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In My Own Way

In this most recent edition of his acclaimed autobiography — long out of print and rare until now — Alan Watts tracks his spiritual and philosophical evolution from a child of religious conservatives in rural England to a freewheeling spiritual teacher who challenged Westerners to defy convention and think for themselves. From early in this intellectual life, Watts shows himself to be a philosophical renegade and wide-ranging autodidact who came to Buddhism through the teachings of Christmas Humphreys and D. T. Suzuki. Told in a nonlinear style, In My Own Way wonderfully combines Watts' own brand of unconventional philosophy and often hilarious accounts of gurus, celebrities, psychedelic drug experiences, and wry observations of Western culture. A charming foreword written by Watts' father sets the tone of this warm, funny, and beautifully written story of a compelling figure who encouraged readers to "follow your own weird" — something he always did himself, as his remarkable account of his life shows.


The Collected Letters of Alan Watts, edited with commentary by his daughters, Joan Watts and Anne Watts, makes an excellent companion read and adds significantly to this autobiography.


Originally published in 1972 by Pantheon Books (subsidiary of Random House) in hardbound format. Republished in 2007 by New World Library.