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The Meaning of Alan Watts in 2020: A Conversation with Mark Watts
06.01.2021
Religion
Alan Watts Alan Watts

Given that the source content for Just So was recorded decades ago, what kind of updates were necessary to acclimate the book for the world of 2020? Did you encounter any notable challenges? Similarly, do you feel that the messages of the book are readily applicable to specific contemporary issues? 

Mark Watts: Inevitably in transcribing vintage recordings like these, one comes across colloquialisms and historic references that have become dated. An early example is found in the section on Ecological Awareness (p.34) where at the start my father referenced a law that was “recently” passed to ban burning of the flag in the 60s. However, his message, which is that we can make a pious fuss about the symbols for the country while we are destroying those things for which the symbols stand—and the country itself—is more than ever relevant, and will not be lost on anyone looking at the American landscape today. So although historic in origins, the actual message and core intent is as timely today as ever.

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