This book is written in conversation format between the authors. While reading the book it felt like I was a fly on the wall in their room, just eavesThis book is written in conversation format between the authors. While reading the book it felt like I was a fly on the wall in their room, just eavesdropping on their conversation. And the conversation is so great that everyone should want to be that fly on their wall.
The primary premise of the book is that our ancestors were smarter than we thought. They shared stories with each other, myths and parables that contain truths that we can't even uncover today. As if our ancestors wanted to transcend death through the stories they told. Live is ephemeral, but myths have survived the aeons of time.
The topics they cover are broad ranging from the essence of being, death, spirituality. They quote Nietzsche and Schopenhauer but also cover lots of topic from eastern philosophy. They say that we live in plain of existence (reality) which is supported by an invisible plain which the myths are trying to uncover.
Its my first book of Joseph Campbell, but in general I am impressed by his depth of analysis and knowledge.
Some Quotes I liked: -The ultimate aim of the quest must be neither release nor ecstasy for oneself, but the wisdom and the power to serve others." One of the many distinctions between the celebrity and the hero, he said, is that one lives only for self while the other acts to redeem society.
-The fates lead him who will; him who won't they drag.
-A myth is a mask of God, too -- a metaphor for what lies behind the visible world.
-People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. 1 don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.
-The writer must be true to truth." And that's a killer, because the only way you can describe a human being truly is by describing his imperfections.
-Eisenhower went into a room full of computers. And he put the question to these machines, "Is there a God?" And they all start up, and the lights flash, and the wheels turn, and after a while a voice says, "Now there is."
-He asks his father to bring food for the bird, and the father doesn't want to feed a mere bird, so he kills it. And the legend says the man killed the bird, and with the bird he killed the song, and with the song, himself.
-A god is a personification of a motivating power or a value system that functions in human life and in the universe -- the powers of your own body and of nature. The myths are metaphorical of spiritual potentiality in the human being, and the same powers that animate our life animate the life of the world
-And the one who had this psychological experience, this traumatic experience, this ecstasy, would become the interpreter for others of things not seen.
-Schopenhauer's answer is that such a psychological crisis represents the breakthrough of a metaphysical realization, which is that you and that other are one, that you are two aspects of the one life, and that your apparent separateness is but an effect of the way we experience forms under the conditions of space and time. Our true reality is in our identity and unity with all life.
-You don't have to die, really, physically. All you have to do is die spiritually and be reborn to a larger way of living
-Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world.
-Desire and fear: these are the two emotions by which all life in the world is governed. Desire is the bait, death is the hook
-In this sense, unlike heroes such as Prometheus or Jesus, we're not going on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves.
-The wise people of all times have said that we can live the good life if we learn to live spiritually. But how does one learn to live spiritually if one is of the flesh? Paul said, "The desires of the flesh are against the spirit and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh." How do we learn to live spiritually?
-When life comes into being, it is neither afraid nor desiring, it is just becoming. Then it gets into being, and it begins to be afraid and desiring.
-And Schopenhauer concludes that it is as though our lives were the features of the one great dream of a single dreamer in which all the dream characters dream, too; so that everything links to everything else, moved by the one will to life which is the universal will in nature.
-My answer is, "Follow your bliss." There's something inside you that knows when you're in the center, that knows when you're on the beam or off the beam. And if you get off the beam to earn money, you've lost your life. And if you stay in the center and don't get any money, you still have your bliss.
A short essay on the intricate power of the invisible hand of Adam Smith. The world functions better when decision making happens at the edge, by eachA short essay on the intricate power of the invisible hand of Adam Smith. The world functions better when decision making happens at the edge, by each individual, for himself knows best what is best for him. No central authority, no matter how intelligent can make a decision that is in the best interest for all.
It is amazing to know the direction of the world if everyone works for its self-improvement, and through it, he improves the humankind. ...more
Most people write from their minds, but I think this is the only book I have read written from the heart. It is so genuine, flowing, moving, inspiringMost people write from their minds, but I think this is the only book I have read written from the heart. It is so genuine, flowing, moving, inspiring. It is poetry written in prose form.
It is evident that Zan is an artist but not in writing, or storytelling, or poetry, but he is an artist of life. He makes beauty, love and freedom his primary values in life and continually dances between them. Once he becomes too preoccupied with beauty he remembers to be free and moves into the world with ease. He simply loves all women for they are the beautiful, magnificent, elegant and above all filled with the feminine spirit. The feminine spirit which has been chased away today by the feminists who wanted equality but got sameness. The feminine spirit which guards the potential of life in itself.
The author teaches us to be authentic to who we are. Dig deep down into our spirit, and discover ourselves. Discover our masculine spirit which has been emasculated. Discover our inner being and bring it into the world.
There is so much knowledge in the gender dynamics in this book. So much wisdom. And if Zan was not such a big fan of women, but of all human beings, this would be a spiritual book. A great read. I will read this book again. ...more
This is an easy read on the philosophy of Alfred Adler. The whole book is structured as a dialogue between youth and philosopher, where the philosophyThis is an easy read on the philosophy of Alfred Adler. The whole book is structured as a dialogue between youth and philosopher, where the philosophy of Adler is revealed.
Unlike Freud, who believed in traditional determinism where causes from the past have an effect on the present, Adler believes in teleology where the causes from the past don't affect the present. The past is only used as a rationalization for the present. There are several examples explaining this in the book (stuttering, getting shy). We, ourselves, are the obstacle to our own greater destiny. I liked the following short story of Alexander the Great that explains this...
- He was a Macedonian king who lived in the fourth century before Christ. When he was advancing on the Persian kingdom of Lydia, he learned of a chariot enshrined in the acropolis. The chariot had been secured tightly to a pillar in the temple by Gordias, the former king, and there was a local legend that said, “He who unravels this knot shall be master of Asia.” It was a tightly wound knot that many men of skill had been certain they could unbind, but no one had succeeded. Now, what do you think Alexander the Great did when he stood before this knot? YOUTH: Well, didn’t he unravel the legendary knot with ease, and go on to become the ruler of Asia? PHILOSOPHER: No, that’s not how it happened. As soon as Alexander the Great saw how tight the knot was, he pulled out his sword and sliced it in half with one stroke. YOUTH: Wow! PHILOSOPHER: Then, it is said that he declared, “Destiny is not something brought about by legend, but by clearing away with one’s own sword.” He had no use for the power of legend and would forge his destiny with his sword. As you know, he then proceeded to become the great conqueror of all the territories of what is now the Middle East and western Asia. This is the famous anecdote known as the Gordian knot.
Other aspects of the philosophy include: - the motives to constantly live in the present, deny the trauma of the past and have the courage to face the future. - the fact that all problems are interpersonal problems since we define our own identity only in relations to others. - the need to be authentic being, without concern of the recognition of others. - Accept your own life tasks, and don't try to assign your tasks to other people, especially not to your children. - One is only happy when one feels like he contributes to the community. Even the fact of being in the community can be sufficient.
Some quotes I liked: - None of us live in an objective world, but instead in a subjective world that we ourselves have given meaning to. The world you see is different from the one I see, and it’s impossible to share your world with anyone else. -So I am unable to change because I myself keep repeatedly making the decision not to change. I don’t have enough courage to choose a new lifestyle. In other words, I do not have enough courage to be happy, and that’s why I’m unhappy -First, there are two objectives for behavior: to be self-reliant and to live in harmony with society. Then, the two objectives for the psychology that supports these behaviors are the consciousness that I have the ability and the consciousness that people are my comrades. -It is fundamentally impossible for a person to live life completely alone, and it is only in social contexts that the person becomes an “individual.” That is why in Adlerian psychology, self-reliance as an individual and cooperation within society are put forth as overarching objectives. -An adult, who has chosen an unfree way to live, on seeing a young person living freely here and now in this moment, criticizes the youth as being hedonistic. Of course, this is a life-lie that comes out so that the adult can accept his own unfree life. An adult who has chosen real freedom himself will not make such comments and will instead cheer on the will to be free. - Now, if one were to say that living like a stone tumbling downhill and allowing such inclinations or desires or impulses to take one wherever they will is “freedom,” one would be incorrect. To live in such a way is only to be a slave to one’s desires and impulses. Real freedom is an attitude akin to pushing up one’s tumbling self from below. -God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” It’s in the novel Slaughterhouse-Five. -We are beings who choose freedom while aspiring to happiness. - Well, in other words, if “I” change, the world will change. This means that the world can be changed only by me and no one else will change it for me.
While waiting for the publication of Mastering Ethereum by Andreas Antonopoulos, I decided to give this book a try. I think the book gives a good intrWhile waiting for the publication of Mastering Ethereum by Andreas Antonopoulos, I decided to give this book a try. I think the book gives a good introduction to Ethereum, EVM and the potential of the technology. There is an introduction to Mist, Geth, cryptography, hashing, Patricia tree structures, dapps, smart contracts. The author also gives a good abstraction of some uses cases where blockchains are useful. The book is written with a futuristic narrative.
The only negative is that most of the hyperlinks in the book were returning 404. ...more
The author of the book tries to rationally explain the need for spirituality. He starts by letting us question the culture under which we live. Each cThe author of the book tries to rationally explain the need for spirituality. He starts by letting us question the culture under which we live. Each culture imposes a certain set of beliefs on us, some of them beneficial and some not. We rarely question these beliefs (brules), so most of us live a basic existence as prescribed by our culture. We go to school, get a career, get married, have kids and retire.
The premise of this book is that the extraordinary minds don't follow these brules, but rather they disrupt them. They disrupt them by following their intuition and their own quest and life mission. Vishen claims that everyone can become an extraordinary mind. To awaken your mind you need to understand the brules that discard the ones which are detrimental to you. You have to meditate and get in touch with your inner self, find and listen to your intuition, became more spiritual and your spirit will guide you through life.
Vishen believes in a higher purpose, higher power, higher God that is manifested through us. We are all placed on this Earth to understand our purpose and act it out.
I read this book while being on a trip in Dubai and I think that was a very appropriate time. ...more