Date of Publication: January 26, 1999
Author: Alan W. Watts
Possibly the best introduction to Zen philosophy ever written for the West. It takes you through its roots in Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism, explaining the principles and symbols of both, down to its artistic expressions. Written with an uncanny ability to explain rationally the irrational, it’s a book where every single page causes you to stop and think, but without trying to convince you to adopt a Zen outlook. As just one example of a theme dear to J. Campbell, the idea that words are inadequate to express the best insights, which must be experienced rather than learnt: the reasons and implications of this become evident, almost obvious, after this reading. A growth-provoking book, to be read many times over.