I should have read the description more carefully. This is a supplement to a textbook.
My first surprise was how thin this book is. It's not intendedI should have read the description more carefully. This is a supplement to a textbook.
My first surprise was how thin this book is. It's not intended to stand on its own, it is a collection of source material with introductions and reading questions intended to supplement two text books Ways of Being Religious and Eastern Ways Of Being Religious by the same author.
This is a very thin academic overview of the history of Shinto intended for beginning students of philosophy and comparative religion. The author defines religion in terms of organizational structure and salvation, features that are typical to the Western Christian experience but not typical of other religions, geographically or historically. Because I don't agree with the author's definition of "religion" a lot of the features of Shinto that are problematic for him are not problematic for me. But the source material on Japanese history, beliefs, and practices is sound and I can still use it for my studies.
I was pleasantly surprised that there is a chapter on women in Shinto. The role of women historically in Shinto is discussed, both in how women affect Shinto and how Shinto affects women.
This is a reasonably good source for students interested in the academic study of Shinto religion. It is not intended for the general public, the casual reader, or the spiritual seeker....more
This is Alison Bechdel's memoir about her father and her coming out. How she discovered that her father was gay shortly after she came out and shortlyThis is Alison Bechdel's memoir about her father and her coming out. How she discovered that her father was gay shortly after she came out and shortly before he died.
I wish I had read this before "Are You My Mother?" There are a lot of call backs in that book to this one. "Are You My Mother?" gave me a lot of insights into my own relationship with my mother. I learned very little about myself from this book. This book is very much about Bechdel. The only point of similarity I could find was the tall ships. I remember them. And my family also visited New York City when I was young.
I'd gotten the impression from her second memoir that her father had killed himself. But she is honest in this book that it is not clear that he killed himself. His death might have been an accident.
There are a lot of things about her father that she never resolves.
It's a very interesting book. Now I want to go read all my copies of the "Dykes to Watch Out For" strips.
I like this book. It made me laugh. Humor is subjective. If you enjoy Jenny Lawson's Blog http://thebloggess.com/ then you will probably enjoy this boI like this book. It made me laugh. Humor is subjective. If you enjoy Jenny Lawson's Blog http://thebloggess.com/ then you will probably enjoy this book. If you don't enjoy her blog you will probably not enjoy this book. I'm fairly sure at least one of the chapters was a blog post.
Reading her blog I often wondered why she stayed with her husband Victor. He didn't seem very supportive. Now that I have read the book I understand, and can see that he really is very supportive.
I also learned a lot about general anxiety disorder. I suffer from social anxiety myself and it really helped to read about her experiences.
There is a lot of unnecessary swearing and vaginas. I could have dome with less swearing but the vaginas were pretty funny.
One reviewer complained that they expect a book to be more coherent than a series of blog posts. Well, that was their mistake. This book is exactly like a series of blog posts.
Another reviewer complained about the "parenthetical ramblings and anxious Turrets-style outbursts". Those were my favorite parts. Humor is about surprise and her wild digressions are part of why she is so funny. ...more
This book contains some stories about Allie Brosh's childhood, some stories about her battles with depression, and some stories about her dogs. It conThis book contains some stories about Allie Brosh's childhood, some stories about her battles with depression, and some stories about her dogs. It contains the infamous cake story, the "parp" story, and the explanation of what it's like to be depressed. Unfortunately it doesn't contain the famous Allie Brosh pain scale, or the "alot".
It is printed on heavy shiny paper. Probably because of all the color illustrations. And every chapter is on a different color paper. (Except for the Depression chapters, they are both the same.)
I finished this book in a few hours. Probably because of all the illustrations. If you've seen her blog you know what her illustrations look like. They are crude. Some people don't like that.
She is usually funny. The final chapter is a bit of downer though. She is a bit hard on herself for not being as good of a person as she would like to be. But it reminded me of the first episode of the podcast "Invisibilia: The Secret History of Thoughts" http://www.npr.org/programs/invisibil... People who are upset by their negative thoughts are good people. They wouldn't be bothered by the bad thoughts if they weren't good people.
I always called the source of those negative thoughts the "Imp of the Perverse". Being tormented by the imp of the perverse does not itself make you a bad person.
I want my therapist to read this book. In the hope that it will help him understand depression. ...more
Basically, he recommends separate checks so everyone can just pay for what they ordered.
I got the feeliThis is more of a long blog post than a book.
Basically, he recommends separate checks so everyone can just pay for what they ordered.
I got the feeling that Talwalkar is a bit of a skinflint. He twice suggests that you dump friends who don't pay their share of the bill. He seems to suffer from privileged bias. He doesn't know what it is like to be poor. He assumes that everyone in the party can afford to pay what is asked but also he seems to be the sort of person who resents having to pay for anything he didn't personally benefit from. And he consistently pays only a 15% tip. He may not want to have me as a friend But I wouldn't want him as a friend either.
He never even mentions the possibility that some people don't have as much money as other people. At least the Friend's episodes about splitting the check dealt with the fact that Joey and Phoebe were poor and didn't order anything because they knew they couldn't afford it. Talwalker seems to think their friends should have dumped them for being poor.
The only thing I learned that I had not thought about before was that if you have a circle of friends who have a birthday dinner (or lunch) where the birthday person doesn't pay for their meal. Then if there is a meal where two people don't pay everyone else ends up paying more. If the meals cost the same for everyone every time. He did a nice simple proof. It costs more to pick up two meals than to pick up one and that difference doesn't even out over the other occasions. The two people who share the honor just get out of paying their share of the other persona's meal. Which is one way to solve that problem. Each of the birthday people could pay for their share of the other birthday person's meal. But really anyone who would care about a $5 difference is a skinflint, or very poor and can't afford two restaurant meals in one month. ...more
This book is fantastic! I think everyone should read it.
---------------------------------------- I just started reading this book, and it is what peopThis book is fantastic! I think everyone should read it.
---------------------------------------- I just started reading this book, and it is what people say it is - a very scholarly discussion of how polytheism is different from monotheism.
What he says is the truth but it is not the whole truth.
He doesn't seem to be aware of the Pagan Monotheism of classical Rome and Greece. Personally I think the recent spate of books on the subject misunderstand classical pagan monotheism.
But there is evidence that classical pagans did believe that their many gods were "representatives" of a much higher universal God. Part of the understanding the Romans had with the Jews (that gave the Jews a waiver from honoring the gods of Rome) was the idea that the Jews worshiped the one highest God, who was also the God over the Roman gods. The Romans agreed that the Jews' one God was the same universal God their gods reported to, that all gods reported too.
This is a sort of syncretism that Greer and many modern polytheist reject. Which is OK. It doesn't bother me, or God.
The distinction he makes between the characteristics of the monotheistic God and the polytheistic gods are valid.
Personally, I believe that there are two distinct ways that human beings experience divinity. One is as the universal, omniscient, ubiquitous, omnipotent, all loving presence that wants nothing and does not intervene in our lives. And the second is as the more limited powerful beings, persons, that Greer describes. The many gods and goddesses and spirits.
My main criticism of monotheism is that human beings are not well suited to worship the One God. We want intervention so we always end up worshiping the lesser beings that can actually do something for us.
Christianity fell into worshiping Jesus just a few centuries after he died. And then the Catholic church "solved" the problem of not having enough gods to meet everyone's needs by calling their many gods "saints".
Protestantism, by rejecting saints, has created a real problem for itself that seems to be only solvable by creating a new sect that worships a different version of Jesus every time they have a disagreement.
Buddhism has the same problem with worshiping The One True Reality, their many gods are called Bodhisattvas. Like Catholic saints they are officially not gods but they serve the same function and are as Greer defined gods: entities who are the proper object of human worship (or veneration).
He briefly mentions Wiccan dualism but declines to elaborate because he is not a Wiccan. As a Wiccan I guess I should write a book on that.
Wiccan dualism isn't really about gods. It comes up when we talk about gods but it has less to do with any doctrine about all gods being manifestations of one god or goddess than it does with the importance of balance. Most pagan religions aren't "about" gods. We have gods, but our religion is about life. Wiccan sophiology (the study of wisdom not the study of gods) is about maintaining the balance between complimentary forces. It has more in common with the Taoist idea of ying and yang than anything else. Wiccans are not required to believe anything in particular about the nature of the gods. But Wiccan ritual and Wiccan sophiology encourages us to try to maintain a balance.
I like to contrast the masculine/feminine duality of Wicca to the good/evil duality in Christianity. Christianity adopted the Zoroastrian belief that the world is a battleground between two opposing gods, one good the other evil. Two men fighting for possession of the world. Wiccans on the other hand like to view the world as the combination of two complimentary forces seeking union. A man and a woman having sex. The Great Rite, a central ritual action in Wicca, the union of opposites as an act of creation. ...more
This was a Book Group book. I was not impressed. It didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.
There are some books that make me feel like I'm flyThis was a Book Group book. I was not impressed. It didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.
There are some books that make me feel like I'm flying. This book just brought me down. I found it boring.
It's not bad. Other members of the group were very impressed. But that is possibly because they had never encountered these ideas before.
This book takes a great many words to say very little. It reminds me of then I was in high school math class and the teacher would explain a new concept and I would understand it and then the teacher would spend the rest of the hour explaining the same thing over and over again in different ways for the students who didn't get it.
If you don't know anything about Hinduism, and you are interested in New Age sort of things you might enjoy this. It's not actually bad. ...more
Fantastic. A really great translation of a pagan philosopher king. Easy to read with lots of simple ideas for living a better life.
Marcus Aurelius waFantastic. A really great translation of a pagan philosopher king. Easy to read with lots of simple ideas for living a better life.
Marcus Aurelius was the last of the five good emperors. His "meditations" were journals he kept to help himself keep to his personal philosophy. This wonderful because it means they are not preachy. He is setting himself up as anyone's teacher. He is just writing notes to himself. That said, these are great notes! He says a lot wonderful things about living in the moment and being a good person.
This translation is particularly good for readers who are new to philosophy. It is a slim volume written in a simple style....more
A coffee table book of photography. Some pictures of people, landscapes, and architecture, but mostly food. Some text about China and a few recipes atA coffee table book of photography. Some pictures of people, landscapes, and architecture, but mostly food. Some text about China and a few recipes at the end of each chapter. [return][return]Mostly beautiful pictures of food. Very pretty....more