Alan Watts – Being in the Way – Ep. 20 – Man is a Hoax

Sifting down behind the cultural myth of man as separate, Alan explores how we are all actually Earth, the Universe, and the Big Bang.

In this episode of Being in the Way, Alan takes us on a journey from childhood to adulthood, highlighting how we are trained into separation from a young age, and forced to focus on the never-arriving “future,” rather than being present in the moment. Through this lens, he further spelunks the “hoax of man” and offers insight on how this sense of ego identity creates tension and frustration.

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“Your actual self—what is finally and fundamentally you—is not a separate and lonely part of the world, but the real you is the world itself, everything that there is, expressing itself as this particular organism here and now.” – Alan Watts

In this episode Alan discusses:

  • How from childhood onward we are constantly preparing for something in the future, rather than being present for life
  • The culture’s division of work and play, and the confused idea that money can buy you pleasure
  • Growing up in society, identity, defining a person, and being a “genuine fake”
  • How the sense of ego creates tension, separation, alienation, and frustration
  • The inseparable connection of the polarity of self and other
  • The dawn of creation and how we are not actually separate from the Big Bang
  • The 19th-century myth that man is a fluke in an unintelligent, automatic universe

About Alan Watts:

A prolific author and speaker, Alan Watts was one of the first to interpret Eastern wisdom for a Western audience. Born outside London in 1915, he discovered the nearby Buddhist Lodge at a young age. After moving to the United States in 1938, Alan became an Episcopal priest for a time, and then relocated to Millbrook, New York, where he wrote his pivotal book The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety. In 1951 he moved to San Francisco where he began teaching Buddhist studies, and in 1956 began his popular radio show, “Way Beyond the West.” By the early sixties, Alan’s radio talks aired nationally and the counterculture movement adopted him as a spiritual spokesperson. He wrote and regularly traveled until his passing in 1973.

Listen to more Alan Watts:

In this premiere episode, Alan shares a dharma talk on Taoism, the interdependence of nature, and dropping out of karma, on Being in the Way Ep. 1.
Alan’s son, Mark Watts, shares background on Alan’s early life, before introducing two of his father’s specially curated dharma talks focused on karma, in Being in the Way Ep. 2
Alan shares on therapy, religion, mystical experiences, & Jesus, before playing the hilarious and light-shedding role of a clinical patient who realizes they’re God, in Being in the Way Ep. 6
Alan illuminates the connections between Taoism and relativity, technology and human evolution, culture and separation, Saints and rascals, you and not-you, as well as difference and unity, in Being in the Way Ep. 3
Uncovering how we arise mutually with all things, Alan examines our place in the universe and how very natural it is to be human, in Being in the Way Ep. 4