After 2 Years in the Making, I have finally completed St. Augustine's City of God. This book, is amazing, but its also very intense and involved. I caAfter 2 Years in the Making, I have finally completed St. Augustine's City of God. This book, is amazing, but its also very intense and involved. I can see myself referring back to this many times in the Future. The first half of the book tries to undo many of the errors found in a dying Pagan society, that seems very similar in thought to our own culture today. Whereas the second half of the book, has more of a focused on God and His Eternal City and the implications it has for all of mankind.
However say what you will the footnotes coupled with the history, philosophy, theology even psychology as well as criticism for the society of his time is all provided by St. Augustine and is supplemented with the translators footnotes. I would wager this book could probably be completed in 22 Weeks, if one spends One Week on Each Book, however if you are like me, you may find yourself stopping and going, making this read something that takes even longer to complete, the read however once complete is well worth it....more
This book is a very helpful book, very insightful. The book sets up a beautiful little system and organizes it according to the Whole and its Parts, bThis book is a very helpful book, very insightful. The book sets up a beautiful little system and organizes it according to the Whole and its Parts, between its parts comes 3 Private Victory Habits and 3 Public Victory Habits, with a 7th Habit designed to further encompass the whole.
Effectiveness is indeed a wonderful trait to have, and from it comes many other positive traits that can make living most impressive and helpful. The Habits are not so much as steps as they are things to carry with you as you go throughout your day, although the author does make clear that true effectiveness will come once we have been more successful at achieving those Private Victories (First 3 Habits) before we attempt to try to achieve the Public Victories (Last 3 Habits).
The author offers little assignments or activities, which although at the time of writing this review I had not completed but had read, which would prove most helpful to apply in order to best see how effectiveness might grow on you, or become you in your life. This book has a moderate level of re-readability, if your trying to make yourself more effective in personal and public life then this book will be opened up more often....more
This book is a mix to me, a hit or miss. Sometimes I get the sense that the book is trying to be genuine in trying to get us to recognize our criticalThis book is a mix to me, a hit or miss. Sometimes I get the sense that the book is trying to be genuine in trying to get us to recognize our critical inner voices and it succeeds. However, sometimes I see that this book appeals perhaps a little too much to ones pride, a sort of reactive sense that its everyone else's fault for being who one became rather than a more proactive stance that regardless of what others may or may not have intended [or done] how will one actually work now to get themselves out of the hole they are in currently.
I must insist that the initial 3 or 4 chapters, as well as the last chapter of the book were probably the most enlightening reads. The most aversive chapter during my read is Chapter 6 which had to do with Sexuality, and while there were parts of Chapter 6 I could agree with (e.g. A Good/Healthy Understanding of Sex), I get the sense that this reviewer [who is a Practicing Catholic, and loves it] was being implicitly told that Religion is bad because of its "repressive" attitude toward sex which is an institution within the culture, the reviewer certainly feels that the Generation of the 60s was not an enlightened generation but a darkened one: Merely exchanging one extreme (i.e. Puritanism) for another extreme (i.e. Individualist Hedonism). Nonetheless, to conclude this book is a hit or miss, sometimes it is helpful sometimes it seems all about worshiping oneself rather than making authentic progress in maturity....more
I have not read the entire book, but I have taken part in the exercises found within the book. After doing the exercises and reading the parts of theI have not read the entire book, but I have taken part in the exercises found within the book. After doing the exercises and reading the parts of the book that best applied to the results from the exercises I can certainly say that the author has done some impressive work with this book. I have certainly seen the elements of the various Archetypes manifest in my life in profound ways that the results of the exercise said I would have seen. The book also talks about the resolution of conflicts between certain Archetypal Figures operating within ones life as well. The book is certainly worth the read, and I will most likely be returning to this book in the future to complete the parts that would not have necessarily applied to me as directly....more
After reading this book that a friend let me borrow I believe my this book is another interesting book that helps one manifest there hopes and desiresAfter reading this book that a friend let me borrow I believe my this book is another interesting book that helps one manifest there hopes and desires. The book although short does give quality advice for the reader. Depending on ones outlook on life this book does have some strong associations to Psychological Therapy and yet some Self-Help with a hint of New Age Metaphysics. ...more
Where do I start? Let me begin with the criticism then I will move into what I appreciated. To start the book provides good definitions, a clear technWhere do I start? Let me begin with the criticism then I will move into what I appreciated. To start the book provides good definitions, a clear technique and plenty of examples on this mental tool called Flow, or the Autotelic Self/Experience, this is core and most important. However despite this there seems to be a few contradictions within his writings.
I am not sure if the author was writing from just a detached "agnostic" position applying a Methodical Naturalism which would be the scientific thing to do or if he was subtly injecting a more so Philosophical Naturalism underneath some of his propositions. In this case, theres a noticeable materialistic reductionism in his writing that seems all in all dismissive of anything objective and transcendental yet he he uses the lives of the Saints to affirm them for the purposes of achieving a Flow experience.
Another noticeable contradiction is his, treatment of the meaning of life, on one hand he comes off directly saying that there is no objective meaning outside of ourselves and that we need to make meaning for ourselves. Yet, in the same book he speaks of the need of being altruistic and toward the end of the book he shames people in the book for trying to create individual meaning calling it, "misguided hubris." If life is fundamentally meaningless, then why bother being altruistic? So what if its "misguided hubris," theres no meaning/no substance behind such a statement.
Even more fundamentally, whats the point to even achieving the Flow Experience if there is no objective reality and no objective meaning to strive for? Eventually when I die, my self-created "Truth" will die with me and thus it wouldn't have been "true" thus, meaningless anyway. It would seem then that we should either strive for what the Stoics did and affirm suicide believing that they were forced into this life and that they will choose when they will depart it or perhaps we should stick to the mediocrity of the Ancient Cynics and live a life that mocks human society and all its conventions. Yet he tells us to strive for more Psychic Complexity and avoid Psychic Entropy, a fundamentally meaningless life is fundamentally entropic why bother trying to aim for the Heights of Complexity if it will disintegrate anyway? For the intellectually honest person there is no motivation, behind something mediocre, whatsoever.
Speaking of Social Conventions, on one hand he puts down social conventions [and instinctual drives] which we ought to be liberated from and yet he feels that if we only just made our society more conducive to the Flow Experience on one hand and learned how to direct the energy of those instinctual energies toward the Flow Experience how life would be better for us.
Again, he says this while he says that life is fundamentally meaningless, it would seem he is inculcating the reader to just be dishonest about the universality of the meaninglessness of it all and just self-create our own universal meaningfulness... Even though its all in vain, according to him. Yet he goes on to say that we need a Unified Vision [perhaps he wants to say Metaphysical] in order to optimize the Power of Flow.
With that said, he seems to have recognized that The Flow is Amoral (The Flow of Bl. Theresa of Calcutta is the same Flow of Hitler) and to this I would agree, Flow seems to be more of a Tool than a Moral Choice, how one uses Flow that is the moral choice.
Nonetheless, this man is a positive psychologist, yet his own philosophy is one that is fundamentally and in a subtle background way, only affirming the loneliness and over affirming the inability of the mind to get beyond itself as well as the bleakness and empty vanity of life (citing modern philosophers like Nietzsche and Sartre who were honest about their fundamental meaninglessness thus having written down a visibly and audibly unhappy life), so I do not see how this is conducive to aiding in the ends of Positive Psychology.
Nonetheless, I am going into Psychology myself and I can tell you this, that I would integrate his techniques and processes that he noticed concerning Flow looking even at the examples he provided as well. But leave his philosophy behind, and this is why I gave him a 3 out of 5, purely for the well-done presentation on Flow, if he did a bad job of this I would have given him a 2 out of 5 (at most). The worthwhile concepts and steps are straightforward enough [most being in italics] and based on these steps and concepts one can agree with and find application. ...more