You know how when you learn a new word, suddenly you start hearing it everywhere? Well my new word is “Alan Watts.” Someone on Reddit mentioned this fellow, so all week I’ve been listening to his lectures on YouTube. New Age stuff isn’t generally my thing, but someone on Reddit linked to a video which had the line “What was it like to wake up after having never gone to sleep? That was when you were born.”
Having had my Sudden Clarity Clarence moment delivered to me (my actual thought was, “Like, whoa.”) I figured I’d give this guy a listen, even if he does advocate sitting really still and thinking about nothing.
A fun way to get the flavor of Alan Watts is with this Alan Watts animation from the makers of South Park.
…good stuff, though in fairness I don’t think these videos capture Watts’s sense of humor.
Anyhow, my intent isn’t so much to focus on Alan Watts as that feeling that “I bet now that I know who this guy is I’m going to see his name everywhere.” Kind of like how before I knew who Joseph Campbell was, he was never mentioned, and then suddenly I heard about him on a weekly or monthly basis.
So today I was listening through the most popular new releases in the blogosphere, and this chilled out little electro tune buzzed in my ears by Natural Animal. I didn’t pay it much attention, until Alan Watts started talking over it. I had a YouTube tab open and paused on one of his lectures so I figured it had kicked in it’s autostart. But it turned out to be embedded in the song. Which was pretty neat, because I got to feel in-the-know. And now that I’m feeling all in-the-know, I must praise Natural Animal for being in-the-know as well.
And here I just wanted to share that little moment of serendipity with ya’ll. So you can be in-the-know, because nothing screams “hip” like a Buddhist lecturer who died twenty years ago.So you can raise your eyebrows knowingly when they start selling Alan Watts t-shirts at Urban Outfitters.
Is there a name like that, or a word or a place, that once you learned about it you started hearing about it everywhere?
Here’s that song by Natural Animal, “Who You Are.” Also check out “Dance Alone,” just as dreamy but a bit more uptempo. If you dig “Who You Are,” you can download it for free.