"Increase, live the whole Time of thy Life, as long as though wilt live."
Another in the Wisdom of the East series from the early 1900s, this time on Z...more"Increase, live the whole Time of thy Life, as long as though wilt live."
Another in the Wisdom of the East series from the early 1900s, this time on Zoroastrianism and the Parsi religion. This one is clearly near and dear to the curator of the series heart because he himself is a Parsi. That said it means he speaks glowingly of the virtue of the Parsi and laments that the rest of the world gets bogged down in neglect and sin rather than following a path of virtue. This of course was a tad bit off-putting, but once his prose was complete the excerpts from sacred texts spoke for themselves and they were beautiful.
I had no idea that the roots of monotheism fully lay here, nor did I comprehend the scope of influence. Additionally, the central tenets of good thought, good deeds, and good actions are something we all could learn from. A truly fascinating religion and one I would like to explore more deeply, so if you happen to read this and know of any good sources of reading to dig deeper, please leave them in the comments.
Recommended for those interested in spirituality, or the ancient roots of modern religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam and even Hinduism). (less)
Purported to be the oldest book in the world, this volume contains two short volumes, "The Instructions of Ptah-Hotep" and "The Instruction of Ka'Gemn...morePurported to be the oldest book in the world, this volume contains two short volumes, "The Instructions of Ptah-Hotep" and "The Instruction of Ka'Gemni" that are 6000 and 5500 years old respectively. They were translated and released as part of a series exploring Eastern religion around 1900 that was attempting to enlighten Westerners to end animosity between East and West and create better understanding to find harmony amongst humankind. Most of the volumes contained in the series can be found on archive or Gutenberg.
The two books contained in this collection are essentially moral codes passed down from a wise of adviser of the king to his son so that he may follow in his footsteps in the royal court, but seemingly also acted as a code of morals for all people of Egypt at the time. The archaeologists that found these volumes discovered them in bits and pieces in different handwriting, suggesting that they were copied by students in school that were learning to read, write, and studying moral code.
They are both quite short and the nuggets contained within are seemingly good maxims to live by, there are some real gems, possibly my favorite being, "Follow thine heart during thy lifetime; do not more than is commanded thee. Diminish not the time of following the heart; it is abhorred of the soul, that its time [of ease] be taken away. Shorten not the daytime more than is needful to maintain the house. When riches are gained, follow the heart; for riches are of no avail if one be weary."
In other words, playtime is more important than work and don't you forget it kids!
Recommended for anyone interested in ancient texts, moral codes, Egyptologists, or like pithy quotes to live by.(less)
What's not to love about Kurt Vonnegut? Amazing sense of humor, incredible insight into the human condition, and a wonderful storyteller. Not sure how...moreWhat's not to love about Kurt Vonnegut? Amazing sense of humor, incredible insight into the human condition, and a wonderful storyteller. Not sure how I never read this one, but was glad to discover it and laugh my way from cover to cover. If you haven't read any Vonnegut, what the heck are you waiting for?(less)
A beautiful and easy to read book on Judaism, Kabbalah, and mysticism. Regardless on your background in any of these subjects it is a truly enjoyable...moreA beautiful and easy to read book on Judaism, Kabbalah, and mysticism. Regardless on your background in any of these subjects it is a truly enjoyable read. My friend told me that his teacher taught the book in reverse order (chapter 10 to chapter 1) and so I chose to read it that way, which was counter-intuitive but amazing. Great insight into day to day living, our connection with spirit/divine, and a tool to help penetrate some of the depths of our existence. Highly recommended for all seekers of any faith. I am not Jewish myself but found much to ponder here.
* If anyone happens to know of any equivalent books on Islam, Christianity, Hinduism or other faiths please let me know I would love to read them!(less)
It is hard to argue against the fact that H.G. Wells was a trailblazer for modern SciFi authors and this seems the book that started it all. His style...moreIt is hard to argue against the fact that H.G. Wells was a trailblazer for modern SciFi authors and this seems the book that started it all. His style seems as though it could have been written today just as easily as over one hundred years ago. Glad to have read it and a quick read so much better than the cheesy movie made in the early 2000s.
Overall, I think the message that Wells attempted to get across is as equally valid today as it was upon first publishing. Through the Morlocks and Eloi he showed the stratification that exists in our society between the elites and the workers and the consequences over time of that increasing divide. The upper class living in the fantasy world of their wealth and the workers pushed deeper and deeper into their pit of debt, monotony, and servitude. He clearly was influenced by Darwin and his contemporaries and played out in his fantasy world what would happen over thousands of years via evolution as the haves devolved into hapless, weak pleasure seekers and the have-nots into beasts in caves that continued to serve but slowly became nothing more than beasts.
Quite the allegory, and worth the read if you are either interested in class issues or the roots of modern SciFi and fantasy.(less)
The concepts were fantastic and the delivery was as expected from a newspaper reporter born in the first half of the 20th century. There were moments...moreThe concepts were fantastic and the delivery was as expected from a newspaper reporter born in the first half of the 20th century. There were moments that showed such great promise and then love came into the story which often seems like a useless tack on. At the heart of this though, it was an excellent story that explores the possibility of multiple alternate realities in operation at the same time and how those realities were created out of crisis. The author also clearly did not hold out much hope for the future of humanity and somehow managed to find an escape hatch. It reminds me of the critical mantra I try to apply to my life... "There is no way out, only in."(less)
If I did not have a serious interest in philosophy (major in college and continued passion), I would have likely rated this with 3-stars and put down...moreIf I did not have a serious interest in philosophy (major in college and continued passion), I would have likely rated this with 3-stars and put down the book after finishing about half of it. The first 7 chapters are dense and worth slogging through if you want to watch Steiner eviscerate a multitude of philosophers including Kant, Descartes, Fichte, Schopenhauer and more which in and of itself is entertaining. The second half of the book is where the magic happens and the instruction manual is found. Each chapter in the second half answers the questions posed in the first half. Illuminating the way that he takes our power back rather than relying on the other (external forces, God, society, etc). We not only have the power to perceive/sense/experience but through our intuitive thinking in connection with these perceptions we have the ability to manifest our own destiny. This is the first work I have read by Steiner, but I am pretty sure I am hooked now. It combines some of the ideas of thinkers like Gurdjieff and Crowley and Leibniz in a way that in clear, actionable and empowering.
Recommended for those who are either deeply interested in philosophy or who's intuition says that they have the power within themselves to create the world they want to live in.
An interesting account of a teenage cuacho (rubber tapper) capture by an interior Amazon forest-dwelling tribe that is taken in, assimilated and prepa...moreAn interesting account of a teenage cuacho (rubber tapper) capture by an interior Amazon forest-dwelling tribe that is taken in, assimilated and prepared to be their next chief. From an anthropological point of view, it is an excellent view into the organization and inner workings of the tribe. From a spiritual vantage point it is much more fascinating as it looks closely at the tribe's use of ayauasca for deep connection to the forest ecosystem that they inhabit and for fostering creative problem solving and shared visions for the betterment and advancement of their society.
I would recommend this to those interested in ethnographies in a more story-telling format and for those that like to look at community spirituality through a different lens.(less)