Did you get the memo?

Hello everyone!

Hope you're doing well and enjoying May flowers wherever you are. To those of you who were able to use the store discounts last month, thank you so much. We love hearing about how you've connected with the Philosophies of Asia talks. We've just finished creating some more transcripts for you after listening through Alan's talks about Myth and Religion.

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If you’d like to jump right into listening to the Myth and Religion audio yourself, it is 50% off with the code MYTH50. If you’d like to purchase The Works, gift cards, or any of the other collections, you can use the code SPRING20 to get 20% off any purchase.
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50% Off Myth and Religion Album

Memorial day is right around the corner so we though we'd talk about memories, and more specifically, memos. A memo, short for the Latin word, memorandum, is a reminder. It stems from the Latin memorare - “to call to mind.” We use all kinds of proxies to help us remember things every day. We jot down something on scrap paper to help us remember to change a lightbulb. We use apps on our cellphones to help us remember what to buy at the grocery store. Sometimes we tie a string around our finger in a twice removed process to remember that we need to remember something. We even bring items into our daily practices to help us remember things - like the mala Alan is wearing in the photo below (a mala is a bead necklace similar to a rosary that is designed to help someone maintain focus and keep count by running their fingers over the beads while meditating or reciting a mantra).

Alan wearing a beautiful red mala. Remember?

But what of cultures and societies? How do we “jot down” memos that can be passed on not just until we get to the grocery store, but for generations? Enter: Myth and Religion

As I sit here at my desk writing this update, I'm confronted by a box of memo pads on the table. They’re called Post-it EXTREME Notes and there’s a note on the box that says “Sticks in tough conditions.” I can’t help but think both Myth and Religion could be considered examples of EXTREME cultural Post-it notes… and we often see that the tougher the conditions, the more they seem to stick.

Myths: The ultimate Post-it?

We take complex ideas about morality, intricate stories about creation, about gods and goddesses, and detailed revelations and commandments, and over time we pair them down into myths. It’s important to remember that a myth, in this context, is not a lie as we frequently use the word in common parlance. Let’s see how the word myth is used in relation to stories and religions by reading a quote from Alan in the Myth and Religion album:

“There is another older and stricter use of the word myth whereby it doesn’t mean something untrue, but it means an image in terms of which people make sense of life and of the world.”

― Alan W. Watts: Image of Man from the album Myth and Religion

Thank you again for reading this update and newsletter. We hope you're enjoying them every couple of weeks and are connecting with the amazing lectures from Alan Watts.

Are there any good memos you've taken while listening to an Alan Watts lecture? We would love to hear about them! You can reply directly to this email with your favorite lecture, a fond memory, requests, corrections, and so on... Here are some stories we received as a response to our last newsletter:


A listener, Guy, wrote a poem in Watts' fashion: 

"On Being Alan Watts:
Alan Watts: he is us and we are he, for he was God, and so are we."


George says:

"Thank you for your great work. It is very important for me to have transcripts of my favorite Alan's lectures, since I am not native English speaker and I am sure that I could miss some nuances."

Mihir told us:

"Alan Watts has been an incredible source of understanding this phenomena we call life for me."

Thank you for reading!
The Alan Watts Organization

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