haiku : come into this world

be here, see, explore
 an ocean wave rising up
 come into this world

haiku by M. Nakazato LaFreniere

mindlovemisery suggested exploring Alan Watt’s words; quoting him:

You didn’t “come into” this world
 You came out of it, like a wave from an ocean
 You are not a stranger here

I hadn’t heard of him so I checked him out on wiki. He was a British philosopher who interpreted/popularized Eastern philosophy starting with the Way of Zen (1957). He used to talk on KPFA, a radio station in Berkeley — making the world a small place because I used to live in Berkeley (decades after him of course). I had heard of the Way of Zen as part of the explosion of interest into eastern philosophies in the 1960 but hadn’t remembered the author’s name.

Alan Watts had been ordained an Episcopal priest in 1945 but in 1950, resigned because his Buddhist beliefs were becoming dominant (and he had an extramarital affair resulting in divorce — a nono for a priest at that time). That same year, he spent time with Joseph Campbell of the The Hero with a Thousand Faces. I love that book. It shows how similar themes surface in different culture’s folk and fairy tales and their psychological meanings.

He moved out to California in 1951, and from 1953–1962 produced his KPFA radio program which garnered him a wide audience. Those recordings are still listened to to today. A Zennist, he was also influenced by Hindu Scriptures. He wrote books, toured worldwide giving talks, had a public tv series “Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life” for two seasons, and taught. He also hung out in Druid Heights, a neighborhood founded by Elsow Gidlow where “an unintentional community” combined a philosophy of “shared bohemian poverty” with architecture, gardening, carpentry, art and beatniks (although in time it did degenerate into a party spot for lsd and other drug experimenting in the 1970s).

The Way of Zen was always one of those books I always meant to read (even bought) but never got around to it. I read The Book of Tea by a teamaster — which I loved! It taught me Ichi-go, Ichi-e (every time is the first time). Maybe it’s time to read Zen.


Druid Heights
 Marin Nostalgia

Alan Watts

Sunday Writing Prompt #231 “Quotes by Alan Watts”
 Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Originally published at Cactus Haiku.