This book discusses the same ideas and theories as The Fourth Way but structured as a memoir not in a the logical and lectured order of the latter. So...moreThis book discusses the same ideas and theories as The Fourth Way but structured as a memoir not in a the logical and lectured order of the latter. Some ideas are better exposed here as for instance the separation between personality and essence, while others are much murkier. Finally, there is a plethora of "esoteric" ideas (which are never touched in the collection of lectures mentioned above) though many times these theories are left only partially explained.
I would recommend to start reading The Fourth Way and if those theories are down your alley, continue with this book.
P.S. The view of the bolshevik revolution from "inside," that is from the point of view of the Russian intellectualia, is quite eye-opening, even for one like me, who lived through a very real revolution. (less)
I don't think one can review this book. My suggestion is to read its first chapter: if one is "ready" for it, it will blow her/his mind. (There is one...moreI don't think one can review this book. My suggestion is to read its first chapter: if one is "ready" for it, it will blow her/his mind. (There is one particular idea that is shocking and scary in its truthfulness, but everyone has to discover this for herself/himself.) If not stupefied, one might still find the ideas interesting enough and decide to continue.
In a few words, the first 3/4 of the collection of lectures is a psychology treaty of a very peculiar and non-traditional kind centered around one idea (the one mentioned right in the first chapter, namely, the lack of self-remembering). The last 1/4 of the book is of a more "esoteric" nature (i.e, the most motley amalgam of what is considered the traditional religions, and the antique religions, plus myths, legends, etc.) Some of these latter ideas are to say at least weird, but the authenticity and value of the psychological section is unquestionable (I should know, since I'm the poster child for exemplifying everything that is written in there.)
It is stated several times that one could understand this system of thought (or better said its value) only if one has made a terrible mistake, and I couldn't agree more.
"We can understand what mechanicalness is and all the horror of mechanicalness only when we do something horrible and fully realize that it was mechanicalness in us that made us do it."
Anyways, I intended to review this book is detail, but it won't do justice to its ideas.
"We think we are what we are. Unfortunately we are not what we are but what we have become; we are not natural beings. We are too asleep, we lie too much, we live too much in imagination, we identify too much. We think we have to do with real beings, but in reality we have to do with imaginary beings. Almost all we know about ourselves is imaginary. Beneath all this agglomeration man is quite different. We have many imaginary things we must throw off before we can come to real things. So long as we live in imaginary things, we cannot see the value of the real; and only when we come to real things in ourselves can we see what is real outside us. We have too much accidental growth in us."
P.S. You can find the whole book for free in PDF format online since it's public domain.(less)
Last year when it was en vogue, I promised myself not to read it after hearing the negative comments pertaining to its wri...moreI hated this book! Hated it!
Last year when it was en vogue, I promised myself not to read it after hearing the negative comments pertaining to its writing style, but this weekend I thought I would give it a try. I won't even bother with a full review, only with the most notable trends:
* Writing style walking the line between "pretty bad" and "terrible"—check.
* Both physically and emotionally abusive relationship—check.
* Abhorrent main male character with no redeeming qualities—check. No, neither wealth nor beauty nullify Christian's propensity for finding joy only in beating his girlfriend till his hand stings. Ironically, he is hardly as skillful in bed as the author wants us to believe... This is not the first erotica book I read in which people seem to find molestation acceptable if coming from a wealthy, good-looking guy. If Christian was jobless and toothless, everybody would have branded him a psychopathic SOB—but because he is an Adonis billionaire who flies his own helicopter, although he mentally manipulates and physically abuses his girlfriend, he is dubbed a (messed-up) romantic. ::hear, hear my irony::
* By comparison, Anna is a much better penned character, which is the reason for the scantily 2-stars.
* Cold-pizza sex (i.e., mediocre at its best) mangled by violent sex—check.
Is there something wrong with me for recoiling from this novel or with the rest of the world who evidently loves it?(less)