Firstly, I am a huge fan of Erich von Däniken, and although not fully au fait with some of his other works I am deeply moved by this book, Chariots ofFirstly, I am a huge fan of Erich von Däniken, and although not fully au fait with some of his other works I am deeply moved by this book, Chariots of the Gods (and Gold of the Gods), which I read some many, many years ago and then again in 2005. The difference from reading it so long ago and then again in 2005 was an eye-opener!
Yes, many scientists and historians have rejected his ideas as pseudoscientific evidence, some of which were later demonstrated to be fraudulent or fabricated, and under illogical premises. However, one cannot deny the existence of the pyramids, Stonehenge, and the Moai of Easter Island. Certainly, von Däniken gives us food for thought in that the origins of religions may be reactions to contact with an alien race.
I find von Däniken’s theories to be fascinating mind-openers, even if some may seem far-fetched. Many have rebutted von Däniken’s work in their own best-selling works (Crash Go The Chariots by Clifford Wilson and The Space Gods Revealed by Ronald Story), and von Däniken was even accused of stealing the ideas of French author Robert Charroux. And if that were not enough, von Däniken was accused of plagiarizing many of the book's concepts from The Morning of the Magicians. Even when the “non-rusting iron pillar” in India was discredited as being evidence of extraterrestrial influence, von Däniken simply said, "… we can forget about this iron thing."
However, in defense of all of the above, this bestseller has withstood the test of time, inspiring countless books and films. Although I do not agree that this is the first book to introduce the theory that ancient Earth had been visited by aliens, I do give it my support in that it took from a lot of other publications and gave us one “hot” book to stir the mind.
Whether you believe his books to be fantast, science-fiction or fact, you have to at least give him some credit for being brave enough to give us this book, as writing such material back in 1968 was reason enough to put anyone in a padded room. No matter what you think of this man, you have to at least give some thought to the subject of the book, and that is, did aliens visited our planet thousands of years ago? Remember, you can discredit the truth with lies! Therefore do we believe what is written with this book or do we believe those who discredit it? Who is lying, if any, and why?
If this book is so highly discredited then surely the principles of the Law of Attraction as depicted in the film The Secret are equally suspect, yet most sing the praises of such light entertainment as being carved in stone as “life changing”. Some even believe J K Rowling’s Harry Potter books to be based on real life events! Now that would be something!
In conclusion, you either believe in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and guardian angels or you do not. The same applies to this book by von Däniken. I believe many of the claims of von Däniken, and some of his claims sees the jury still out. Whatever, it is highly entertaining and is food for thought. ...more
This is Olympic year, a time to flex our armchairs and watch the best of sports men and women from around the globe compete for a chance to make it biThis is Olympic year, a time to flex our armchairs and watch the best of sports men and women from around the globe compete for a chance to make it big.
The Olympic ethos used to be one of taking part and that anyone having done so should be happy at that. Well all of that has now changed, now it's all about the "S" word. Yes, you've guessed the word, SUCCESS. But not just success in the Olympic arena, but success that continues on into many other fields.
This book really does something for almost everyone, you don't need to be an Olympian to gain from this book. Whatever walk of life you are in then this book really can show you the way to success in such a way as to make reading about it enjoyable.
So flex your armchair and take in this far-reaching book, savour the words and go for gold....more
Although this is a work of fiction, there is an intriguing reason within me as to why I read it … it seems to mirror our society! I had heard so muchAlthough this is a work of fiction, there is an intriguing reason within me as to why I read it … it seems to mirror our society! I had heard so much about this book that I felt it may be worth looking into. I mean, how could a book written in 1948 (published on 8 June 1949) evoke such thought and have such an accurate prophecy? I had to find out!
Written by George Orwell in a remote Scottish farmhouse, on the remote Scottish island of Jura the central character of the book is Winston Smith. The alternative title for the book was "The Last Man in Europe", and was partly inspired by the meeting of the Allied leaders at the Tehran Conference of 1944. The story behind the book itself is almost as gripping as the story within. Orwell had already written “Animal Farm”, now he was a widower and a single parent of an adopted son, and living in lodgings in Islington, London. So when the offer of a “holiday” was given to him by a friend working for the Observer newspaper in 1946, Orwell jumped at the chance!
Well of course the winter of 1946-47 was terrible, Orwell was not in the best of health and here he was on the Scottish Isle of Jura! What to some may have seemed stark isolation was to Orwell a means to escape the rat race. The success of “Animal Farm” had meant he was in demand from many sources, but in reality all Orwell wanted was some respite from what he called being “… more and more like a sucked orange." Jura was a welcome release!
George Orwell explained what writing a book for him was like: "Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist or [sic] understand. For all one knows that demon is the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one's personality." I too as a writer have some empathy with what he says, hence my being intrigued to see what made the man tick and how this book came about … and of course the results of his being driven by some “demon”.
Needless to say, Orwell struggled with the book, taking some two years to complete it. All what Orwell had for heating in the farmhouse was Calor gas, there was no electricity and he often had to burn paraffin lanterns in order to see at night time. As a writer today I still have an affinity with that, as I recall when I wrote one book I did some research on my subject matter by actually having myself locked away in “solitary confinement” so I could get into the head of my subject matter, but it was nowhere near as tough as Orwell had it in his Spartan existence!
When you discover that George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Blair, it makes for more interesting reading! While on Jura, Orwell and his young son enjoyed the outdoor life together, fishing and exploring the island. Eric became increasingly more ill, contracting TB and having a spell in Hairmyres hospital, East Kilbride. In 1947 there was no cure for TB, but there was a new, experimental drug on the market, streptomycin. Astor arranged for a shipment to Hairmyres from the US.
In a bid to rid himself of TB, Orwell took excessive doses of the new wonder drug. The side effects of throat ulcers, blisters in the mouth, hair loss, peeling skin and the disintegration of toe and fingernails were horrific. However, miracles do happen and by March 1948, after a three-month course, the TB symptoms had disappeared.
By now Orwell was being pushed by his publisher for a manuscript ... a place I have also been. Orwell commented, “I am just struggling with the last stages of this bloody book.” However, Orwell believed, as many writers do, that it was bad luck to discuss work-in-progress. By 30 November 1948 it was virtually done and was published on 8 June 1949.
Any writer channeling from his or her mind to paper goes through a tough time, and only a writer can know what Orwell went through … we’ve all been there at some stage. This is what really interested me, to get into the mind of a top-flight writer, and it is no less than the mind of a writer penning his or her first novel.
George Orwell presents his vision and idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian. The world he writes about is made up of three enormous authoritarian states that are constantly at war with each other! Big Brother often uses technological advancements to keep their respective Party members and masses under careful observation and control.
The protagonist of the novel is Winston Smith, a citizen of Oceania, one of the world's three superstates (which borders on what many are now calling NOW – New World Order). Obviously the year is 1984, and Greate Britain ha now become known as “Airstrip One”. Oceania has a power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people (oligarchy). The Party's three slogans are: "War is Peace," "Freedom is Slavery," and "Ignorance is Strength."
Winson lives in a dilapidated Party housing building and works in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, and has never quite accepted the principles of Ingsoc and the Party. There is no such thing as privacy, everyone has a telescreen in their home that sees all what goes on. Winston, though, is fortunate to have a small nook in his apartment out of the view of the telescreen, and it is in this nook that he begins to write in his diary, despite his overwhelming fear of being caught … and eventually he will be caught, but for now, however, he chooses to forge ahead with his rebellion by writing anti-Party feelings in a diary, a relic of the past he obtained from an old junk shop.
Working at the Ministry of Truth, Winston always has to be on guard to prevent his true feelings from being perceived by others. Keen to find out about life before the Revolution, Winston meets an old man in a prole pub, but to his frustration the man focuses on his own personal memories rather than on what Winston is interested in.
The rest of the book takes on a new twist when a seemingly a violently loyal Party member, a dark haired female, slips him a note which says “I love you” on it! However, sexual repression is a tenet of Ingsoc. Of course, they eventually fall in love. Soon hopes of an underground movement called the Brotherhood transpire and become a real part of Winston’s life; here his true path towards rebellion has begun.
As with most of these sorts of plots, there is a conflict that arises in the hero’s life, and that is in the guise of the Thought Police when they storm a hideaway apartment Winston shares with his girlfriend Julia. At this stage the plot was readable, but still I had hopes of Winston winning the day. Winston and Julia are arrested, separated, and brought to the Ministry of Love. When the torture begins, Winston is forced to admit to a litany of crimes he did not commit, including murder and espionage. Broken to the core, Winston finally submits to his re-education.
Eventually Winston, a damaged, changed, empty shell of a man, is released into the world and obtains a somewhat trivial, meaningless job that pays surprisingly well. Te ending is not as ne would expect it to be … certainly not a happy one. Read it and find out for yourself, it enthralled me but for many different reasons than the actual content. For as I read it I entered the head of the man himself … George Orwell!...more
Simply written, yet enthralling. Perhaps some may have wished for a different literary style, but when you consider the story then it becomes apparentSimply written, yet enthralling. Perhaps some may have wished for a different literary style, but when you consider the story then it becomes apparent that the style meshes well with the central character ... a young Andulasian shepherd boy.
I feel we can compare ourselves to the character in such a way that we can superimpose the template of the story over our own lives, we are all in search of something.
There are just so many metaphysical props that we cannot ignore its relevance to the New Age that has dawned upon us. Pyramids, crystals and plenty of embedded commands go to shoring up the unlikely tale of a shepherd boy in search of his fortune, a rather updated Jack and the Beanstalk!
The moral of the story is simple; the treasure we seek lies in our own hearts! But on the way to discovering this, like ourselves, the shepherd boy is on a journey of discovery. A great book to lose yourself in ... try it! ...more
For many, Plato’s The Republic is, in my humble opinion, a masterpiece. Admittedly, it may be a difficult read for some to grasp but that may be due tFor many, Plato’s The Republic is, in my humble opinion, a masterpiece. Admittedly, it may be a difficult read for some to grasp but that may be due to the many subjects covered within, as each subject could warrant a book on its own. If a better understanding is sought then it may well help the reader to read Understanding Plato's "Republic" by Gerasimos Santas, as this analysis of the text has an emphasis on getting the reader involved in its debates and arguments.
I have to agree with some reviewers that there is a much needed update to the coherence of the fundamental ideas of Plato′s main argument. My main view is that this book does have some relevance to the modern world. Plato sets out to define what justice is, covering political to individual justice.
Anyone reading this book for the first time has to think what it was like when Plato was alive, far from where we are in society now. It is easy to fall into the trap of feeling that what he writes of is archaic and out of date … but if you can put yourself in his shoes while reading it then there is some sense in what he writes.
Admittedly, Plato does throw up some ideas that on immediate reading are rejected by the sane reader … abolishment of the family is one of these ideas, which is what life is based on, well sociologically speaking that is. However, when we see how society has developed today in the Western world then, perhaps, there was a need for stricter censorship of certain things. I walk into homes of people and find children, young children, in the presence of an adult playing a PlayStation game for over 18s! Little regard is given to the welfare of the child or children while the adult is playing such a game, all censorship has gone! Perhaps to some extent Plato had some meaning in his take on this subject of regulating.
We can take a stark warning from this book of what we have become, in a better way, than we would have had we followed the ideology within it, that is why I consider it a masterpiece! Yes, some of what you read is disturbing, and isn’t that so of modern art and the likes? I mean, look at some of the artwork installed in modern art galleries!
Regardless of the radical and impassioned disagreement about this book, or the enormous and disapproving audience of the works of Plato … Plato is a dealer in abstractions. As a philosopher and writer, Plato cannot be denied a place in history.
I have not read this as a Platonist, but as someone sorting the chaff from the wheat. Putting the zany things to one side, so long as such a book can evoke thought (free thought) then that Is a good thing, this is why I give it five stars … so that people like Socrates can give us the hope that this book does not, that is how I read this book.
The dialogue within the book is outdated, but we can imagine how Plato feeds words into the mouth of Socrates in order to get his ideas across to the reader. The analogies within are all graspable and give meaning to Plato's text. Should anyone seek a good translation of the original Greek text then may I recommend "Plato: Republic", which has been translated by George Grube which is the edition of choice for scholars of humanities. Certainly, love it or hate it, this book is food for thought! ...more
Of course I like the book. I mean, I wrote it. So does this mean this is an unbiased review? Hmmmm, probably not, as Cosmic Ordering is a rather self-Of course I like the book. I mean, I wrote it. So does this mean this is an unbiased review? Hmmmm, probably not, as Cosmic Ordering is a rather self-centered discipline! I know that some would not take into account the author's own review, rather preferring to take the view of an outsider, and I cannot blame them if that is the case. For many it may not seem right to write a review for their own book, but when you get to understand Cosmic Ordering and what it's all about then you will find that you do in fact think highly of yourself and have the confidence to believe in yourself and that your work is brilliant ... that is the strong belief Cosmic Ordering instills.
I have to admit, the parts in the book relating to the author (me) look to make him out to be a little abrasive and forthright. When you get through what is partly an autobiography, which is when the finer details of Cosmic Ordering are revealed, but revealed in a roundabout way ... and by use of various stories, which on first sight may seem irrelevant.
Written for the mass market, this book has a general readership in mind as opposed to the hardcore follower of Cosmic Ordering. This is a good grounding for anyone wishing to make inroads into the law of attraction. With a smattering of this and that, the book makes for an easy read.
The easy to follow instructions for preparing to use Cosmic Ordering are laid out quite well, and anyone with a modicum of intelligence will find them easy to follow. The parts relevant to Cosmic Ordering can be easily marked up for future reference, as no one wants to keep reading about how the author changed his life through Cosmic Ordering when, in fact, it is about the reader wanting to change their life!
I found this to be a fascinating read and still read some of the content I have marked up, and the follow up e-book (Kindle version) of the same title has been published as a radically re-written second edition. This means that it's easier to skip the chapters about the author, where he goes on about his poverty-stricken past. Is the author a man he himself would like to meet? Hmmm, I guess so! ...more
I rate this book by one of my favorite authors so highly because it examines belief in some detail. Belief in and of itself is neutral, but when theyI rate this book by one of my favorite authors so highly because it examines belief in some detail. Belief in and of itself is neutral, but when they either help or hinder the fulfillment of your dreams, then they are either positive or negative, respectively. Beliefs that empower you or allow you, drive you forward, while those that do otherwise, hold you back.
We can take a lesson from this book, that if your beliefs drive you toward your dreams faster, then you should encourage them, entertain them, and enjoy them. They will inspire you and give you the strength to go on even when the obstacles seem insurmountable. They give you the power of confident righteousness, they arm you and give you the courage to go on.
Sadly, however, such beliefs are known to only a few, or are obeyed by so few. The vast majority prefer to wallow in self-restricting beliefs. They allow negative beliefs to build walls around themselves, cutting themselves off from wonders.
The Greek philosopher Plato illustrates this point perfectly in his book “The Allegory of the Cave,” and in it Plato describes a group of people who have been chained in a cave their whole lives, facing a blank wall. Behind them is a great fire which casts their own shadows on that wall before them. Because they know no better, the chained people believe those shadows are real, have form and independent existence.
He suggests that the true philosopher is someone who has freed themselves from their chains, is able to turn around and see the fire, and, through correct reasoning, is able to discern the true nature of the world. This philosopher is not fooled by the shadows, therefore, understanding that they have no independent existence beyond the people whose shadows they are.
As a consequence, I believe, one must ask oneself, therefore, which of our own beliefs serve us, and which hinder us. While one has the power to change one’s life and world for the better, we must also accept responsibility for those things which have hurt us and kept us back. Such beliefs have created mental obstructions which keep us from our true potential, arising as they have from one’s own negativity and ignorance.
They have kept us from seeing the many opportunities that are already there, and that have always been there for the taking. But like those people in Plato’s cave, we have turned ourselves from the light, and believe the shadows of ourselves to be the true nature of the world, believing that they are real and absolute. No one but our self chained us to that dark place in our mind. Only we have done that. Therefore, only we can free our self as do the true philosophers.
Unless we do, we place upon our self such self-restricting beliefs which are very destructive, and which result in idleness and in procrastination. We may not always recognize it as such, however, as we make excuse after excuse to put off till tomorrow what you can start doing right this very moment. Such a powerful message from Plato warrants five stars from me. ...more