philosophy

365 Challenge: Day 88 – QuestMaxGoaly

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QuestMaxGoaly: to question how to achieve the maximum goals throughout your life, searching for a fair balance across all the things which bring you happiness and showcase the best you possible

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{Aside: This is NOT a made-up word. It’s in the new dictionary I previously wrote. So there. Deal with it. Go find your own QuestMaxGoaly and don’t complain to me if you haven’t come across this word before. Every book reader or blog reader should know it by now, and well, if you don’t, then we shouldn’t be following one another. I mean, seriously, it’s a very famous word to some one!}

I’m doing something a little different with today’s 365 Daily Challenge post. As I looked over a list of characteristics, nothing appealed to me. I couldn’t choose a word, so instead, I’m just going to blog about a topic on my mind and hope that an appropriate word sums it all up in the end. Let’s chance it! {Aside: As you can see, I did stumble across the word.}

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What’s on my mind this morning is “how does one go about their day to get the most done in the shortest amount of time possible?” in terms of achieving their goals, feeling accomplished and/or doing something they love versus what they have to do… so a few thoughts on my day and then the usual questions to the group.

It’s fairly ordinary for me to wake up a couple of times each evening, thinking about what I need to accomplish the next day. It’s not always that I’m extraordinarily busy and can’t sleep; it’s just that I spend a lot of my time considering the best approach to getting things done throughout the day.

A few examples:

  • Blogging & Social Media
    • When I first wake up, I grab the phone from my night-table to peruse whatever notifications or messages have arrived overnight. Given I’m chatting and communicating with people from all over the world, I’m not too surprised to find there are usually hundreds of things to read. Sometimes it’s comments on my posts, likes or new follows to review and respond to, or requests to connect. Then I scroll through all the feeds to see what my friends have all posted so that I can read their messages, like their posts, or comment on what they’ve had to say.
    • Sometimes, 30 minutes has passed and I haven’t gotten out of bed. Other days, I stand and read them on my phone while the coffee is dripping and I’m making Ryder’s breakfast. On occasion, I’m 2 hours into trying to get through everything, feeling like I’ve lost so much time and accomplished nothing “tangible.” So what’s the best alternative?
    • Things on my mind:
      • Should I limit my viewing time in the morning?
      • Do I save everything for at night when I’ve finished all my other obligations?
      • Do I try to catch-up throughout the day and respond as I have time?
    • This is one of those areas where it would be an interesting productivity study to see which would be the ideal approach to utilizing social media and my blog to connect with other people without wasting time through repetition of seeing or reading the same things over and over again just trying to find the new content. It’s not unlike managing one’s email accounts, now is it?

  •  Cleaning
    • I feel the same way about cleaning the apartment. I’m currently in a mode where roughly every two weeks, I’m doing a thorough cleansing, e.g. vacuum, dust, sweep and polish the floors, scrub the bathroom, wash the kitchen appliances… and in between, laundry and changing sheets and towels. With a dog who sheds a lot, there’s often flying fur about, which drives me a little cuckoo. The whole routine takes about 5 to 6 hours, but I literally do nothing but clean. I don’t stop for meals. I don’t answer the phone. I don’t take a break. So it gets done. But in between, I’m constantly wiping down counters, light upkeep in the bathroom or an extra load of laundry, etc. Is this the best approach? Do I really need to be this clean? Who will judge me when the end comes? You didn’t clean enough, no soup heaven for you!

  • Reading and Watching TV
    • My two favorite hobbies. I have a stable of shows that I watch and don’t often just sit and surf the TV. If I need to watch something and I have nothing recorded, I’ll look for a movie or a new series. But I rarely just randomly sit to watch something. Same with books. Always a backlog of things to read between series I love, ARCs coming up or things on the TBR.
    • But often, I find myself tired or busy with everything else, these kinda get pushed to the bottom. I supposed that’s the right approach, as there are obligations and requirements which come first, then the fun stuff. Right?

So… I think that’s my point today… when I think about how to go about my day life, how to choose the things to take up each of the 24 hours 110 years (yeah, I’m living a long time), how many of us actually consciously think about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it… for example:

  1. What drives your choices each day? Family? Religion? Desire? Money?
  2. Our purpose (ignoring religious views) cannot be to fill up 24 hours with tasks, right? We should reserve time for the ability to do nothing.
  3. Do we work to earn enough money to pay the bills and afford a few hobbies, such that we can maximize our free time to enjoy the things we love to do?
  4. Is it OK to choose to achieve less in a job than you are capable of so that you can have more flexible “you” time?

My initial answer is that it’s all about balance; and balance is a different proportion for everyone. I believe these questions are heavily on my mind, as I think about how to apportion my day so that I achieve something on all the levels I want to reach and not just what I’m supposed to do per expectations. We all feel this way. We all have responsibilities based on the choices we make, e.g. married or not married, kids or no kids, live on our own or with someone, travel or stay put. We also have our own limitations, e.g. types of jobs, illness, age, etc. It seems to me the most important thing out of all of this (again, forgetting about religious beliefs), is to consciously save time every day to think about these things and evaluate where you are in regard to where you want to be. Either that… or you’re all thinking:

So… the real question back out to you: Do you ever take time to think about how to order the things in your life and the time in your day to ensure you are accomplishing everything you want to, e.g. weeding out the things that just waste your time, choosing you over what everyone expects you to do, changing the stuff that you realize doesn’t belong being there?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 75 – Patient

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Patient: able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious

Patience is not something innately arriving at my doorstep, exquisitely wrapped within a lovely basket, a brilliant bow and all the rest of the pomp-and-circumstance trimmings. It’s more like the tragic, nagging reminder in the back of my head, warning me to be good and to let things happen naturally — or I’ll grow warts and hairy moles. And when those are the measures at stake, who the hell wants warts and moles? Or wants more warts and moles… cause you know we all have one at some point in our life… don’t even try to hide from this one, my friends!

We’re told at a young age to allow whatever situation you’re waiting to occur… to happen naturally. Naturally. Does anything happen naturally anymore? So many things in our lives are artificially triggered or engineered, it’s hard to know what’s occurring on its own or happening due to a gentle [read: massive] push from some other force. And the energy behind those “other” forces often leave you unable to determine what should have happened on its own in the first place.

I am very much driven by accomplishments and checking things off the “To Do” list. I always have a bit of anxiety just beneath the surface of my skin when there is something I need to do, but haven’t yet gotten to it. I remembered this morning that I also have the same little aggravating pulse, throbbing beneath my skin when it comes to my control over the art of patience. It’s painful, annoying and itchy. And I want it to balance itself out, so I don’t have to think about it. But it’s always been a battle of wills that I struggle to win on a regular basis.

I want something. It’s within inches of my grasp. But I have to wait. Why? Perhaps it’s not my turn. Could be that it’s not yet ready. Maybe it’s not meant for me. Eh… too many things fall into that category… yet I let them control my actions. When I push myself to think about why it’s so frustrating, I believe it boils down to the mere fact that I have way too much to do. And unfortunately, I also believe we’re all on that same boat treading water in a very deep and wide ocean. There is never enough time to do the things we want to do, and failing to accept that reality can have major consequences.

My lack of patience isn’t over something specific today. No grandiose situation perforated my life (other than the usual ones we all face). It’s simply a moment in time reflection that we are all way too busy, yet sometimes finding ourselves with nothing we want to do, and trying to patiently wait for whatever it is that’s supposed to come next. When I reflect on this behavior over the years, I recognize that it’s been a fairly consistent one: lack of patience for most anything going on in my life.

It’s not an outward manifestation, but an internal one. Consuming. Niggling. Yes, sometimes it causes a bit of eye-twitching, teeth-grinding or is lack of sleep-inducing, but I’m fortunate enough to take the brunt of it myself, saving others from feeling my undeserved wrath. I’m sure you’re familiar… we all are at some point: very few of us are just comfortable 24/7 with whatever happens when it happens.

Patience is a virtue. Patience is rewarded. Patience is honorable. We hear these little sayings all the time. And yes, I’m sure to a large extent, they are quite true. But it is also an art that needs to be practiced — if we ever want to achieve it as a natural and normal state of our reactions to situations. Some people find patience in religion, exercise or spirituality. Others find it elsewhere. I’m not looking to understand how to become a more patient person, as I kinda know what I need to do. I think I may just be too old to change it. You know what they say about old dogs…

And it got me thinking… what if we had a chance to scrap it all over and start fresh? A re-start or new beginning to our life. Forget about the implications and the things you’d lose by engaging in such a marvelous re-boot to your days. I’m not getting philosophical in my daily post, but what if you could keep an on-going journal of all the things you wish you’d learned how to do the proper way when you first entered this world. And then you could share it with yourself and watch from a distance to see how it all turned out — a second time around. Would you do it? Would you have the patience to watch yourself make the same mistakes? Or new ones? Or witness the improvements?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Review: Utopia

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Utopia Review
Thomas More was the first to coin the word “utopia.” More was the son of a court judge, and a page to Archbishop Morton throughout his youth in London. He was profoundly affected not only by these two great gentlemen, but also by the philosophy of humanism that was spread by Erasmus during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Europe. As a result of More’s fanatical advocacy of socialism and communism, he was tried, and later executed on July 6th, 1535, at the age fifty-seven. Sir Thomas More is studied today as a leader of Renaissance literature in England because of his famous work Utopia, which was published in 1516. In his work, More creates an ideal society on an imaginary island in strange waters. The word “utopia” is best translated from the Greek as “a place that can never be” because a “utopia” is a perfect society; however, More was simply using this perfect society to satirize life in London during that time period. He was not proposing a solution to England’s ills.
Before Thomas More began writing his masterpiece, he was privileged to read several other works, which enabled him to write Utopia. Plato’s Republic, St. Augustine’s City of God, and the stories about Paradise and The Garden of Eden from the Book of Genesis profoundly influenced More. He was also inspired by several Renaissance reports he received from the Portuguese-owned “New World.” All of these influences led More “to confront all the serious evils of his day, religious, social, and political, but he considered philosophically their remedy, and that in a manner far in advance of the period at which he wrote… Utopia has been interpreted to condone every kind of political theory directed to the transference of power and wealth to self-styled reformers” (Warrington xii). More wanted to reform the society that he lived in; however, it was next to impossible to reform a society that had already been set in its ways. According to Thomas I. White, “More’s Utopia has been aptly described as a work that can be read in an evening but may take a lifetime to understand. One reason for this is that the book is built on the intellectual equivalent of a geological fault. The simple landscape suggested by Utopia’s structure and conception belies subterranean forces that push and pull the book in different directions. The resulting tensions may not lead to earthquakes, but they certainly erupt in dramatically different interpretations of More’s little classic” (White 37). Thus, it is difficult to know what More’s intentions were in writing Utopia.
Per Chad Walsh, noted critic and interpreter of utopian societies, “a utopia is often an oblique satire on the writer’s own society, though it need not be. It can represent simply his attempt to conceive of a perfect society… More offered Utopia as a guide to the improvement of an England that badly needed it. He wished to show that poverty, crime, cruel punishments, and invidious distinctions between classes are not in the order of nature, but are man’s doing, and that man could equally create a just and happy social order” (Walsh 26). He was offering one or two suggestions, but at the same time, he was also satirizing the foolish thoughts of some philosophers and politicians of the day. Yet, critics to this day have continually debated whether More’s Utopia was a satire on the way in which London society operated, or whether it was what he truly felt London society should try to mirror. One can agree, despite whatever contradictions there are to those who claim More’s Utopia was a satire, that England definitely needed some guidance during this period. It seems that More’s Utopia was read as a solution, though it was only meant to be a satire that had some valuable ideas.
While an ideal society seems to be the best solution to England’s problems, one cannot help but ponder why men would dream utopian dreams. “Man is an animal with an imagination; he can conceive of things that do not yet exist, [and] may never exist. Man has the curious and awesome ability to transcend himself and nature… There is also the theory that man once lived in a utopia, but does no longer, and that he is always trying to return. The name of this first utopia was Eden” (Walsh 29). It does not seem that whether or not man already lived in a utopia, or is simply wishing to live in one now, is the central thesis of More’s satire. The important questions still remain: How is Utopia a satire on English society? Is More merely showing men what he believes is the best way to rid London of its problems? Richard Marius has the answer. “More could not have created an ideal society with so many flaws that affronted liberal imagination. More had truly intended to cast Utopia as a dystopia, not a good place but a bad place, one where rule of reason had obliterated the gentler human virtues” (Marius 11). Although there were several seemingly perfect solutions throughout the contents of Utopia, it was not a ten-step program for London society during the sixteenth century. “Utopia [is] viewed as a prototype of the obverse genre, the dystopia. The paradigm More created simply lent itself ideally to satire, because the distance between his imaginary society and the society in which he lived enabled him to contrast the two” (Fox 12). “It is not a blueprint but a touchstone against which we try various ideas about both our times and the books to see what then comes of it all” (Marius 12). More’s work was indeed a satire on the many men who continually dreamed of living in a utopian society. He saw where English society was in comparison to where other countries and civilizations were, and knew that he had to create a society that would give its people ideas, but not build the specifics of the said society for them. Therefore, Utopia was merely a suggestion of ideas (one or two, not as an entirety) that could be conceived as helpful, tolerable and ideal.
In fact, “More’s own society was rigidly hierarchical and highly regulated, so Utopia may not have seemed as restrictive to him as it does to us. Thus, it is easy to understand why a writer would want to satirize a bad commonwealth” (Logan 8). In satirizing this commonwealth, More was simply presenting a society that was so perfect that it could not truly exist; however, people enjoy reading about ideal utopias because it gives them some kind of hope for the future. “It shows the best society not as a normative or prescriptive model but as actually achieved, as already in existence. Utopia is a description of the best (or, in anti-utopia, the worst) society not as an abstract ideal, and not simply as a satirical foil to the existing society in full operation in which we are invited vicariously to participate” (Kumar 25). “More published Utopia for the purpose of showing… the things that occasion mischief in commonwealths; having the English Constitution in view. The island of Utopia is, in fact, England. More designed [it] to show how England would look, and what shape her relations with abroad would assume, if she were communistically organized” (Kautsky 14). By participating in this communistic utopia, More is able to present a few suggestions, as well as ridiculous (meant to be taken as jocular, and nothing else) ideas, all the while discussing his semi-radical viewpoints on three major issues. The three specific aspects of utopian life that Sir Thomas More attacked in this satire were communism/socialism, religion and marriage/family.
More’s own socialistic outlook on society dates back to when he was arrested and executed for his beliefs. Richard Marius tells readers “ I believe that the answer to the questions in More’s own mind [about socialism] was not that we should create a communist society. But [he does] believe that part of the response that More intended was to make us at least ask the questions, for to question society is to see it, and we must see it before we can do anything to reform it” (Marius 5). Since their leader Utopus basically imposed communism upon the Utopians, one can assume that More was studying the idea that a communistic society is indeed the solution for London society. He was not suggesting this, but merely saying that the equality offered amongst a socialistic society would provide stability. More does include a section on how the Utopians change their houses every decade so that no one person gets accustomed to a higher standard than another; however, the houses are exactly identical according to the section on The Geography of Utopia. Marius later notes that “The communism of the utopia deserves another word to this generation that has seen this once mighty ideology crumble to dust in most places where it once seemed imperial, irresistible and eternal. I’ve [also] noted that the Utopians acted on the premise that to eliminate poverty, the entire economic and social order had to be radically rebuilt from the ground up. That was precisely the view of Karl Marx, but More and Marx came to radically different conclusions about what the social order would be if it were rebuilt” (Marius 8).
The idea of rebuilding the entire society from scratch comes along by way of Utopus, who senses that again, equality amongst the people can only be achieved when things are created from originality, not from existing lands. Unless man rebuilds everything he owns, there can be no sense of justice. Similar in the ideas of socialism and communism, man must work together to bring about the overwhelming outpouring of parity. Thus, More is not suggesting that communism is the only way to go – the “be-all, end-all” answer to the problems in London society; he is satirizing the idea that everything has to be destroyed (and rebuilt) in order to gain fairness and equality. London society was still heavily distinct amongst classes at the time. Marius writes that “to the middle-class people like ourselves, our messy and fragmented society looks good in comparison to Utopia. Here, More’s Augustinian conception of sinful humankind becomes burdensome to the soul, for in the Utopian commonwealth, individualism and privacy are threats to the state. I suspect that we see as clearly as anyone does in Utopia just why communism did not work. The weight of human depravity was simply too much to be balanced by eliminating private property” (Marius 5). A communistic society that contains laws saying that private property is not allowed in society will never last long. People have an inner need to own something, and More is pointing this out in Utopia; he laughs at those who want to take everything away from the people of English society. He basically tells the readers that if such a thing were to occur, they should beware of an outbreak of war.

He concludes by showing how much the Utopians are afraid of war. Exactly. They are so afraid of war that it is necessary to have such a militaristic society with communism at the helm in their society; however, it would not work in London society. According to Kenyon, “More argues [that] men could attain salvation only if temptation were first to be removed. Given this, it was evident to More that social institutions required radical emendation. Consequently, in Utopia, More is to be discovered proposing a series of alternative arrangements such as communism which, he hoped, might remove the temptation of sinfulness presented by existing institutions such as private property” (Kenyon 54). More thought that some of the socialistic views would work in English society, but he knew that London was not ready for an overhaul. He thus satirized what it would be like if England were communistic. There would not be a single freedom such as private property. Just as communism was a seriously discussed issue as one solution for a utopian society, so were the fundamental laws of religion.
“More posits in Utopia a set of social institutions designed to reduce temptation, limit available choices, and channel the will in a requisite direction. The question of whether by living under such constraining institutions individuals nevertheless exercise free will is not developed by More to the extent that it might be” (Kenyon 58). Thus free will , as in the free will to choose whatever religion you want to follow, is a prime target for satire in this work. At the time when More lived, there were many ongoing debates over Puritanism, Catholicism, Protestantism, etc. “The discussion of religion presented in Utopia generates a problem not least because we are informed that although they do not subscribe to full-fledged sixteenth-century Catholicism, the Utopians follow a religion that in terms both of its doctrines and its externals maintains several important prescriptive recommendations relevant to the salvation of Christians” (Kenyon 97). In Utopia, all can practice a religion of any form that they wish. They are required only to attend a church service, which operates in the same manner as a college campus mass does. All of those that attend can take from the service what they wish to since there is no one supreme denomination in the city of Utopia. After More’s struggles with a corrupt church, no wonder he would satirize his experience with religion. “Since Utopians live according to the law of nature, they are not Christian. Indeed they practice a form of religious tolerance – as they must is they are to be both reasonable and willing to accept Christianity when it is announced to them” (Marius 3). “The practices and externals of religious observation are apparently of less moment to utopian theology. Certainly, the formalities of medieval Catholicism are reflected in Utopian practices. On this facet of religious life More’s position is undoubtedly speculative. It is evident that at least a certain amount of revision would be necessary to accommodate some of these offices to the introduction of Christianity” (Kenyon 99). Therefore, it is obvious that Utopia could not be a solution to the problems in society; More himself had no idea how to solve the religious tensions and corruption that was ongoing in the churches in English society. It would be nice if everyone was tolerant of another’s religion, and no one fought to the death with others over which was the true religion; that is pointless though. There are no answers. More knew this, which is why he proposed a solution that was impossible. He was showing others the stupidity of such a belief that there could be one supreme god who created everything, thus he satirizes said beliefs. He had no choice but to present an idea or two, but again, he did not suggest that the Utopian’s religious ways were a solution. Either did he try to solve every one of the problems in London society concerning marriage and divorce.
“The apparent disparity between Utopian religious tolerance and the Lord Chancellor’s rigor has already been touched upon. But how do you account for such Utopian institutions as euthanasia and divorce, both forbidden by the Church for which More died. Or for tactics like subornation of treason, assassination of enemy rulers, and forcible annexation of foreign lands the natural resources of which, in Utopian judgment, have been insufficiently exploited” (Nelson 9)? To insure that people would not want to get divorced because they are no longer happy with the appearance of their spouse, More suggests that the bride and groom be allowed to see each other naked before the ceremony. Therefore, they will know what they are getting themselves into prior to marriage. If they re happy with what they see, the marriage will take place, and there is no case for dishonesty. However, if they did not see the other person naked prior to marriage, then a case could be made for dishonesty if that person were hideously scarred. There is no way that More could logically suggest the idea of seeing a prospective spouse naked before marriage when society at the time frowned on nudity. It was a disgrace to reveal even more than one’s face when in public. More would be condemned for life if he seriously thought he could get away with proposing nudity as a solution to unhappiness. Even today, nearly five hundred years later, nudity in public is still considered disgraceful. Society will almost never be ready for such a thing. More was simply laughing at the many ways in which people tried to avoid the problems of life when he proposed such an idea of nudity prior to marriage. If More had written a handbook, like The Prince, on how to behave and what society should look like, his solution would truly be that people should just deal with their problems in a dignified manner rather than propose such outlandish practices. There is no way to avoid such a problem in life. Life is not perfect. Life is not a utopia, as More would say.
However, the “average human behavior in Utopia is considerably higher than in the rest of the world. Yet even in Utopia, with its splendid education, More thinks it necessary to provide a system of criminal justice: human nature is such that no matter what nurture it receives, some fraction of individuals will always be criminals” (Logan 37). Man may have had an innate goodness in such a society according to More and Logan, but it was not absolute. There were still laws necessary to keep people in line. People needed to be protected legally from deception beforehand. One other interesting aspect of Utopian life that parallels real life is that “after The Fall [in Eden], man was exposed to the prospect of temptation and deadly sin. By contrast, More responds to this situation in Utopia by posting a strict moral code which… he also saw as the inherent inferiority of the female sex” (Kenyon 66). Women were still considered of a lower class in Utopian society. More would have elevated their status if he were truly proposing a new way of life. Instead, he keeps them “where they belong” according to people of the time. Therefore, More was again, not providing the concrete plans on “how to eliminate problems,” but laying the foundation in order to show people how to laugh at themselves when things go wrong. There will never be complete equality; More was trying to parody such a philosophy.
“In all [of] these ways, More showed himself, and his Utopia, to be the product of a new age. His Utopia has a rationalism and a realism that we associate typically with the classical revival of the Renaissance, and that are to be found equally in the architectural utopias of fifteenth and sixteenth-century Italy… Utopia is a fiction whereby the truth, as if smeared with honey, might a little more pleasantly slide into men’s minds” (Kumar 21). More cast his utopian society as one in which life was perfect and ideal, thus it had to be considered satirical since there is no such thing as perfection. By sugarcoating his views and ideas, he was able to create a utopian land that affected humankind more than he expected. He could show mankind how foolish their thoughts were on trying to perfect and correct everything that was wrong with society. A little error can sometimes keep things more in balance. If everything and everyone were perfect, what would man have to strive for? Why would they exist? More was simply presenting a satirical solution to society that he never meant to assume the role of the “be-all, end-all” problem-solver.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world.

View all my reviews

Review: Walden

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WaldenWalden by Henry David Thoreau

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Review
Walden, an American classic…few of us have likely read all 350+ pages, unless you were an English major. For most, perhaps 10-15 pages in high school or a college literature course introduced you to Thoreau and Walden. Famed philosopher and thinker, it’s a book that transports you to nature and the simplicity of life… helping to discover who you are, what you want and where things are going. A bit of an existential crisis, so to speak. It’s a good book. I have nothing against it, but it didn’t resonate with me as much as I’d have liked.

I tend to be character and plot-based, when it comes to literature I enjoy. The main character, besides Thoreau, was passion/life/searching… it’s not a work of fiction, tho some may take it that way. Perhaps a collection of essays, early journal writing. Blogging?

All in all, beautiful language. Great images. Lots to think about. Worth reading those 10 to 15 pages. But unless you are into philosophy, it’ll be a hard read. I’m a thinker, but not in this way. I’m glad I read the full text… and a few pages several times for comparative purposes in different courses. Take a little on for yourself.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: The Philosopher’s Apprentice

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The Philosopher's Apprentice
The Philosopher’s Apprentice by James K. Morrow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars to James K. Morrow‘s The Philosopher’s Apprentice.

I found this book one afternoon while walking through a book store. It sounded like a good read so I added it to my new pile. It sat for a few weeks while I finished some others ahead of it, and then I dived in. It’s divided into 3 separate sections, and even I’ll admit there are a few disconnects in the writing style between the various sections, but compared to the amazing aspects of the story, it is very minor (at least to me!). I don’t think I’ve ever had a book that challenged me more than this one. It was phenomenal on so many levels. It helped me learn to think outside the box.


Skip forward about a year…

It’s my turn to choose a book for my Book Club. I choose this one as no one else had ever read it. I re-read it over a weekend with as little interruptions as possible. I found so many new layers that I double down on how phenomenal this book is.



Why?


A woman is cloning herself to find perfection. It’s the story inside all of us. It’s shocking and truthful and wicked and sentimental and scary and heartbreaking all the same. You are so trapped in what you think is acceptable and what you think is wrong that you can’t escape such a quandry in this book.



Why Not?


The later part of the book goes a bit off track and confuses easily — you have to focus and release all the questions that come to your mind until you get to the end. For me, it spoke volumes. For a few in the book club, they loved the first half and hated the last half. It’s all a matter of how you interpret what you hear — understand why someone would do something — and who you are rooting for.

Nevertheless, it’s one you should read – at least the first part of the book. Even if you give up midway, just the story in the first section is enough to mesmerize you, activate your innate reactions to the purpose of life and the need of a human connection, and send you questioning your own beliefs.

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