The Joyous Cosmology is Alan Watts’s exploration of the insight that the consciousness-changing drugs LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin can facilitate “when accompanied with sustained philosophical reflection by a person who is in search, not of kicks, but of understanding.” More than an artifact, it is both a riveting memoir of Watts’s personal experiments and a profound meditation on our perennial questions about the nature of existence and the existence of the sacred.
The Joyous Cosmology is a verbal arrangement describing experiences for which our language hasn’t vocabulary. To understand this wonderfully difficult book it’s useful to make the artificial distinction between external & internal. This is exactly the distinction it wants to transcend. But Watts plays the verbal game in Western language. Readers can be excused for following along with conventional dichotomous models.
External & internal. Behavior & consciousness. Changing the external world is the genius & obsession of our civilization. In the last two centuries Western monotheistic cultures have faced outward & moved objects about with astonishing efficiency. More recently our culture has become aware of a disturbing imbalance. We’ve become aware of the undiscovered universe within, of uncharted regions of consciousness.
This trend isn’t new. The cycle has occurred in many cultures & individuals. Material success is followed by disillusion, basic “why” questions & then by the discovery of the world within—a world infinitely more richly complex than the artifactual structures of the outer world, which are, in origin, projections of human imagination. Eventually, the logical conceptual mind turns on itself, recognizes the foolish inadequacy of the systems it imposes on the world, suspends its control & overthrows the domination of cognitive experience.
Purchase this book using this link and a portion of the proceeds will go towards supporting the Love Serve Remember foundation. Happy Reading!
Help Support These Teachings
If you enjoyed “The Joyous Cosmology” by Alan W. Watts, please support our efforts to continue making teachings from Ram Dass and friends accessible to all. As Ram Dass says, "When you see the beloved all around you, everyone is family and everywhere is love." Learn more >
I would like to make a contribution of:
If you would like to donate via mail, please send a check to:
Love Serve Remember Foundation
2355 Westwood Blvd. #130
Los Angeles, CA 90064
LSRF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.