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Does It Matter?: Essays on Man's Relation to Materiality [Format Kindle]

Alan W. Watts

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This classic series of essays represents Alan Watts's thinking on the astonishing problems caused by our dysfunctional relationship with the material environment. Here, with characteristic wit, a philosopher best known for his writings and teachings about mysticism and Eastern philosophy gets down to the nitty-gritty problems of economics, technology, clothing, cooking, and housing. Watts argues that we confuse symbol with reality, our ways of describing and measuring the world with the world itself, and thus put ourselves into the absurd situation of preferring money to wealth and eating the menu instead of the dinner.

With our attention locked on numbers and concepts, we are increasingly unconscious of nature and of our total dependence on air, water, plants, animals, insects, and bacteria. We have hallucinated the notion that the so-called external world is a cluster of objects separate from ourselves, that we encounter it, that we come into it instead of out of it. Originally published in 1972, Does It Matter? foretells the environmental problems that arise from this mistaken mind-set. Not all of Watts's predictions have come to pass, but his unique insights will change the way you look at the world.

Book Description

This classic series of essays represents Alan Watts's thinking on the astonishing problems caused by our dysfunctional relationship with the material environment. Here, with characteristic wit, a philosopher best known for his writings and teachings about mysticism and Eastern philosophy gets down to the nitty-gritty problems of economics, technology, clothing, cooking, and housing. Watts argues that we confuse symbol with reality, our ways of describing and measuring the world with the world itself, and thus put ourselves into the absurd situation of preferring money to wealth and eating the menu instead of the dinner.

With our attention locked on numbers and concepts, we are increasingly unconscious of nature and of our total dependence on air, water, plants, animals, insects, and bacteria. We have hallucinated the notion that the so-called external world is a cluster of objects separate from ourselves, that we encounter it, that we come into it instead of out of it. Originally published in 1972, Does It Matter? foretells the environmental problems that arise from this mistaken mind-set. Not all of Watts's predictions have come to pass, but his unique insights will change the way you look at the world.


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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  32 commentaires
35 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Easily one of my favorites in my Watts library... 21 février 2000
Par yygsgsdrassil - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
It is subtitled "Essays on Man's Relationship to Materiality"...and my copy perhaps is almost ready for the Smithsonian. So much for my relationship with my materiality, eh? Well, I'm still learning. This book is one of his most accessible collections, his writing style here is so light and readable that it's clear that he is getting a kick out of his own whimsical turning of phrases. The words, the symbols, the images, the numbers in which we define reality are NOT reality and according to Watts, we confuse our descriptive world with what is really going on, thus we are distanced and numbed to real situations in the real world...we become blind to nature, we fail to connect to the living vibrations. These essays--I know, yet more descriptives--are designed for us to recognize the problem. (Money is not wealth. We are not our clothes. Food is not the packaging it is placed in.) These essays tell us ways we can connect to the cosmic consciousness...so we can avoid self destruction. One of the best essays is the short piece on Zen scholar DT Suzuki in which, I find, has the best line about both Suzuki and the Alan Watts of this text...it is "as if he had seen the Ultimate Joke and as if, out of compassion for those who had not, he were refraining from laughing out loud." Well, that is almost the way I have often been described, like I've told a joke that few people get...Anyway one of Watt's best, it's a pity is no longer in catalogue....
28 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Yes, it matters and its important 27 février 2004
Par The Old Philosopher - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
Alan Watts is one of my favorite philosophers. His wisdom is timeless, and his views refreshing in this age of mass media hype and overplayed political propaganda. Does it Matter? That is an important question for everyone to ask themselves. I'm not going to list here the many topics covered in this volume, and certainly I'm not equal to Watts in trying to explain it. The book is worth owning even for his writing about children. One can get a whole new perspective on the Columbine shootings, for example, by reading what Watts said about children several decades before. Columbine wasn't a surprise. It's a great book for those who take time to think about life and the real way of the world.
21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This is 'applied Watts' at its best. 24 décembre 1999
Par TMerfee@aol.com - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
Alan Watts is somehow able to turn upside down our most basic assumptions and, by doing so, make more sense of the world. "Does It Matter" is a small collection of essays about Western man's relationship to everyday material things (e.g. food, clothing, money). Watts convincingly shakes us out of rutted thinking. With humor, irreverance, sincerity, and clear writing, he articulates profound ideas without resorting to obscure argument. A theme that runs through the essays is our tendency to confuse symbols with the material things to which they refer(desiring the menu more than the food). I get the feeling while reading these essays that the author is comfortable enough in his own search for truth to enjoy sharing it.
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Yes, but only if ... 16 novembre 2008
Par J. A. Whiteside - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
You need to be an Alan Watts fan to fully appreciate this book; it is not the place to start if you are just getting into him, but it is important if you want a fully representative collection of this brilliant man's work.

Watts' writings, considered as a whole, come close to providing a workable philosophy of life. This book contains essays, some quite funny, about materialism. But it wouldn't make much sense unless you were already familiar with his more important and serious work explaining and translating Buhddist and Hindu thought and practice into Western terms.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 It Does Matter! 5 janvier 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
This book changed my life. It's a series of essays by the late Alan Watts. Two brilliant essays included in it are: "Wealth Versus Money" (the US government should read this one), and "Murder In The Kitchen". Must reading for all Watts fans, and the best book to start with if you aren't familiar with Watts' brilliant insights into the unspoken obvious! -Paula Martin-
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