The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety by Alan W. Watts

Though this book was originally written in the 1950’s, The Wisdom of Insecurity still holds up today — just as the reviews mention on the back of it. But it also doesn’t come without a couple questionable comparisons.

As many know, I have anxiety. I’m not ashamed of it but it can be a serious pain and is always evolving. With that being said, I’m always looking for ways to curb it and hold it accountable. My mother sent me this book a few months ago and I’d been meaning to read it but always found a reason not to. So finally, this past week, I made the decision to finally pick it up.

It’s a quick read, just under 200 pages, but it is a little difficult at times because it is written as if we were still in 1950’s, not in the 2000’s. Throughout the book, Alan Watts makes the assumption that anxiety isn’t a be all end all. You find ways to take care of it, often thru your version of a higher power and knowing that you are merely human.

Watts simplifies anxiety and the need to know everything all at once. But it makes sense. He uses theology — in forms of Zen Buddhism, Christianity, and more — to eplaint aht anxiety isn’t merely a mortal issue but can be solved thru finding something larger than yourself.

It’s an interesting read, one I’m still trying to wrap my head around, and it’s a quick finish. I’m sure, because of this, it’ll take a second read to fully understand the message but it’s an interesting take. If you’re looking for a different take on anxiety or if you struggle with it yourself, pick this book up. It’ll make you think.

Favourite quote: By all outward appearances, our life is a spark of light between one eternal darkness and another. Nor is the interval between these two nights an unclouded day, for the more we are able to feel pleasure, the more we are vulnerable to pain — and whether in the background or foreground, the pain is always with us. 



One thought on “The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety by Alan W. Watts

  1. Dana,dear,

    I really liked this book review. AlanWatts is amazing, and I am so glad your Mother sent that book to you. Good for you to read it…I think I will as well.

    Loved the quote – memorable.

    See you soon!

    Lots of love, Amah >


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