Beyond Theology PDF book by Alan Watts

Download Beyond Theology Free PDF book by Alan Watts

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Excerpt from the author's introduction:

Perhaps I can best indicate the spirit and approach of this book by asking you to imagine that you are at¬ tending a solemn service in a great cathedral, complete with candles, incense, chanting monks, and - priests in vestments of white, scarlet and shimmering gold. Suddenly someone pulls you by the sleeve and says, “Psst! Come outback. I’ve got something to show you.** You follow him out by the west door and then go around the building to the extreme east end where there is a small door leading into the sacristy or vestry. This is the ecclesiastical equivalent of the green room in the theater, and you are about to enter by what, in a worldly setting, would be called the stage door. However, just outside you notice a couple of clerics—in their vestments—lighting up cigarettes. Now transpose this scene to Heaven, so that the church service will be nothing less than the wor¬ ship of the saints and angels around the throne of


I am afraid that there are those who will feel not only that this is not very reverent, but also that such an approach is absolutely blasphemous, and that no one could possibly be saying, “Psst in front of the throne of God except, perhaps, the Devil himself. However, the reader must be assured that it is far from my intention to debunk, to give offense, or to hold sacred things up to ridicule. For your author is acting, not in the role of the Devil, but in the capacity of the Court Jester, and I am sure that there must be such an office even (or especially) in Heaven.

If you know anything about the lore and the his¬ tory of the Fool at Court, you will know that his function was not merely to be funny. I am not about to build you a convenient slide into religion, greased with wit. The function of the Fool was to keep his monarch human and, with luck, even humane, by a judicious unstuffing of his pomposity and by keeping alive his sense of humor—the essence of which is laughter at oneself. Undoubtedly the Lord God is not in need of these services. Nevertheless, omnipotent and self-sufficient as he is held to be, he is alleged to have an immense entourage of ministering angels, doing things which he could very well take care of himself, and without the least exertion.


Author: Alan Watts 
Publication Date: 1960

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