Podcast 255 – “Why Is Christianity Afraid of Sex?”

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Guest speaker: Alan Watts

NOTE: This program is still available at the Internet Archive.

Alan Watts’ son sent the following message requesting that his father’s talks be removed from the Psychedelic Salon … bye bye Alan!

Mark Watts Said,

Lorenzo if you leave the Alan Watts materials up you will be sued before this month is out.

February 25, 2011 @ 10:15 am · Edit

Lorenzo, my father’s talks are copyright protected. Please don’t post any more of his talks on your podcast and remove the ones you have in the archive.

PROGRAM NOTES:

If you want to listen to this talk you will have to pay his son for the privilege.  … Too bad, I thought information wants to be free. I wonder what Alan would say about this?

… although, if you Google “alan watts mp3 torrent” you can find thousands of Web sites that provide free downloads of Watts material.

Also, you will find many hours of free Alan Watts videos on YouTube. … So maybe it is only the Psychedelic Salon that Mark objects to.

PROGRAM NOTES

[NOTE: All quotations are by Alan Watts.]

“Christianity is, of all religions in the world, the one uniquely preoccupied with sex.”

“Most churches in America and in England and in other parts of the Western world are, frankly, sexual regulation societies.”

“So we have, in a very special way, got sex on the brain, which isn’t exactly the right place for it.”

“There is no way of making a hedge grow like pruning it. There is no way of making sex interesting like repressing it.”

“That the physical world is transient, it seems to me, to be part of its splendor.”

“Neither the church nor the opponents of the church have clearly understood that the secret, or unconscious, motivation of sexual repression is to make it all the more interesting. And on the other side, it has not been clearly understood that sexual biology and all that goes with it is a figuring force, on the level of biology, of what the whole universe is about, ecstatic play.”

“If you’ve got a prudish father and mother you should be very grateful to them for having made sex so interesting.”

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Posted in Alan Watts, Culture, Religion.

67 Comments

  1. I always felt like Alan watts was one of those rare people who cared more about doing something beautiful than trying to make a $. I love psychedelic salon and have been listening for years. I’m very displeased mark watts is being so unreasonable. My brothers name is Lorenzo by the way. You are too! Good luck brother and may the force be with you.

  2. Does this mean that the podcasts that we have already download with Itunes will be wiped when we resynchronise?

    Can’t understand how Mark can threaten when these lectures are not offered commercially?

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: I think that all of the podcasts are still available on iTunes . . . at least for now.]

  3. Mark, due to your actions against the Salon and Lorenzo, a person who has introduced more than his share of listeners to the boundless potential of psychedelic thinking across the globe, I will no longer be purchasing any new Alan Watts material in order to add to the senseless corporatizing of your father’s name.

    This move against the free-thinking community that is the Psychedelic Salon was in astronomically poor form and did absolutely nothing but remove what may very well have been a significant portion of your future income and negate everything your father taught while he was alive.

    To the listeners of the Salon: Countless hours of Alan Watts material can be found on various torrent sites across the net and quite a few of his books can be tracked down within the walls of your local library.

  4. Err…Bob, I haven’t read the biography of which you speak (Genuine Fake, I presume), but after reading a review of it, I can’t find anything worse than that he was an alcoholic in his later years, and that he smoked tobacco (which was obvious to any who saw his videos).

    If there isn’t anything more to the story, then I see no problem with him, even if these aren’t my substances of choice…

    Landry; If I remember correctly, Alan Watts actually had a largely anti-psychedelic position…I don’t mean that he was against them, but I seem to recall him saying something like “when you get the message, hang up the phone”, and I’ve seen no mention of his use of these substances except for a one-liner in The Book.

    Mark, I think that what you’re doing is lame.

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Actually, Watts used LSD regularly for a while. You can hear Myron Stolaroff talk about it in the Lone Pine podcasts, and Watts himself spoke of the alchemy of LSD (Podcast 213, which is still available on the Internet Archive: http://www.archive.org/details/PsychedelicSalon213-wattsalchemylsd ]

  5. One quick thought as to why Alan’s son Mark doesn’t want his father’s recordings on THIS site (and yet appears to be freely available on many others): I think it might be the idea of his father being linked to psychedelics. Unfortunately, there are many examples of people who no longer want to be associated with their former psychedelic associations (and, in this case, a son no longer wanting his father to be associated with such a topic). This appears to be one of those examples. That’s just more sad denial. 🙁

  6. It is surprisingly hard to find Watts’ material on the Internet legally precisely because Mark is so intent on making money out of it. Mark, my friend, if you’re reading this, there are lots of good ways of making money without banning your father from podcasts! Lorenzo is essentially offering massive free promotion for your father’s works. Please consider licensing Watts’ material to Lorenzo for free. If it hadn’t been for Lorenzo, I’d be barely aware of McKenna. As it is, I tell everyone I meet about him. If you pursue this strategy, we’ll be deprived of Watts’ material and your revenue will eventually dry up. I know if McKenna’s family sold CDs of his material (as far as I know, they don’t), many of us who know how to get it for free would still stump up hard cash out of respect for McKenna and his legacy.

  7. The authorized Alan Watts podcast site has his lectures broken down into 15 minute segments..Each one begins “Would you like a meditation timer for your I phone or Ipod touch?” Funny stuff. I also get a kick out of the ads in Shambala, the Buddhist magazine. “Why meditate alone?”, is the pitch from a dating service. There are ads for expensive “Meditation pillows” as well.

  8. Yeah, I’m fine, just recovering from a difficult move and a computer crash. Had a new podcast ready to go last week but couldn’t locate a driver for my Rode Podcaster microphone. So I’m waiting for my new mic to arrive. Hope to have a new program out in a few days. … Thanks for thinking of me :-).

  9. http://www.alanwatts.com/mp3_sel.html

    Six half-hour programs from the classic sixties Alan Watts TV series.

    * Buddha and Buddhism
    * Tao in China
    * The Rise of Zen
    * Judo and Fencing
    * Zen in Painting
    * Zen in Gardens in Architecture

    $50.00

    The Essential Lectures (MP3)
    Includes all five, six-CD sets of The Essential Lectures on CD in MP3 format. $125.00

    Eastern Wisdom Collection (MP3)

    Includes all six, six-title sets of Eastern Wisdom Collection in the MP3 format.
    $175.00

    Essential Seminars (MP3)
    Includes eight titles in the Essential Semiar CD set in MP3, plus all six biographical CD titles. $60.00

    Includes all three MP-3 series above plus, the special edition DVD with four Alan Watts animations and “Conversation with Myself”, filmed at his mountain retreat in 1971.

    * The Essential Lectures (MP3)
    * Eastern Wisdom Collection (MP3)
    * Essential Seminars (MP3)
    * Alan Watts Biographical Series (MP3)

    $300.00

  10. search the net and download as much alan watts that u all can , then pass it on to friends for free 4 ever and ever, ohm.

  11. Too bad we have lost Alan here in the Salon. I introduced my loved ones to him through this medium…however I am sure that many will continue to discover his vivacious spirit as I did on chance one day while soul searching.
    I found the song: “The real you” by Colorpulse, after listening to it I immediately went looking for the man whose magical voice was used for the sound bites in the recording.

    Thank you for everything Lorenzo the wise, I consider you to be one of the elders lighting the path as well.
    -Z
    ps- I hope you’ll still find ways to drop Watts’s name here and there. & check out that song I think you’ll like it.

  12. So much for democracy of information! Does it matter that noone is making buku bucks off this or does the t-shirt department at JCPenny’s have this much at stake? I don’t mean to be so aggro…but seriously, f-u who can’t appreciate the blinding power of the internet to spread information that would otherwise be reduced, commodified or kept within the compounds of the elite.

    Thanks for the podcast, luckily i downloaded it awhile ago so intellectual property defenders be damned! thank you for all your work , lorenzo, it means a lot to me and the people i share the program with. changing minds one thought at a time indeed.

  13. Thanks Lorenzo. Just noting the fact that tonight is the 40th anniversary of the experiment at la chorrerra. Yay.

  14. it was Alchemy of LSD podcast that introduced me to Alan Watts. since then I’ve bought 11 books by Alan Watts. Can you imagine how many more people probably did the same thing? Mark – threatening with legal stuff wasn’t wise at all! The only person who lost here is you. I urge everyone to just google Alan’s speeches, most of them are there anyway.

  15. What a !#$%@#$%, but I love him because he is Watt’s son. Thanks to you Lorenzo I was introduced to Watts and all the other elders.You have helped change the course of my life.

    Love

    Gabriel C.

  16. Bummer about removing the Alan Watts info. I think his son could have come to a better resolution than threatening to sue.
    He could have used it to PROMOTE the sales of his father’s archives, as this is obviously his desire.
    I’m sure I’m not the only one that popped by his site after hearing the podcasts, and now that I’ve seen his comments will never ever consider giving him a dime.

    Mark, here is a helpful hint. If you really want to make money off of your fathers work try not to alienate a potential customer base.

  17. Unbelievable. Are you sure it was the real Mark Watts? Did you send him an email? I checked the alanwatts website and it says Mark’s email address is watts @ alanwatts dot com.

    Anyway, thank you so much for all the excellent podcasts over the years, Lorenzo! I can’t wait to hear the next one.

  18. One positive result of Mark’s action was to bring out so many fellow Saloners, so I’ll thank him for that, just for the Zen of it!

    I bought ‘The Joyous Cosmology’ at age 17 (1967) and Alan Watts provided invaluable inspiration & affirmation about the psychedelic & spiritual worlds I was just starting to explore. His contribution to my life alone is inestimable, and I hope somehow his message will remain freely available for the benefit of others.

    Lorenzo, I’ve never posted but found the Salon one very fortunate day in early 2007, and have been coming back ever since. I really can’t thank you enough for countless hours of truly remarkable, insightful listening. Your dedicated work enriches many appreciative minds & souls around the globe, and this website is a treasure!

  19. …I guess there is a reason why Mark Watts is not like his father, unenlightenment and darkness he is clinging too. Funny how he is going against everything his father preached, to love others unconditionally…What a way of spreading his fathers words, with threats!? His greed breeds his fear which breeds his demise…I’m sure Alan Watts is turning in his grave over the way his son has become, a seeker of money, has clouded his judgment…

  20. Great to hear that you’ll be getting back into your unpublished Terence. I’m remember that while back you had mentioned that you had sever boxes of tapes of talks that were exclusives to R.A. that you’d be putting up.

    I can’t wait to hear some or all of those.

    Keep up the good work buddy, your podcast is inspirational

    J

  21. I neglected to properly thank you also Lorenzo for these excellent podcasts. I love intellectually stimulating and spiritually illuminating podcasts -they’re the perfect thing to listen to while creating art work – and look forward to yours avidly. It’s a real public service you’re providing here.

  22. I just bought an Alan Watts book after hearing him speak for the first time in psychedelic salon #255. I’m not going to bother picking up any more Watts material.

    It should be obvious that the Psychedelic Salon fosters interest and sales in many of the talkers here. We’re not downloading/listening to the complete collected works of speakers, just the bits that were thought to be in the public domain.

    I bet if you’d granted Lorenzo a free licence to distribute these talks, you’d have generated sales both from impressed regular listeners, and people new to Alan Watts like myself.

  23. So sad about Alan’s talks being pulled such information should be freely available. In fact because of this I’m sure it will be made even more freely available I for one will make sure it is…go on sue me

  24. Dear Mark Watts,

    As a long-time Psychedelic Salon fan it is a letdown to read what you have posted. The discussions I have actively listened to on this site have improved my life in a spiritual sense. I feel like I have found a group of like-minded people interested in sharing inspiration in the form of historical audio. I have donated to this site because I believe Lorenzo reinvests, and cultivates this site much the way I grow my garden – with love and the ultimate intention to feed not only my hunger, but others who have also been without.

    I have no interest to seek out pay-to-listen podcasts, but it would be an even more tragic incident if these recordings were listened to by fewer and fewer people in the name of supply and demand capitalism.

    The “gotta get mine” mentality can really do nasty things, I’ll just suggest that you try to make a name for yourself by digesting the material by yourself and maybe, just maybe some revolution of the mind will take place.

    Mo money, mo problems, brother.

  25. That really is a bummer (bumber) Watts wants to remove the audios of his from here! Money for it ah? well then definitely remove them all, ffs

  26. @ Mark it is a real shame that your fathers legacy will be cut off to me and to many others. @ Lorenzo thank you for the effort you put into this site mate

  27. Hello Lorenzo…I hope your move has ended up a positive thing, and that all aspects of it have fallen into place. I was truly worried about you yourself when I hadn’t seen any new podcasts in awhile. I’m glad to hear of the reason here in the comment section. I wish you and Marysee the best…always! I am sorry to hear that money dictates when it comes to being able to share information and knowlege. ( the Alan Watt’s lecture). I feel strongly that we should give as much as we can to the greater whole as often as we can in this way. I look forward to your next podcast…I hope you find all lost material and I’m thinking of you and yours and hope this comment finds you on an upward path of joy!

  28. Thanks for the trouble of posting Alan Watt’s talks Lorenzo. I’m glad I had the chance to hear them while they were up.

    I also find it hard to believe Mark Watt’s wouldn’t want his fathers message to be free for all to hear. If it wasn’t for the Psychedelic Salon and various youtube videos I would have never known who Alan Watts is. As a result of the Salon I have purchased a bunch of Alan Watts’ books which have greatly improved my spiritual and intellectual life.

    It’s a shame people will not to be able to stumble across the Alan Watt’s rhetorical brilliance on the Psychedelic Salon any longer.

  29. Lorenzo, I don’t remember you mentioning anything about an intensional hiatus so I felt that I should write to say that i hope all is well with you and your loved ones. I’ll try to be as patient as my make up will allow in the meantime. Let me also say that I look forward to each podcast and want to express my gratitude for all the hard work you have put into the Psychedelic Salon over the years. I listen and relisten. And actually listen some more. Somehow I feel that I know you on a much more personal basis than is possible by way of my iPod’s ability to store you away and then serve you up again at my convenience. Thanks.

    Peace,
    Chris

  30. It’s too bad we can’t hear the teacher Watts…most of us including Lorenzo prob.don’t even have coffee money any more. We shall overcome and work out our own crazy wisdom….

  31. I try not to judge, I attempt to understand other people’s points of view. But I can’t wrap my head around the fact that Mark doesn’t want to share his father’s work. I can only hope it’s for good reason and is in line with the message that Alan Watts left us with.

  32. *sigh*. That’s poor form, Mark. Really and truly.

    Lorenzo, your time, efforts and resources spent on the Psychedelic Salon are appreciated more than you could ever know. Keep on truckin’!
    Warmest wishes from London.
    Leon.

  33. Thrilled to read that new podcasts are coming. Sad to see that Mark Watts insists on depriving this appreciative audience of his father’s important outputs. Largely this is an audience that, but for Lorenzo’s free service, would never have known your father ever existed. You’re under no obligation to reveal your motives for this move, Mark. But it seems an odd way to keep Alan’s memory alive.

  34. Yeah, it’s a good thing Terence McKenna’s family don’t take the same attitude, or I would know a whole lot less about the elves and their dome, as well as Hermetic philosophy and a whole range of related subjects. And I couldn’t ever possibly afford to buy those tapes. So thank you Terence’s family!

    And to Mr. Watts Jr. – um, Have a Nice Day.

  35. ps save all your liberal crying about that opinion until you read his biography….
    pps Thanks Lorenzo you rock like Hendrix.

  36. He’d call his own son little wanker….but it’s hard to listen to Alan Watts if you know how he lived his life v. what he talked about….they go in opposite directions.

  37. Wow, unfortunate events in regards to Alan Watts family… I guess, in this case the apple DOES fall far from the tree. So even nonofficial audience recordings of him are copyrighted? Do we need to pull a “Wikileaks” for Alan Watts?

  38. I guess in this case the apple not only fell far from the tree but rolled down the hill and got smashed on the highway. They say brilliance skips a generation. That is certainly true in this case. To Alan’s son: Everything your father stood for, Lorenzo also stands for. Lorenzo is a bright light for truth and the establishment of peace in a dark world of GREEDY people… Long live Lorenzo! Long live the Psychedelic Salon! Long live FREE information!

  39. Looking forward to the next podcast, I was worried you had been raptured and left us mortals behind. I will make a donation for a backup drive. Your episode on St Veronica’s Veil and the laying on of hands by the autistic was very inspiring. I listened to it while bicycling around Angel Island one beautiful day.

  40. Well, this is bizarrely tasteless. The sheer amount of willful ignorance and denial it must take for someone in the year 2011 to believe that they can stop lectures by someone who is dead and famous from becoming public domain via youtube and hundreds of other sources… it boggles the mind. Guess I’ll go dig this lecture up for free from some other website (duh!)

    Mark- God forbid new audiences should have the opportunity to hear your father’s work; how terrible!

  41. I enjoyed this episode and am sad to hear there won’t be any more Watts. I will cherish the ones I have downloaded already. Thanks Lorenzo for the great work you do.

  42. This is a real bummer. The Watts talks have really helped me through some down times. Keep up the great work Lorenzo. What you’re doing here has true value.

  43. This is terrible. The first time in the history of the Psychedelic Salon that a podcast had to be removed. I’m disappointed.

  44. Too bad that Mark Watts didnt learn any of the Zen teachings from dear old Dad. I am glad Alan’s work is all over the internet and I have already downloaded what seems to be every speech he ever gave. Your listeners can go to piratebay to download as much Alan Watts as they like. Inform Mark that he can try to sue them, like the rest of the planet.

  45. Sadly, I will remove Alan Watts from the Psychedelic Salon. Too bad that his family doesn’t want to share their father’s work without getting money for it.

  46. Lorenzo, my father’s talks are copyright protected. Please don’t post any more of his talks on your podcast and remove the ones you have in the archive.

    Thanks, Mark

  47. I’m glad there’s going to be another. I’d almost convinced myself this was the end; or that Bruce Damer had talked you into a long break.

    After all, 255 is the largest decimal you can fit into one byte. It’s 11111111 in binary.

    After this you’ll need 2 bytes, so it makes sense you’ll also need a new computer 😉

  48. Hare Krishna – dvaitins (dualists) are against sex also and very close to Christianity in how they view their body. They, like Christianity sell themselves disguised as, “love and devotion- and promoting peace” while preaching their dogma about how sex is the original sin , and body/mind/senses needs to be rejected and suffer being condemned to eternal hell. But rightly, their status on Hinduism is debated. And while claiming to be branch of vedanta, most do not teach nor study the UPANISHADS – rather , studies the puranas which are more like form of entertainment by retelling the stories of god – nothing to do with vedanta!!!!

  49. Thank you for the update Lorenzo, I can’t wait.

    I think you missed a good podcast CM. This podcast isn’t criticizing Christianity. Lorenzo picked the title.

  50. this is good news! thank you so much, I dont think I could make it through a week at work without this wonderfull resource you have created. First thing i do most days when i log in at work is check for new podcasts haha. Its nice to know im not alone and not crazy : )
    thanking you sincerely
    ben

    • Hopefully I’ll get one out late next week. During our move my computer crashed, lost a lot of stuff. Just yesterday I ordered a new one, thanks to some generous donors! It should arrive next week, and after I recover what I can of my old data, I’ll be doing a podcast first thing. I was planning to play a Jonathan Ott talk, but I think my first one back should be Terence :-).

  51. Yea JJ true enough, and i’m kind of tired of hearing it. So I didn’t bother to listen to it. I think christians have been beat to death thoroughly.

    But I will answer Alan Watts question… Christianity isn’t afraid of sex. The reason it is repressed is because it is actually a valid alchemical practice. The repression of sex leads to an ultimate liberation. Only problem is it’s very difficult to do and one needs the upmost asceticism. But this does work. I think most “christians” don’t know this. But i’m pretty sure christians are not the only ones who do this.

  52. I had said earlier that it’s all well and good to criticize Christianity about any number of things, especially sex. But how often do you hear of a podcast criticizing Scientology or Islam? I wonder why that is?

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