Alan Watts’ eldest daughters, Anne and Joan Watts, join the show to talk about their father’s life and his recently published collection of letters.
Honoring Alan Watts (Opening)
Joan and Anne talk about their incredible task of going through file cabinets full of their father’s documents and collecting priceless correspondences between Alan Watts and some of the greatest thinkers of his era. The group reflects on the unusual level of understanding and thirst for wisdom that Alan’s writing portrayed, even in his early years.
“It was an emotional journey for us to go through all of this. It felt like the story that needed to be told – in terms of a full picture of who Alan was as a real human being.“ – Anne Watts
The Father and the Teacher (9:35)
What was it like being raised by the man who the outside world saw primarily as a great a teacher and thinker? The two sisters share their memories of Alan as a father and discuss their perspective of him growing up.
“When I was a little girl I had a favorite carved teak box that I always wanted to get inside, but obviously I was too large to physically do it. But he coached me through the process of getting inside of the box mentally. My father had this wonderful knack of being able to tell me, verbally, how I could imagine myself being inside it. I thought that was an amazing quality.” – Joan Watts
Understanding Alan (14:35)
When you dig deeper into the life of Alan Watts it becomes clear how unique of an incarnation he lived. The group examines the unusual and fascinating life (lives) led by Alan. Joan and Anne share honest accounts of the joys and difficulties of being that came with being raised by an icon who still just a man.
“I think he was also compassionate and kind and understanding – to go along with his brilliance. He was just as good a listener as he was a speaker. I think people were very drawn to that. People felt cared for by him and seen by him, he had the kind of listening that really saw into a person.” – Anne Watts
A Real Trip (37:20)
The group discusses Alan’s relationship with Tim Leary and Ram Dass, as well as his deep work with psychedelics and the transpersonal experience.
Raghu and Danny Goldberg discuss the legendary Houseboat Summit of 1967 that Watts, Leary, Ram Dass and other great thinkers of the time participated in together on Ep. 194 of the Mindrolling Podcast.
An Illuminating Journey (50:35)
Were there any insights or changes in perspective gained during the course of producing the book and sorting through their father’s writings?