The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts

A Message for an Age of Anxiety (1951)



Alan W. Watts 



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ISBN 0394704681  ISBN 0712671315 


Awareness; Personal Development; Philosophy; Spirituality; Wisdom

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The Wisdom of Insecurity 





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The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts is a book, which explores the idea of reversed effort: "Whoever would save his soul shall lose it."

Watts discusses this in terms of security and suggests that insecurity is a result of trying to be secure; that safety and peace of mind can only be found in the recognition that we have no way of saving ourselves.

He calls his book the philosophical equivalent of "Alice through the Looking Glass" and emphasizes how with pleasure, pain will always follow. For instance: the more we love a person, the more we grieve at their death.

By looking at reversed effort, Watts reveals that the only solution to this problem is to become more aware and accept that insecurities are inescapable and inseparable from life.

Video: BLU Lesson 3: How measures distort behaviour by David Gurteen

One of six BLU lessons on 'how measures distort behaviour' by David Gurteen.

In April 2005, BLU, the UK's Business Link University which no longer exists hired Fifty Lessons  to produce a series of video stories for them to which I (David Gurteen) was invited to contribute. This is one of those stories.

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  The Wisdom of Insecurity (1951) by Alan W. Watts 
A Message for an Age of Anxiety

Quotations from The Wisdom of Insecurity:

 What is the use of planning to be able to eat next week unless I can really enjoy the meals when they come?

If I am so busy planning how to eat next week that I cannot fully enjoy what I am eating now, I will be in the same predicament when next week's meals become "now."

If my happiness at this moment consists largely in reviewing happy memories and expectations, I am but dimly aware of this present.

I shall still be dimly aware of the present when the good things that I have been expecting come to pass.

For I shall have formed a habit of looking behind and ahead, making it difficult for me to attend to the here and now.

If, then, my awareness of the past and future makes me less aware of the present, I must begin to wonder whether I am actually living in the real world.

Alan Watts 
The Wisdom of Insecurity

 The greater the scientist, the more he is impressed with his ignorance of reality, and the more he realizes that his laws and labels, descriptions and definitions, are the products of his own thought.

They help him to use the world for purposes of his own devising rather than understand and explain it.

Alan Watts 
The Wisdom of Insecurity

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
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