The wisdom of Alan Watts

Alan Watts was born in Kent in 1915 and from a young age became fascinated with the Far East.

He spent his early years travelling the world, learning the ways of Eastern philosophies and religions, before settling in California in 1950.

Alan Watts published many books during his lifetime, which include The Spirit of Zen: A Way of Life, Work and Art in the Far East, The Meaning of Happiness and  The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety, and his work was a huge influence on the rising Beat generation and the counter culture literature of the ’50s.

His teachings and writing has long served as an inspiration for philosophers, writers and students, but his work contains a universal appeal which serves as a perfect antithesis for 21st century angst.

In the following short films and animations, a range of creative talents take the words of Alan Watts to create a range of visual tableau which emphasise and enhance his wisdom.

In this first clip, filmmaker David Lindberg juxtaposes Watts’ speech with images from the Terrence Malick film Tree of Life.

Eddie Rosas, an animator on The Simpsons, takes a short fable from one of Watts’ lectures to illustrate a very valid point.

In our final example, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker present a range of Alan Watts’ snippets accompanied by their inimitable animation style.

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