The author delves deeply into the six great humane virtues': courage, fidelity, restraint, generosity, tolerance and forgiveness.
It’s a hard confront...moreThe author delves deeply into the six great humane virtues': courage, fidelity, restraint, generosity, tolerance and forgiveness.
It’s a hard confronting book. It can hurt and pain you. It’s uplifting and releases you. It’s not for the faint of heart and will if you are honest and true take you longer than you anticipated to get through. Unless you are skimming. Skimming it will not make a big impact upon you. The areas where she touches on God may deflect the atheist in you. You may throw it down and move on. So be it. Not many are ready when they pick this book up for dissection of their interior souls.
It is however a prescription for pain. Morphine for the soul. She shows you a way through it without the drugs. Don’t think of it as a self help - get rid of your addictions book – for you would be wrong. It’s a bible of sorts. Some have said as much in other reviews, but it’s not rules to live by. Rather how to grow up and become a fully fledged human with all the virtues.
If you have ever been broken, hurt, betrayed or afraid this book might open doors for you. It is a journey to work through. Dowrick starts with the virtue Courage. You need courage to get to the end of the book. You need courage to pick yourself apart. This is no book like Louise Hay ever wrote. There are no affirmations and no visualizations. In fact Dowrick is not impressed with such fantasies and prefers to dig in deep to the nitty gritty and get at the truth. You need that courage to see yourself and others as they really are, not just on the surface.
Fidelity is not just about the sex it is about commitment and a wider commitment than just your partner. Fidelity is about commitment to yourself and also to the whole world and finding a loving balance between ego and self and others.
Restraint is like finding silence. It can be compared to the peace and silence the Quakers talk about in the heart. It can be the silence of holding your tongue in an argument and not spewing out past hurts a person has done you because they are not the issue at hand. Restraint has many forms and Dowrick shows them to us.
What can I say about the chapter on Generosity – A person can only get what they give. This doesn’t have to be money. There are myriad ways to be generous – with time, love, listening, teaching, caring, smiling. You also have to be generous with your self. You have to give permission to yourself. This goes with fidelity to self. If you are not true to yourself you cannot be generous with others.
Tolerance is getting to the grown up stuff. We need to tolerate more and less at the same time. We also need to “take ourselves on “. Dowrick says “ Tolerance – especially for the raw and untried, confronting and unfamiliar – means taking ourselves or allowing ourselves to be taken to the outer limits of our potentials, even if this means risking encountering the perils of ecstasy or hell. And not taking ourselves in a single direction only. Facing what we may prefer to ignore, repress or disown may feel dangerous, even crazy. Contemporary culture discourages us from venturing into these tricky areas. We are supposed to consume extreme experiences, but not risk living them. Risking them might turn us into nations of artists, warriors for peace, internationalists, nature lovers, protectors of children and old people, mystics, storytellers, perpetual students hungry to know more, employees who want our work to add up to something. And NOTHING in our education or public culture encourages or prepares us to live like that.”
Forgiveness is the marathon that never ends. It is here that the other virtues come into play. You need them to be able to work through the cycles of pain, anger and sorrow that forgiveness brings till there is a levity and peace inside you.
Dowrick gives many examples and quotes throughout the book. A minority seem overplayed. Most though remind us again and again how each virtue is entwined and is circular. Without one of them it is difficult to be a fully grown human. It is difficult to forgive. It is difficult to move on. It is difficult to find peace. Thich Nhat Hanh is often quoted. I would throw it out there that the title of his book “Peace is every step” is a good analogy for this book. Dowrick’s book shows you the steps. Intricate - yes. But danceable. Sometimes in very tight high heels.
A good collection of inspiring quotes.....however it comes from a Christian based perspective with a strange twist - the author believes God's Heaven...moreA good collection of inspiring quotes.....however it comes from a Christian based perspective with a strange twist - the author believes God's Heaven would be Capitalist based and hates Socialism...however my memory of the way Heaven is structured is a Monarchy with 3 heads. The author also approves of the quick decision made to nuke Japan during WW2.
1 of 18 books for $10 today 5.12.2012. for daughter(less)
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Just bought it on The Book Depository UK. free shipping to Australia and cheaper than anywhere
A few of my photography & artistic friends have read this with good reviews saying it helped get them out of creative slumps. Kind of curious about it now. another one to put on my wish list. (less)