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This Is It

Author: Alan W. Watts
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307784320
Size: 63.20 MB
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Six revolutionary essays exploring the relationship between spiritual experience and ordinary life—and the need for them to coexist within each of us. With essays on “cosmic consciousness” (including Alan Watts’ account of his own ventures into this inward realm); the paradoxes of self-consciousness; LSD and consciousness; and the false opposition of spirit and matter, This Is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience is a truly mind-opening collection.

Alan Watts In The Academy

Author: Alan Watts
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438465564
Size: 61.87 MB
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Explores language and mysticism, Buddhism and Zen, Christianity, comparative religion, psychedelics, and psychology and psychotherapy. To commemorate the 2015 centenary of the birth of Alan Watts (1915–1973), Peter J. Columbus and Donadrian L. Rice have assembled a much-needed collection of Watts’s scholarly essays and lectures. Compiled from professional journals, monographs, scholarly books, conferences, and symposia proceedings, the volume sheds valuable light on the developmental arc of Watts’s thinking about language and mysticism, Buddhism and Zen, Christianity, comparative religion, psychedelics, and psychology and psychotherapy. This definitive collection challenges Watts’s reputation as a “popularizer” or “philosophical entertainer,” revealing his concerns to be much more expansive and transdisciplinary than is suggested by the parochial “Zen Buddhist” label commonly affixed to his writings. The editors’ authoritative introduction elucidates contemporary perspectives on Watts’s life and work, and supports a bold rethinking of his contributions to psychology, philosophy, and religion. “This excellent volume is important in establishing Watts as perhaps the most important Western thinker and writer on Eastern religions and philosophy, as well as comparative religions, of the twentieth century.” — John W. Traphagan, author of Rethinking Autonomy: A Critique of Principlism in Biomedical Ethics

The Conversion Experience In America

Author: James Craig Holte
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780313266805
Size: 12.87 MB
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This volume provides a sourcebook for the study of American religious conversion narratives. It includes chapters, arranged alphabetically, on 30 significant writers of conversion narratives including early colonial writers, such as Mary Rowlandson, 19th-century women writers, such as Carry Nation, 20th-century social gospel writers, such as Dorothy Day, writers from the age of televangelism, such as Jim Bakker, and writers from outside the mainstream of American culture, such as Frederick Douglass, Eldridge Cleaver, and Piri Thomas. Each entry provides a short biography, discussions of the narrative and the critical response, and a bibliography.

Psychedelic Mysticism

Author: Morgan Shipley
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 149850910X
Size: 21.19 MB
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Although commonly celebrated as a distinct manifestation of Americana, hippies and psychedelics are routinely de-emphasized in favor of direct political activism, a phenomenon that constrains the full telling of the hippie counterculture as it relates to a radical religiosity defined by mutuality and altruism. Psychedelic Mysticism reevaluates the religious significance of the 1960s psychedelic counterculture, tracing how psychedelics became entheogenic, leading sixties figures to transition personal moments of enlightenment into everyday projects of social justice.

Beat Sound Beat Vision

Author: Laurence Coupe
Publisher: Manchester University Press
ISBN: 1847796265
Size: 51.28 MB
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This book reveals the ideas behind the Beat vision which influenced the Beat sound of the songwriters who followed on from them. Having explored the thinking of Alan Watts, who coined the term 'Beat Zen', and who influenced the counterculture which emerged out of the Beat movement, it celebrates Jack Kerouac as a writer in pursuit of a 'beatific' vision. On this basis, the book goes on to explain the relevance of Kerouac and his friends Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder to songwriters who emerged in the 1960s. Not only are new, detailed readings of the lyrics of the Beatles and of Dylan given, but the range and depth of the Beat legacy within popular song is indicated by way of an overview of some important innovators: Jim Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Donovan, the Incredible String Band, Van Morrison and Nick Drake.

Spiritual But Not Religious

Author: Robert C. Fuller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198033547
Size: 15.19 MB
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Nearly 40% of all Americans have no connection with organized religion. Yet many of these people, even though they might never step inside a house of worship, live profoundly spiritual lives. But what is the nature and value of unchurched spirituality in America? Is it a recent phenomenon, a New Age fad that will soon fade, or a long-standing and essential aspect of the American experience? In Spiritual But Not Religious, Robert Fuller offers fascinating answers to these questions. He shows that alternative spiritual practices have a long and rich history in America, dating back to the colonial period, when church membership rarely exceeded 17% and interest in astrology, numerology, magic, and witchcraft ran high. Fuller traces such unchurched traditions into the mid-nineteenth century, when Americans responded enthusiastically to new philosophies such as Swedenborgianism, Transcendentalism, and mesmerism, right up to the current interest in meditation, channeling, divination, and a host of other unconventional spiritual practices. Throughout, Fuller argues that far from the flighty and narcissistic dilettantes they are often made out to be, unchurched spiritual seekers embrace a mature and dynamic set of basic beliefs. They focus on inner sources of spirituality and on this world rather than the afterlife; they believe in the accessibility of God and in the mind's untapped powers; they see a fundamental unity between science and religion and an equality between genders and races; and they are more willing to test their beliefs and change them when they prove untenable. Timely, sweeping in its scope, and informed by a clear historical understanding, Spiritual But Not Religious offers fresh perspective on the growing numbers of Americans who find their spirituality outside the church.

Character Strengths And Virtues

Author: Christopher Peterson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198037330
Size: 40.53 MB
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"Character" has become a front-and-center topic in contemporary discourse, but this term does not have a fixed meaning. Character may be simply defined by what someone does not do, but a more active and thorough definition is necessary, one that addresses certain vital questions. Is character a singular characteristic of an individual, or is it composed of different aspects? Does character--however we define it--exist in degrees, or is it simply something one happens to have? How can character be developed? Can it be learned? Relatedly, can it be taught, and who might be the most effective teacher? What roles are played by family, schools, the media, religion, and the larger culture? This groundbreaking handbook of character strengths and virtues is the first progress report from a prestigious group of researchers who have undertaken the systematic classification and measurement of widely valued positive traits. They approach good character in terms of separate strengths-authenticity, persistence, kindness, gratitude, hope, humor, and so on-each of which exists in degrees. Character Strengths and Virtues classifies twenty-four specific strengths under six broad virtues that consistently emerge across history and culture: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Each strength is thoroughly examined in its own chapter, with special attention to its meaning, explanation, measurement, causes, correlates, consequences, and development across the life span, as well as to strategies for its deliberate cultivation. This book demands the attention of anyone interested in psychology and what it can teach about the good life.

Making Sense Of Religion

Author: Richard L. Corliss
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1498200710
Size: 40.32 MB
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We live in a world with many religious traditions. People in these traditions believe that their religious view of life embodies what is important, true, and real. Their religious views of life, however, differ significantly. They can't all capture equally what is important, true, and real. This book seeks to unravel this dilemma. It rejects two approaches to address the problem: First, the view that one religious view of life is the absolute, unique product of revelation, and second, the view that the foundation of all religious views of life is the same--that they are all the product of religious experiences of the same religious ultimate. This ultimate is sometimes called Being-Itself, sometimes the One. Under the second view, the differences between them are considered cultural. Making Sense of Religion shows us that religious views of life are often radically different, and these differences are not just cultural, but substantive. This book explores the hidden logic beneath the surface of religious views of life that holds them together and helps explain their differences. What follows is a way presenting, comparing, defending, and criticizing religious views of life. This is a type of theology.