This series of essays represents philosopher Alan Watts' thinking on the confounding problems of our relation to our material environment. In it, Watts argues that modern people confuse symbol with reality, as well as ways of describing and measuring the world with the world itself. Thus we put ourselves into the absurd situation of preferring money to wealth and eating the menu instead of the dinner. With our attention locked on numbers, concepts, and technology, we are increasingly unconscious of nature and of our total dependence on air, water, plants, animals, insects, and bacteria.We have hallucinated the notion that the so-called "external" world is a cluster of "objects" separate from ourselves, that we "encounter" it, that we come into it instead of out of it. Consequently, our species is fouling its own nest and is in imminent danger of self-obliteration. In this classic work, a philosopher best known for his writings and teachings about mysticism and Eastern philosophy gets down to the nitty-gritty problems of economics, technology, clothing, cooking, housing, and the rest of the world around us.