The book is honest, and that is a remarkable thing for an author, C.S. Lewis, seeking to relate the experience of watching his wife die and then copinThe book is honest, and that is a remarkable thing for an author, C.S. Lewis, seeking to relate the experience of watching his wife die and then coping with the loss thereafter.
I read this book over a year ago, and many parts wander through my mind still. One in particular is the last paragraph, where he shares the last living moment with his wife:
(Paraphrasing) I said to her, "When I am dying and am lying on my bed, I should like it very much if you would come visit me. She said amidst her throws of agony, "God would not refuse me, and if hell tries to hold me back I shall break it to pieces." Then, after a few more moments of pain, she turned and said, "I am at peace with God," but said it to the Priest, not to me. Poi si torno all eterna fontana.
The last words, Poi si torno all eterna fontana, mean "And then she returned to the Eternal Fount," which were the last words of Dante's Divine Comedy, when Beatrice returns to heaven.
I love this book. It illustrates the kind of relationship for which we are all looking.
(I wrote a review on this twice and just noticed today. Here's the other review)
One of the amazing things about C.S. Lewis is that he has a way of articulating feeling or thoughts we have all experienced yet cannot make sense of on our own. This book is one of those books. It's a personal journal Lewis wrote for himself while recovering from the emotion trauma caused by the death of his wife.
If I were to sum up the book in one word, I would say: wistful.
The last paragraph of the book has stayed with me ever since I read it; I won't share it here so that you can read it on your own....more
It's just a short little journal that recounts daily activities. I listened to it on audio. It was so short I almost wonder if it was missing somethinIt's just a short little journal that recounts daily activities. I listened to it on audio. It was so short I almost wonder if it was missing something; it was perhaps only fifteen minutes long....more
This book is one of the most powerful collections of spiritual discussion that I have ever read. MacDonald writes about the gospel and about what it mThis book is one of the most powerful collections of spiritual discussion that I have ever read. MacDonald writes about the gospel and about what it means to be a Christian in a way that only a man who spent his life trying to understand it possibly could.
It's full of truths that are simply stated, and profoundly introspective such as,
'Who truly owns a house? The man who owns a hundred mansions scattered throughout the countryside? Or the man who owns no house, but a knock on any door in his village would bring instant jubilation from those within?'
There's another book by MacDonald, "Getting to Know Jesus", which has several repeated essays. I'm not sure what the details are on why these two books were published separately when their content crosses over.
This book is a collection of letters and short, philosophical treatises by Gandhi. It's more for the Gandhi/philosophy/political-activisism enthusiastThis book is a collection of letters and short, philosophical treatises by Gandhi. It's more for the Gandhi/philosophy/political-activisism enthusiast than anyone else. If you're looking to learn about Gandhi, I'd recommend reading his autobiography first ("An Autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth") and then continuing on to this if you're still interested....more
The Apology of Socrates is the final argument Socrates gives on behalf of his own life when he is taken to trial for supposedly 'being a bad influenceThe Apology of Socrates is the final argument Socrates gives on behalf of his own life when he is taken to trial for supposedly 'being a bad influence.'
It's effective, concise, beautiful, and uplifting. In this speech, which probably lasted little more than an hour, Socrates captures what it means to be alive, to serve, and to seek virtue. ...more
It's a fantastic premise for civilization. One of the funny things about reading this book is that you often find yourself musing, "Oh, of course, PlaIt's a fantastic premise for civilization. One of the funny things about reading this book is that you often find yourself musing, "Oh, of course, Plato. That makes sense already, and the world already works like that..." Then you stop and realize that the reason the world works in that particular way is because Plato laid down the reasoning for it, and then you smack yourself in the forehead with amazement.
The one thing I didn't like about this book was Plato's call for censorship. At one point he even claims to a certain extent that art ought to be extirpated from civilization. While he rightly illuminates that a dishonest artist can mislead his viewer/audience, I think it's wrong to say that because of the character of some artists that no artists should be allowed to create—only except they create according to a certain set of rules. In my opinion, both the audience and the artists need to work through the practice of admiring or creating art until they find a path that they find to be uplifting. ...more
As an introduction to the world of medieval literature the audiobook does a passable job, but it fails to either take the reader to a level of deeperAs an introduction to the world of medieval literature the audiobook does a passable job, but it fails to either take the reader to a level of deeper appreciation or to tell the books in a light enough way that we can enjoy them.
Professor Shutt's explanations and readings are difficult to follow. He has long, awkward pauses in his narrative pacing, which often left me discombobulated.
I would say that it could be more effective if I had time to study each piece he lists in great detail, but in that case I don't think the course would provide enough introspection into the listed medieval work.
I may go over it again in the future, but not before actively reading medieval literature....more
As an overview of the eastern religions I think this course does an okay job. Professor Prothero keeps a good perspective on all the religions from anAs an overview of the eastern religions I think this course does an okay job. Professor Prothero keeps a good perspective on all the religions from an academic angle.
Three stars for its thorough research and clear presentation....more
With the exception of Ovid and Virgil, on the whole I loss more interest in Roman Mythology than I gained by reading this audiobook. Professor MeineckWith the exception of Ovid and Virgil, on the whole I loss more interest in Roman Mythology than I gained by reading this audiobook. Professor Meineck narrates a little too fast as well.
For the most part, and from what I understand, Romans seem to have simply "hacked" or hijacked everything around them including the architecture, sculpture, mythology etc. of the Greeks and Etruscans. Furthermore, they apparently did it for the sole purpose of creating an imperious image so as to gain political power over the people.
The Greeks on the other hand, seem to have been more the exploring type, searching through the human heart and mind in hopes of finding virtue and truth.
The only reason I gained interest in Ovid and Virgil was that I did think that they brought together the myths of the past with an intriguing and unique voice.
The audiobook lecture series was a terrific introduction to the world and philosophy of theological giant, Thomas Aquinas.
Thomas is renowned for havinThe audiobook lecture series was a terrific introduction to the world and philosophy of theological giant, Thomas Aquinas.
Thomas is renowned for having reconciled the intellectual reasoning of the ancient philosophers, such as Aristotle and Plato, with the doctrine of Jesus Christ. He was so prolific at expounding on theological principles that the church ended up assigning several scribes to him so that he could philosophize verbally and allow them to record it for him––thus speeding up the process. In all, he made some one-hundred thousand pages of philosophical thought.
As a record of maintaining a clear political mind and one's search for strong character I enjoyed this book. Concerning his spiritual searches, I thouAs a record of maintaining a clear political mind and one's search for strong character I enjoyed this book. Concerning his spiritual searches, I thought they were interesting to read, though I disagreed with him and, often times, found his point of view quite difficult to accept.
I must mention one thing which is not in the book before I continue, but is relevant to this biography, and that is that it could be said that Gandhi was a pedophile. He was known to sleep with his niece naked, and there are differing reports as to how far his behavior went. He also had a covey of teenage girls that surrounded him always, and there are accounts, perhaps apocryphal, related to his pedophilia therein as well. Supposedly he did these things in the name of 'strengthening his self-control over lust.' If that was his motivation, I don't think it is an excusable one.
I mention these things only because I think it relevant to place the autobiography into context. The autobiography was written during the time of the above mentioned events, and there were also accounts surfacing as well about a supposed romantic affair between Gandhi and Sarla Devi. Who can say whether this influenced his writing in the process?
That being said, I believe his writing is full of an honest voice. His thought process and judgment are intriguing, naturally. He states at the end of the book that he has written it as he believes that insomuch as it helps another to find Truth, it is valuable. His memories of how he learned to be honest in his relationships are particularly valuable, as he often explains how he came to understand and admit when he was wrong, what words he used to express his apology, and how he accepted the answer--which was nearly always met with kindness.
His attitude towards his wife, which he explains in this autobiography, is often criticized as being abusive. I agree with that. It can also be understood that the Hindu religion sees women as servants and subjects to the husband. It seemed to me that, as he continually developed his point of view on how to treat his wife, he did seem to value his wife's natural rights more and more.
For those who do not speak Hindi, you will find it difficult to keep track of characters, names, and places. It's good to have access to the internet nearby in order to understand the meaning behind words such as "brahmacharya," "ahimsa," and "satyagraha."
I had to disagree strongly with his opinion that Christ was either just a spiritual teacher, or that the Bible is just a metaphor for finding the divine God. Anyone who reads the Bible honestly will realize that it does not leave either of those two options to the reader. Christ claims to be the son of God, not a spiritual teacher. Either he was a blasphemer, a lunatic, or, in fact, the divine Son he claimed to be. Secondly, the Bible claims itself to be a historical account. If it is not, it is based upon a lie as well, and in that event it could not be said to be capable of leading one to ultimate Truth.
I give the book three stars for its clarity of thought and effective voice....more