Get Your Free Audiobook

The Wisdom of Insecurity

A Message for an Age of Anxiety
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Length: 3 hrs and 57 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (56 ratings)

Non-member price: $17.99

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Alan W. Watts' "message for an age of anxiety" is as powerful today as it was when this modern classic was first published. We spend too much time trying to anticipate and plan for the future, too much time lamenting the past. We often miss the pleasures of the moment in our anxious efforts to ensure the next moment is as enjoyable.

Drawing from Eastern philosophy and religion, Watts argues that it is only by acknowledging what we do not and cannot know that we can find something truly worth knowing. In order to lead a fulfilling life, one must embrace the present - live fully in the now.

Elegantly reasoned and lucidly written, this philosophical achievement contains all the wisdom and spirit that distinguished Watts' long career and resonates with us still.

©1951 Pantheon Books (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Wisdom of Insecurity

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    42
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

tough but wonderful

tough concepts to grasp but when you do get it, your mind explodes. well narrated. will be listening again in a few months

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

THE ALL IN ONE -Mind-Opener

What i appreciate most about this particular book is the underlying thesis of East & West religions because... like Watts, i have been a spiritual follower of multiple theisms from 1975 to today. The conundrum with religions per se, is human interpretation because we can't grasp meaning of "Koans". Our minds are socialised, conditioned to be closed and suspicious of snake oil sellers. Fair enough. But unifies us in the 'I' story. I, too, don't see the point, yet, which is "I" superiority. I also agree that the history of spiritual teachings to which this work refers, does illuminate our purpose in life, attainment of happiness and freedom of suffering but the "Koans" are, unfortunately, beyond our ability to grasp. A great companion to my review is Dr Joseph Campbell's East / West lectures on Spotify. Also note the Dalai Lama's enforcement of specific authors who manage to unify religion comparatively- saying the same thing again, and again, over the centuries.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Too old fashioned.

It’s too much. He just keeps talking and talking and talking. From one thing to another. It’s hard to follow.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-06-2017

Should be required reading!

I grew up a preacher's kid, became a Vascular Surgeon, and today I am also as an Addiction Medicine physician. This concise book encompasses the things I was really seeking on this journey but did not realize I was seeking. Religion vs Science, Mind vs Body, Connection vs Separation, Self vs self. All of these and more are brilliantly stated and reconciled, not in a way to provide answers, but to bring wonder. These puzzle pieces are arranged enough to bring form and shape to big questions. I gave the performance a 4 only because I have heard tapes spoken by Alan Watts himself, and no one compares.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for IW,  Albuquerque
  • IW, Albuquerque
  • 16-03-2016

more pointed and considerate than his lectures

narrator was very good. easy to understand and pronounced words in the conventional way. Refreshing, especially if you ve only listened to Watts speak extemporaneously

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amin
  • Amin
  • 03-12-2016

Very very deep...

This was my first book by Alan Watts and I loved it so much. He explains insecurity in a whole new level of understanding, and if you think you are capable to understand, go ahead and dive.
I will definetly reread this book. This book is in a Top 10 book, that I read for the whole time, and the best book on insecurity. I Highly recommend it.

PS: I write this addition afterward reading this book after 2 weeks, and I can say, that this book have something really deep inside. I can definetly say, that it changed a lot of aspects of my life, on different levels of conciousness. I never before done rewieing afterward, but this book trully and absolutly worth it.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-05-2018

Can't handle Sean Runnette's voice and narrating

This book is incredible, I will have to read it. The way it is ready by this guy Sean Runnette is So bad! I couldn't even make it past the first few minutes. Terrible lispy, juicy S's. Pauses in all the wrong places, emphasis on the wrong words and unecessary commentary that takes you off track. Get someone who sounds Like Alan to narrate this book.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Darren Cadora
  • Darren Cadora
  • 24-10-2017

Alan said it best.

Lacking the enthusiasm that Alan would have if he told it. Alan had a magical way of expression that would have been magnificent to hear. Sean did make me laugh and smile. The depth of this book is not easy to present but I find it was worth the price

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jordan Williams
  • Jordan Williams
  • 11-06-2019

Amazing Book, Amazing Author.

One of the greatest reads of my life, I dont doubt for a second that I will listen to this book countless times over, my only complaint is that the narrator seems poorly chosen, such a monotonous and somehow miserly sounding voice does no justice to the lively firey flare and humor of Alan Watts' speeches, stories, analogies, and anecdotes. 10/10 book, worth re-narrating. Sorry Sean-Runnette I'm sure you're a cool guy.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for michael norris
  • michael norris
  • 05-01-2019

Absolutely awful

The material is Alan watts...so it's great, but whoever readers sounds like he's got a piece of candy and too much saliva in his mouth and every "S" sound is an irritating slurpy hiss. Gross Unlistenable

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jah Alexander
  • Jah Alexander
  • 09-07-2017

Relief

I was raised as a Christian, my parents, both mother and father are pasters. Wisdom is the structure for successful religions, in Christianity there is much to be found, yet I can't deny that I have heard life changing wisdom outside of my own beliefs. I am at the age now where I have began to question and keep an open mind, a game of, follow the wisdom. Anxiety disorder is something I continue to fight, win and lose on a daily basis, I see as well as who I am suppose to be in my religion contributes to that anxiousness I feel.
I would be a fool and have no since of wisdom in me if I where to deny this book, it speaks to me on a level I can't deny.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Eugene
  • Eugene
  • 29-03-2017

Good but not as mindblowing as You're It

An insightful book with many pearls of wisdom not present in Watt's lectures: "You're it" and "Out of Your Mind"

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Napoleon
  • Napoleon
  • 14-06-2019

Wow...

Very enlightening to say the least. Shifts your mindset from judgement to being a part of the universe. Free yourself from your illusion based shackles...

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul Williams
  • Paul Williams
  • 16-01-2018

Still a must read for all

I first read this book 20 years ago and was struck by its clarity on the problems of being alive in this modern world. It's incredible that Alan Watts wrote this book in 1951 and his thoughts about man's predicament are still the same and maybe worse today. This is not a self help book but anyone reading it cannot help to be helped. Enjoy. Ps the reading is very very good but not sure why an English reader was not chosen as Alan Watts spoke with an English accent and it would have made it he reading more authentic, only a small gripe.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-09-2019

Think too much feel to little

Almost like a self help mindfulness book, but way more complicated. It's is not a book that seeks to teach you but one that makes you think for yourself, about your overthinking process. Some problems are not problems at all.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Daniel
  • Daniel
  • 19-01-2019

Brings me out of my mind

I didn't understand much of it, but I feel tremendously better for having read it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John mason
  • John mason
  • 09-10-2018

A book of wisdom!

Sometimes hard to follow but packed full of wisdom if you can stick with it!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nelson Adoglio
  • Nelson Adoglio
  • 19-08-2018

Best book ever written

This is probably the best Philosophy book ever written, also marvellously frequently touching on Psychology and Theology. Short and sharp, not dwelling on theories - a great introduction and also conclusion from other topics explored by Watts in other works.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for gillian f.
  • gillian f.
  • 02-08-2018

voice is jarring.

Try Watts just So lectures. This ruins the message. :/ distracting not relaxing. Ive read the book, this is poor like AI

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Angela
  • Angela
  • 13-07-2018

Incredible human being

Alan Watts had incredible insight...thoroughly enjoy everything by this philosopher! Comical, enquiring and calming...try it!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jack Barnett
  • Jack Barnett
  • 02-09-2017

excellent

runnette has a very soothing voice that delivers the message of watts' words perfectly I loved it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 24-09-2020

beautiful

this is simply wonderful knowledge base of overall philosophy, age free and would recommend to everybody

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-08-2020

The only book you need to read!

This book is fantastic. I cannot believe all this was written in 1951 when for forty years I've believed all I just heard. We drive ourselves insane, we create our own suffering, we miss the purpose of life, we created this crazy society and we don't know who to blame anymore. It was left for us all to know, in the east and the west, we just misinterpreted the teachings in the west because we put so much emphasis on words! I will definitely listen to this again and again. Loved the narrators voice too, not trying just reading.