_Matrix

I don't really know if I believe in reincarnation, but I've been reading this and it's been freaking me out...

u/wusticality · 1 pointr/exchristian

I’d seriously consider getting a skilled therapist, he / she can help you work through all of the religious trauma. It takes awhile to undo and it helps to have someone as a sounding board. It will take time to heal, just remember it’s a process and it takes awhile (it took me a few years). But it does get better and it will all be ok.

Also, I highly recommend reading Alan Watts. He will break the Christian illusion in a way that will show you who you really are.

Wishing you much luck, love, and happiness, you’re amongst friends here!

u/WakeUpMrBubbles · 1 pointr/AskALiberal

If you're interested in an eastern philosophy perspective but have a western cultural background there's no one better than Alan Watts to start with. He's an expert at translating difficult concepts into a frame of reference that's far more digestible.

I'd start here with The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. Alternatively you can listen to many of his talks on YouTube for free. I highly recommend this as his character is half the joy of his work. Here's a relevant talk that covers some of the same material as The Book, just in less depth obviously.

If you enjoy his work, then you can move on to more difficult material. I'm a huge fan of Nagarjuna and his Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, or "The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way". It's an incredible work but you can't just start there or you won't have the necessary conceptual vocabulary.

u/Rage_harles · 1 pointr/conspiracy

Here are a few books that opened my mind to questioning reality, and a few books that I've read to help me understand this shift in consciousness I've been going through.



  3. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (don't let the commercialization of that book strip you from believing it to be authentic; plenty of profound truths in that!)

  4. The Law of One



    I highly suggest, whenever you're going for a long drive or walk out in the park, taking out your phone and searching "Adyashanti" in the YouTube search bar. There are tons of profound talks by him, all on this subject. He has changed my life and opened my mind hugely. Enjoy!
u/tesfts · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism

Also The Book, From the same guy. You can get a pdf of it if you just Google "The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are pdf"... it's one of the first results. It's pretty much all about the "spiritual aspect" you're talking about.

u/schopenhauerfan5 · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism

>Yes, you are. You are an accumulation of molecules programmed to experience so as to increase chances of surviving and reproduction, to a point where "advanced" thought can take place, but it's still just an evolutionary tool.

Bacteria don't experience anything, & they copy just fine. The human body has over 37 trillion cells, & ~100 trillion bacterial cells in & on the body.

Billions of years of evolution has programmed humans to be pro-birth, since you are the result of millions of generations since sexual reproduction emerged 1.2 BYA, & since the first mammals ~225 MYA, & since the first placental mammals emerged 90-66MYA.

But test your theory.

In the book DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Rick Strassman, who tested DMT on human volunteers, it says "One of our volunteers likes to say 'You can still be an atheist until 0.4.'" (an IV 0.4mg/kg dose of DMT). So inject yourself intravenously with 0.4mg/kg of DMT. Test it. It's falsifiable. Why would such a dose of DMT decrease atheism?

Does every psychedelic drug increase your chance of surviving & reproducing? Does spirituality necessarily increase your chance of surviving & reproducing? Does religion necessarily increase your chance of surviving & reproducing?

No, in fact, many religious traditions expect celibacy or abstinence from their "highest" class of holy people, monks, nuns, priests, etc. Jesus never had children. In the Greek Gospel of the Egyptians, Salome asks "How long shall men die?" & Jesus answers "As long as you women bear children."

Antinatalism (anti-birth) (or at least chastity, celibacy, abstinence) is common among ascetics of many religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sufism within Islam, Inca religion, Taoism, Gnosticism, Manicheanism, Catharism, the Bogomils, the ascetic Christian sect the Encratites, even the father of the Protest Reformation Martin Luther said "it is not be denied, that there is sin in procreation." Saint Gregory of Nyssa wrote "those who refrain from procreation through virginity themselves bring about a cancellation of death by preventing it from advancing further because of them, and, by setting themselves up as a kind of boundary stone between life and death, they keep death from going forward." The Christian theologian Clement of Alexandria, writing about the Encratites (a 2nd century sect of ascetic Christians who forbade marriage, sexual intercourse, and the consumption of meat) wrote "they teach that one should not enter into matrimony and beget children, should not bring further unhappy beings into the world, and produce fresh fodder for death." How many kids did the "Desert Fathers" have, early Christian hermits, ascetics, & monks living in the Scetes desert of Egypt starting around the 3rd century AD? Paul of Thebes was born in 227 AD in Egypt, is regarded as the 1st Christian hermit, & lived alone in the desert from age 16 to age 103.

>Leary and the bunch of them chose to ignore all the rest of science to prove that we are all special, because if we aren't special, what's the point? But that's just the thing, there is no point. No point at all.

LSD was previously a research drug. It was synthesized in 1938 by Albert Hoffman from lysergic acid, derived from ergot & Hoffman discovered its psychedelic properties in 1943. In the 1950s & 1960s, LSD was sold as "Delysid" as a medication for research purposes. In 1963, the Sandoz patent expired on LSD. Tim Leary advocated for its use. But LSD possession was made illegal in the US on October 24, 1968. LSD is considered an entheogen because it can trigger intense spiritual experiences, or out of body experiences. Stanislav Grof wrote that the spiritual experiences observed during LSD sessions seem to be indistinguishable from similar descriptions from ancient civilizations & world religions.

Alan Watts said "You're not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang."

Carl Sagan said "we are a way for the Cosmos to know itself."

Since every human being provides the universe a new perspective, since every human brain & personality is unique & unrepeatable, everyone is special. Every sentient observer becomes axis mundi the center of the universe (from their POV).

G. K. Chesterton said "The most unfathomable schools and sages have never attained to the gravity which dwells in the eyes of a baby of three months old. It is the gravity of astonishment at the universe, and astonishment at the universe is not mysticism, but a transcendent common-sense. The fascination of children lies in this: that with each of them all things are remade, and the universe is put again upon its trial. As we walk the streets and see below us those delightful bulbous heads, three times too big for the body, which mark these human mushrooms, we ought always primarily to remember that within every one of these heads there is a new universe, as new as it was on the seventh day of creation. In each of those orbs there is a new system of stars, new grass, new cities, a new sea." Well, and also new pain, new suffering, new heartache, new grief, new sadness, new boredom, new tragedy, new death, new loss, new mourning.

>You don't spend all day pondering the mortality of fish or bears, or wonder if that's all there is for them, but that's it for them. Or I mean, the energy stored in you will provide energy for many species of many things down the line, in that you're eaten and the things that eat you are eaten, and in that sense you live on. But other than that that's it. There is nothing scientific to support the feelings the psychedelic crowd lean on, that feeling is just a wanting to feel special.

There is a lot of fish suffering & bear suffering on Earth, but humans are currently sending the Earth on a course that will ultimately end in human extinction in 600 years (but not before all the fish & bears go extinct).

Science says LSD can trigger spiritual experiences. Science says psychedelic drugs like psilocybin can make terminal cancer patients accept death. You can ignore the science if you want, but then don't claim your views are scientific.

>Douglas Adams wrote a metaphor of humans being a puddle finding wonder in how the ground around them is shaped just right so the puddle fits just as it is. And that's all we are.

Edward R. Harrison supposedly said, "Given enough time, Hydrogen starts to wonder where it came from, and where its going." Why would it do that?

Hubert Reeves said "Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God & destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping." Pantheists believe God & the universe are the same thing. A pantheist might see the universe imbued with divinity. That's the Hindu description of God, Brahman, & they also believe the universe is cyclic. In Hinduism, Leela refers to the idea that all of reality is the result of "divine play" by the divine absolute, Brahman, "sport" of Brahman. Fritjof Capra wrote "God becomes the world which, in the end, becomes again God."

A pantheist would say God lives every life & experiences any pleasure or suffering that occurs. So the Golden Rule would be about avoiding self-harm. Jesus said "love God" & "love thy neighbor as thyself." A pantheist would say it's the same commandment. A pantheist believes reality is God playing solitaire forever. Which is the idea in The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts. See the 2009 story "The Egg" by Andy Weir. I can see how such an idea would bother some people, considering how much suffering & death occurs on Earth, but births are only possible due to procreation.

If there is no point at all, why don't you smash your hand with hammer? Because you don't really believe that. You're just repeating Dan Harmon (who might have Aspergers, & people on the autism spectrum are less likely to believe in God).

To a pantheist, the "point" is God playing hide-and-seek with Itself forever, in God's single-player role-playing game.

Experience ego death on psychedelic drugs & verify that "you" are your ego.

Alan Watts said "We do not 'come into' this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean 'waves' the universe 'peoples.' Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated 'egos' inside bags of skin."

edit: typos

u/hulahulagirl · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

The Book by Alan Watts. Take care.

u/theloraxe · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/allothernamestaken · 1 pointr/atheism

Reminds me of Alan Watts, specifically this book.

u/lcp · 1 pointr/AskReddit

That's a legit question, but how would 'I' know? A suggestion:

Step 1:
Read this:

Step 2:
Read more.

Step 3:
Read even more.

Step 3:
Rephrase your question.

u/catwok · 1 pointr/AskReddit

A lot of angst and soul seeking, lol.

Couple books I thought was kick ass at that age:

Prometheus Rising

The Book: The Taboo Against knowing Yourself

The former was more valuable to me then the latter, but if you haven't run into the concepts in it before, it's valuable.

u/skullhair · 1 pointr/Buddhism

I too am an atheist Buddhist. I congratulate you on wanting to learn more about Buddhism, as it may help you become mindful by looking inward. I would not look at it as a way to give you a moral guide which to follow, but as a path to expanding your critical thinking and focus. I think you will find as you grow in your understanding of who you are and your relationship with the world around you, you will derive your own answers.

I'd give you a list of books I have found helpful, but they might not be helpful to you. If you come across something that makes sense to you and seems like you could incorporate it to better yourself, good. Question everything. If something comes across as wrong to you, feel free to reject it.

You know how to live. Just BE.

Best answers I read here are "You want principles to live by? Go do your dishes." and "OP would stand to gain a lot by completely ignoring my post and vacuuming the carpet." Those are true Kōans if I ever heard them!

Edit: If you really want a couple book suggestions though, I found Alan Watt's The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are and Zen Master Seun Sahn's Dropping Ashes on the Buddha to be quite good.

u/duroba · 1 pointr/boston

I have faith in you ashurbaniphal! I will see this through to the end! Someday you will look back and say "Duroba made me a better person." I have my fingers crossed for tomorrow. You can do it, might I suggest some light reading?

u/simism66 · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

Beyond the obvious choices, Watts' The Book, Ram Dass' Be Here Now, Huxley's Doors of Perception, Leary’s The Psychedelic Experience, and of course Fear and Loathing (all of these should be on the list without question; they’re classics), here are a some others from a few different perspectives:

From a Secular Contemporary Perspective

Godel Escher Bach by Douglass Hofstadter -- This is a classic for anyone, but man is it food for psychedelic thought. It's a giant book, but even just reading the dialogues in between chapters is worth it.

The Mind’s Eye edited by Douglass Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett – This is an anthology with a bunch of great essays and short fictional works on the self.

From an Eastern Religious Perspective

The Tao is Silent by Raymond Smullyan -- This is a very fun and amusing exploration of Taoist thought from one of the best living logicians (he's 94 and still writing logic books!).

Religion and Nothingness by Keiji Nishitani – This one is a bit dense, but it is full of some of the most exciting philosophical and theological thought I’ve ever come across. Nishitani, an Eastern Buddhist brings together thought from Buddhist thinkers, Christian mystics, and the existentialists like Neitzsche and Heidegger to try to bridge some of the philosophical gaps between the east and the west.

The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way by Nagarjuna (and Garfield's translation/commentary is very good as well) -- This is the classic work from Nagarjuna, who lived around the turn of the millennium and is arguably the most important Buddhist thinker after the Buddha himself.

From a Western Religious Perspective

I and Thou by Martin Buber – Buber wouldn’t approve of this book being on this list, but it’s a profound book, and there’s not much quite like it. Buber is a mystical Jewish Philosopher who argues, in beautiful and poetic prose, that we get glimpses of the Divine from interpersonal moments with others which transcend what he calls “I-it” experience.

The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila – this is an old book (from the 1500s) and it is very steeped in Christian language, so it might not be everyone’s favorite, but it is perhaps the seminal work of medieval Christian mysticism.

From an Existentialist Perspective

Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre – Not for the light of heart, this existential novel talks about existential nausea a strange perception of the absurdity of existence.

The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus – a classic essay that discusses the struggle one faces in a world inherently devoid of meaning.

I’ll add more if I think of anything else that needs to be thrown in there!

u/DJNimbus2000 · 0 pointsr/howtonotgiveafuck

The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Really Are helped me a lot, personally. Fair warning, this can be some super esoteric shit. To get a good feel for it, look into some of these lectures starting here. The videos contain a lot of the same information and examples that the book has, so if you enjoy the lectures, buy the book. Both are full of frisson, epiphanies and new perspectives on life. Another disclaimer: Watts was famous for bringing Zen Buddhism and various eastern philosophies to the west, and while he himself claims not to be a preacher or missionary for these religions, they are an important underlying theme of his work.