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Monday, June 7, 2010
Does It Matter?: Essays on Man's Relation to Materiality Book Review
In this series of essays, Alan Watts gives a snarky, matter-of-fact, spiritual approach to how we treat ourselves, each other, and the other living things on this planet. With his dash of self-aware arrogance and know-it-all attitude, he leads you through the idea of humanity and our relationship to the material world, all the way down to how we should design our kitchens. To give an example of his mildly irreverent tact: "Life, like getting an erection, is spontaneous process which collapses when one tries to force it to happen." While I may not agree with everything the man says, indeed, I must have underlined at least a quarter of this book.
With a Buddhist bent, this philosopher smart-ass takes you on a trip (and yes, he experimented with LSD) around money, food, drugs, clothing and all the material trappings that we cannot escape while living on this planet. Reading this book was a brilliantly comical and realistic inspiration, and I am still absorbing his other material.
Note: You can also download podcasts of his lectures online. I highly recommend it.