Over 50 years after it’s initial release, The Joyous Cosmology, by Alan Watts, remains a classic of consciousness exploration, and a ripping good read. Watts, best known for introducing Eastern philosophy to a Western audience, was a spiritual philosopher and the author of more than 20 books. The Joyous Cosmology is full of insight into human consciousness, philosophy, and altered states of mind. Watt’s detailed descriptions of his experiences while using psychodelic drugs remain profoundly relevant today.
“The Joyous Cosmology inevitably sends me into a state of poetic euphoria and anarchistic delight. Alan Watts wrote this wonderful little book in the early 1960 s: that long-lost moment of innocence when psychedelic substances like LSD and psilocybin were starting to permeate the culture of the modern West but no final decision had yet been made on their utility or fate–or their legality. It was a time when a handful of philosopher-poets had the chance to muse on the power of these compounds–’to give some impression of the new world of consciousness which these substances reveal,’ Watts wrote. Reading it again, I can’t help but recall my first forays into the soul-unfolding and mind-opening qualities of the visionary plants and chemical catalysts. ” Daniel Pinchbeck, from the new introduction to The Joyous Cosmology