Alan Watts was born in London in January of 1915 at the start of the first World War. At a young age he became fascinated with the arts of the Far East, and by the time he was ten or eleven he began to read thriller stories by Sax Rohmer about about mysterious Oriental villains. This interest led him in turn to the works of Lafcadio Hern, Christmas Humphreys, and DT Suzuki, and by fourteen was writing on Eastern themes, and was published in the Journal of the London Buddhist Lodge before producing his first booklet on Zen in 1932. He moved to New York in 1938 and then to Chicago where he served as an Episcopal priest for six years before leaving the Church. In 1950 he moved to upstate New York, and in late 1950 visited with Joseph Campbell and, composer John Cage, and Luisa Commaraswamy at his Millbrook farmhouse. Then in 1951 at the invitation of Frederic Spiegelberg he moved to San Francisco to teach at the Academy of Asian Studies.
Alan Watts was profoundly influenced by the East Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Buddhism, and by Taoist thought, which is reflected in Zen poetry and the arts of China and Japan.Overall Alan Watts developed an extensive audio library of nearly 400 talks and wrote more than 25 books during his lifetime, including his final volume, Tao; the Watercourse Way.