Watts, Alan

Watts, Alan (Wilson)

(1915–73) mystic, writer, lecturer; born in Chislehurst, England. He became fascinated with Asian art and literature during his adolescence. He graduated from King's School (1932) and emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1939. He was an Episcopal chaplain (1944–50) but then left the church and became an independent writer. Believing that most churches were limiting, he advocated Asian mysticism as the alternative to ego-based consciousness. He wrote many books, including The Spirit of Zen (1936) and Psychotherapy East and West (1961). Somewhat reluctantly, he was adopted as a "guru" by counter-culture youths during the 1960s.
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