Alan Watts main page
Interesting posts at
The Death of Alan Watts
Fri, February 3,
2006 - 4:53 PM
How about suicide?
alan had no problem
with suicide. he asked in fact if it was'nt the most sane to do in
an insane world? but you would have to consider this world as being
insane to make such an effort.
Happy to stumble
across this thread. I too have been wondering about the nature of
Alan's passing. Has anyone thought to ask Mark Watts? I do recall in
one of his lectures, (paraphrase) Better to live a short life doing
what you enjoy doing then a long life doing what you don't.
First of all, i am
glad to see that there are other people out there as interested in
Alan Watts as i am. In fact, you guys seem to be more connected.
Nevertheless, isn't it possible that Alan Watts demise was his own
choice? I mean, perhaps he just decided, as his daughter Joan put it
in the Monica Furlong biography, to "check out." He was ready to let
go of his current journey so that a new one could begin. I am not
suggesting that he committed suicide, but he just decided that he
had enough and it was time to go. The cause of death was labeled as
"heart failure." That being said, i am sure alcohol may have had
Tue, June 24, 2008 - 12:35 PM
Sat, September 1, 2007 - 6:09 PM
If you read his biography, it seems like
Alan died from stress and alcoholism. His death, if we can call it
that, is somewhat shrouded in mystery and legend. According to Jano,
his wife at the time, Alan was experimenting with advanced breathing
techniques around the time of his death. Jano believes that Alan was
successful in liberating "himself" from his body.
I had a very long phone conversation with Alan's daughter shortly after he died. She spoke fondly of his suggestion about returning though now in 2009, her red haired daughter would be over 30.
Wed, December 5,
2007 - 12:25 PM
I think it's great
the Respect shown here for Alan. This is a 'touchy' subject so it is
Thu, March 6, 2008
- 2:06 PM
I contacted Mark
Watts about the death of his father and he gave me a cock-and-bull
story about a "jealous philosopher whom we suspect may have poisoned
" the famous teacher. I wrote back that he shouldn't try to inject
melodrama or legend into his passing-- look what happened to Jesus.
Some sources list "heart failure" as the cause of death but this is
only the immediate reason his heart stopped, similar to listing
"pneumonia" or "organ failure" as cause of death-- when there is a
more fundamental underlying cause such as cancer. I saw some
pictures of him in his Playboy magzine interview back in in '73 and
was shocked at his emaciated condition-- he was unrecognizable as
the crew-cut young man pictured on my copy of The Book (on the Taboo
Against Knowing Who You Are)-- in fact he looked like nothing so
much as a wizened, whispy-bearded oriental, so whatever was wrong
with him didn't ahppenn suddenly. Everyone always brings up
alcoholism-- and he may have drunk excessively (he played host to a
multitude of dinner guests almost every night and was very
gregarious I have read), but it is most likely that a combination of
cigarette smoking and heavy drinking led to a heart attack. For a
guy who was so spiritually well-adjusted he sure burned out early.
Maybe our attempts to attain every greater longevity only represent
another vain desire.
as i recall Alan
always spoke about the benefits of living "well" rather than "long".
For years I was
under the impression that Alan Watts had committed suicide. I had
originally heard that he was suffering from physical problems, at
least partially related to pain from an (automobil?) accident. I
recently mentioned my belief to a friend, who was surprised she had
never heard it, and now looking on the net I see nothing about it.
Does anyone out there know the facts? Regardless, it must be
acknowledged that this man was a valuable contributor to western
buddhism and that the nature of his death in no way could detract
from the beauty of his life.
Fri, August 29,
2008 - 12:05 PM
there is no such
thing as "facts"
is that a fact?
Alan was my adopted
grandfather.. My mother was his personal assistant at ucsf when he
was teaching there. And when My parents married in the 50s, Alan
gave my mother away, for she had already lost her father. So I
always new him as grandpa alan. We saw him all the time at our
house, or house parties. in the richmond district in sf. HE scared
me with his huge laugh at times for I was very young in the sixties.
He named his boat after my mother.. He did drink, but a happy
drinker he was. My mother always said ,," He was too much for the
world to handle. Too smart.. Too wise.
And some people
really fought him at times about his wisdom.
Mom never recovered
from his loss, and always shared his teachings with me untill the
day she died a few years ago.
She loved him like
a father, And I like a grandfather..
I feel. possibly ,,
he wanted to leave, or felt he needed to... Thanks for your time..
Last Sunday , by
invitation, there was a Christian mass , I guess I should say an
Anglo Catholic mass at Alan's library. It started at nine AM and
lasted about an hour. Then there was a fire ceremony given by a
character if there ever was one. He is a Buddhist, a fire
worshipper. This was fascinating with the strange music that went
with it. Then this man and Ram Das jazzed about to more strange
music. After this, the Zen priests came and half of Alan's ashes
(bones) were put in a hole in the earth with a hand carved stupa
over it. This was done to chanting and the sprinkling of water, salt
and rice. The priest with chop sticks dropped the first bone into
the hole and Jano followed with each of the family after her. Jano
has been wonderful and realizes she has a life to lead of her own,
hence she is not drinking. After this at 2 AM , the 100 day final
Zen ceremony at Green Gulch where the other half of the ashes will
I am well and hope
that you are and that you don't work too hard.
Any have info on any of the event mentioned in this letter? I am
very interested in these events. This is the first time this letter
has been made public.
[That priest Maud Oaks mentions is Neville Warwick, Ajarir-san. He also did Alan's cremation at the beach. - DC - 8-07-2015]