Book Review: The Journey by Peter Kreeft

TheJourney
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
August 22, 2017

The Journey by Peter Kreeft is an interesting fictional account through allegorical form of an individual, the author, who seeks spiritual truth.

With a dear philosophical companion, Socrates, who is a confidant and guide by his side, the author creates a journey in which quite a few philosophies are encountered, and each are addressed as needed in order to get towards the next step in the author’s personal journey.

Within the allegory written, the author meets thirteen different historical characters who expound their version of truth.  These are: Socrates, Epicurus, Protagoras, Diogenes, Gorgias, Democritus, Thrasymachus, Xenophanes, Parmenides, Aristotle, Moses, Joshua and C.S. Lewis.  Each philosophy is explored as needed, providing valuable insights about what those philosophies really delineate.

The first half to two thirds of the book covered general philosophical concepts, while the latter offered deeper ruminations into Kreefts unabashed religious point of view through the allegory.

In essence, the book is about choosing a philosophical life in every way shape and form.  That’s what appeals to me most about the book.  Additionally, the concept of a life as a journey, such as what took place in Dante’s Inferno, was also rather thought-provoking.

As Kreeft notes, in life, you either have a good personal philosophy, or a bad one.  This book helps the reader consider at length what type of philosophy one will choose, regardless of what point of view you come from.

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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

 

Book Review: The Mindful Writer by Dinty Moore | #SmartReads

TheMindfulWriter
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
August 21, 2017

The Mindful Writer is a rather unique book that seeks to stoke the creative consciousness of all creative types as they travel in their personal journeys.

The book’s scaffolding is built upon the vast array of maxims collated from various individuals, all which not only help the reader see the direction the author is headed in, but also what insights may be gained by pondering upon these pearls of wisdom.

For instance, with a critical eye, Moore, after quoting Carlos Fuentes, reminds us that:

“It is wise to remind ourselves on occasion why we write, and why it matters so much.  There is too much left unsaid in the world, either because what needs to be said is deemed impolite, because it is deemed dangerous, or because it contradicts the accepted version put forth by family, government, religious leaders, or the society we live in.”[1]

Besides that, the book offers much for rumination while still offering on-the-ground practical advice.  The quotes are excellent, the sapience is ever-present and the author brings about a no-nonsense approach, all of which is presented in a way to maximize the mindfulness of the reader.  What’s not to like?

The Mindful Writer is an inspiring read in its entirety.  If you enjoy this book, consider suffusing it with Steven Pressfield’s innovative and timeless The War Of Art, and perhaps even Shunryu Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.  Though the latter book isn’t about writing, its core tenets are applicable to writing as well as life, and could be highly beneficial to individuals.  They certainly have been for me.

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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

June Book Haul 2017 | [Summer Book Haul Part 3] | #RetroReads | #SmartReads

july3
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
August 5, 2017

This Book Haul is short and sweet.

The following four books were purchased at HalfPricedBooks about two weeks ago.  Fortuitously, I was able to commandeer capture misappropriate purloin pilfer ransack plunder acquire these books in great condition for a great price.  Even better, I was able to finally purchase some of H.G. Wells’ work, which I sought to do for a really long time.

hgw1
H.G. Wells 7 Novels by H.G. Wells

This particular Leather Bound Edition was on my sights for a long time, but it tends to be quite expensive even when used.  Thankfully that wasn’t the case at HPB.

This book edition contains The Time Machine, The Island Of Dr. Monreau, The Invisible Man, The War Of The Worlds, The First Men On The Moon, The Food Of The Gods, and In The Day Of The Comet.

Really looking forward on starting this and rereading some of his stories.  Thinking about starting with The Invisible Man, but unsure still.  Any of you have any ideas?

sfs
Science Fiction Short Stories

This book – along with the one below – was fully unknown to me.  After sifting through the table of contents [those things are time savers, aren’t they?] and seeing some of the short stories inside were my cup of tea, this book found a new home.

hgw2
H.G. Wells Short Stories

A compilation of H.G. Well Short stories – what’s not to like?  This particular book was unknown to me, but after sifting through it it’s classic Wells to boot.  So far the stories are great, except in bite-sized form.  A great complement to the introductory book.

prmd
Star Trek – Prime Directive by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens

When a Star Trek book contains everything from double-dealing, backstabbing, piracy, resignations, and even violations of the classic Prime Directive, you know it’s going to be chock-full of intensity.   That’s on top of the ‘science fiction’ too.  And luckily, there’s even more than that!

For a Star Trek book newbie such as myself, figured this wouldn’t be a bad place to continue my venture, and thankfully, the book is delivering in spades.

Any of you familiar with these pieces or find any other books of late that are feeding that old reading addiction?  By all means hesitate not and comment below!

Hope all is well and you all have a great and meaningful weekend.

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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

June Book Haul 2017 | [Summer Book Haul Part 2] | #RetroReads | #SmartReads

LeatherBoundBookHaulJune

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
July 30, 2017

“A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”
– Carl Sagan

“If you want children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.”
– Einstein

“Books are the mirrors to the soul.”
Virginia Wolf

This one’s a quick haul.  To spice it up just a smidge, this bookhaul will only feature leatherbound books purchased early summer.  Enjoy.

Dracula & Other Horror Classics by Bram Stoker

A novel that could be said to be ‘ahead of its time’.  Wasn’t sure what to expect, but I can honestly now say that I really enjoyed the unique point of view brought about through the unorthodox way the story is related by Bram Stoker.  Stoker employed the use of letters, personal entries, ship logs, newspaper articles, etc., to tell the story from each character’s unique point of view.  Certainly this is something one nigh never sees, but which worked out rather well given its uniqueness.  The story is a bit slow at times, but engrossing enough to keep you going if you’re a fan of the genre.

The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov

One of the classics in Science Fiction, from one of the Big 3 in science fiction.  What’s not to like?

It’s been said this is one of Asimov’s great works and I am looking to finishing it.  Finished book #3 in the Foundation series, which is the first book of this trilogy three days ago.  I really enjoyed the book, although enjoyed the previous prequel duet more.   Still, I am looking forward to finishing this trilogy and moving on to the last books thereafter.  Definitely a highly recommended series for fans of science fiction.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Since I had never read anything from Gaiman, I knew not what to expect.  That said, many of my friends really enjoy his work and thought I would as well.  Having read this book, I was intricately surprised at the uniqueness with which he brought about this particular story employing Gods as the foundation for various characters throughout the story.  Not what was expected, but in a very refreshing way.

The Wizard Of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Wizard Of Oz, Barnes & Noble Ed. features the first five novels of the Wizard Of Oz Series.  It’s a book that’s simple to read, but quite entertaining as well.  I myself am only familiar with parts of the story, so thought it interesting to avail myself of the rest whenever there’s downtime around.  Back when The Wizard Of Oz initially came out there wasn’t almost anything like it out there, and it made it stand out like lightning in a clear sky.  That said, it has stood the test of time as a classic in literature.

LeatherBoundBookHaulJune2

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

The quintessence of the classics, The Divine Comedy was a bit harder to read given its old English writing, but it’s not anything someone can’t overcome with a little hard work and perseverance.  After a while you begin picking up the language rather swiftly and it becomes nigh automatic how easy you can comprehend what’s being said.  A very rewarding, breathtaking and imaginative book, especially for its time.**

The Ultimate Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Although the plot could have been better, the humor more than makes up for it.  This book is downright hilarious while still offering a very novel story that holds the ship above water.

Star Trek: The Classics Episodes by James Blish & J.A. Lawrence

Surprisingly, this was a very great book.  The quality of the short stories is great, and the stories within all read seamlessly, and are much better and interesting than I expected.  I really hope B&N follows up with another book of later episodes.

All things considered, it’s been a busy and entertaining few weeks.  Having read most of these it was a very unique experience and one glad I took the time to undertake.  I am usually more fond of reading nonfiction research books, but now and again I opt to involve a dash of something different.  Thankfully, all of these books delivered and a few were better than expected.  I look forward to setting up more time to finish up those I haven’t read, and hopefully continue to catch up on some of the classics.

Have any of you read any of these or have any books you would like to recommend?  What are your favorites?  Hope all is well.

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Note**

The Divine Comedy was actually purchased two months earlier than June.  Since the book surreptitiously snuck into the picture, thought it worth while to comment.
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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

June Book Haul 2017 | #SmartReads [Summer Book Haul Part 1]

JuneBookHaul

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
July 27, 2017

“…Books are bright because they provide lights to our dim vision, and because they clearly project a lantern light that might help us discern our way in the world, or make difficult choices when it’s hard for us to see the right ones.  But they’re bright too because of their incandescent energy of thinking and creating, the blaze of consciousness that has been inscribed upon those pages.”[34]
Mark Doty, The Art Of Description, p. 34.

“A book is a dream that you hold in your hands.”
– Neil Gaiman

It sure seems summers has been flying by at warp speed doesn’t?  Hope everyone is enjoying summer for what it’s worth.

Been extremely busy lately myself and it seems some personal circumstances continue non-stop irrespective of how much focus is placed on them.  It matters now, though!  We are here for books, and books are here for us.  What follows are some of the books purchased in the latest June Book haul.  Enjoy.

Henry David Thoreau (Library Of America Ed.) by Henry David Thoreau

This phenomenal book that contains Henry David Thoreau’s A Week On The Concord & Merrimack Rivers, Walden, The Main Woods and Cape Cod, is arguably one of my favorite books this year, not only for content, which we could all learn from, but for the quality of the book.  Look forward on getting more of the Library Of America book series as they are very high quality hardcover books with great information.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Had never read this book (I know, blasphemy!) now I have.  It has become one of my all time favorites books (dystopian or otherwise), especially given how society is currently mimicking many of the disturbing elements noted in the book.

The Smear – How Shady Political Operatives Control & Fake News Control What You See, What You Think How You Vote by Sharyl Attkisson

A book that the establishment doesn’t want you to read: what’s not to love about that?

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

The Fountainhead was a phenomenal book by Rand that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I do not expect any less from this book.  How her books function at multiple levels of intellectual thought blows away most fiction that’s out there by a wide margin.   For individuals wishing to read about issues that matter that are woven within fiction (or even nonfiction), Rand set the bar high.

The Complete Patriot’s Guide To Oligarchical Collectivism by Ethan Indigo Smith

This book aims to wake individuals to the perils of collectivism, brought about with wide-ranging examples that even include samplings from George Orwell’s 1984.  It is a very underrated book rarely if ever talked about, even in alternative research circles.

Walden & Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Although Walden is included in the Library Of America edition of the Thoreau book above, unfortunately Civil Disobedience was not.  That’s okay since this book cost slightly over $3 and it’s practically priceless in insights.  I love what the book has to offer as well as how sturdy it’s made.

Secret Missions 3: Destination Carcosa by Walter Bosley

Secret Missions 3 is the third installment in Walter Bosley’s incisive and thought-provoking Secret Missions series.  This book is follow up of Secret Missions 1: The Hidden Legacy Of California, and Secret Missions 2: The Lost Expedition Of Sir Richard Francis Burton, both of which were absolutely jaw dropping books in their potential implications and incredibly intriguing reads.  Thankfully, Secret Missions 3: Destination Carcosa is no different, and leaves much for rumination.

Defending Freed Speech by Steve Simpson

This book is a very timely book which surveys the increase of censorship and propaganda against individuals as it sifts through different essays published over the last two decades or so.  Defending Freed Speech is a veritable must-read for any individual who values freedom and is concerned about the searing censorship that continues that is rising and continues unabated.

Mind Is Master – The Complete James Allen Treasury by James Allen

This book is a compendium of the wondrous works of James Allen.  If you’re looking for something inspirational and motivational along the line of the works of Napoleon Hill but more philosophical that focuses on mindset, Mind Is Master might just be for you.  In As A Man Thinketh, not only were Allen’s word just like reading poetry and learning about life, but it felt like being in the presence of someone whose wise beyond their years and is a person of extreme quality and virtue.

LA Requiem by Robert Crais

Always wanted to read some of Crais’ work, and now I have a chance.  A friend suggested I started with this particular volume, which is why I opted to start here rather than the first book of the series.

Anthem by Ayn Rand

Got this book as a gift, and appreciate it very much.  Appreciating the depth and scope in The Fountainhead, and knowing how methodical Rand is with her writing, I am looking forward to this very much.  Much shorter than The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged too!

Full Black by Brad Thor

This book was found in a garage sale – it was like finding a black pearl in a swamp!  Yeah, its fiction, but so what.  Everyone needs to pump the breaks and revamp their engine now and then.  Why not do it with an entertaining thriller?

Defiance: Judgment Day by William Weber

This is the third installment in Weber’s Defiance series, and it delivers just like his previous two books did.

Official Stories – Counter-Arguments For A Culture In Need by Liam Scheff

Scheff’s book is recommended by Jon Rappoport (NoMoreFakeNews.com) in his Power Outside The Matrix tutorial.

I am about a third of the way through, and am finding much substance in the book.  With an unorthodox approach Scheff deconstructs the mainstream narrative in many different ‘official’ stories (9/11, JFK Assassination and so on) and shows there’s much more than the predictable one-dimensional point of view that the mainstream media nigh always brings to each narrative.  How Scheff brings about his analysis with much brio via his prose is also just as refreshing.  A very underrated book to say the least.

The Illuminati – The Secret Society That Hijacked The World by Jim Marrs

The Illuminati,
which was reviewed on TheBreakaway not long ago, sheds light into one of the most intriguing – and often overhyped – Secret Societies.  Marrs is excellent at sticking to verifiably sourced material, which is priceless given that the topic of secret societies is a field with innumerable rabbit holes and fraught with much disinformation, misinformation and downright lies as well.

Churchill & Orwell: The Fight For Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks

This book not only recounts part of the life of Orwell & Churchill, but also essentially juxtaposes some of the core qualities.  A very intriguing read, although a bit dry/slow at times.  Here’s a review of this piece.

Forward The Foundation and Prelude To Foundation by Isaac Asimov

These are the opening salvos to Asimov’s intricate and timeless Foundation Trilogy.  Given that these books were brought about after the original Foundation Trilogy was written, they do an apt job of further enlargening Asimov’s fictional world.  The whole series is a must-read for any hard science fiction fan, especially if you are a fan of the classics.

Your Body’s Many Cries For Water by F. Batmanghelidj M.D.

Your Body’s Many Cries For Water is a fantastic book that takes a very outside-of-the-box view at health in relationship with water.  If you want to know how much harm and disease can manifest your body by merely not drinking enough water, read this.  In fact, this book should be essential reading for everyone given how most people go about dehydrated on a daily basis (myself included).

Beren & Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien

This is a rather unique book that covers nigh all the aspects of Beren and Luthien, which was collated and brought about by Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R. Tolkien.   Please keep in mind however, that If you are intimately familiar with the story by having read previous books that cover aspects of it, this might not be the book for you as most [if not all] of the information might be a rehash.  A must-have for die-hard Tolkien fans however, especially because it finally collates all the data pertaining to Beren and Luthien in one book, rather than it being scattered through various sources.

The First Commandment by Brad Thor

Another garage sale find found for pocket change.  The book is dynamite by the way!

Battlefield America: The War On The American People by John W. Whitehead

In Battlefield America, Constitutional Attorney and President of The Rutherford Institute, John W. Whitehead not only shows overwhelming evidence for the rise of the Police State in the American landscape, but incisively speaks his mind about where America is heading as a nation if the tidal wave of totalitarianism doesn’t cease.  The most sobering book I’ve read all year by far.

For what it’s worth, the books this month were collated from AbeBooks, HalfPriceBooks, the Library, Amazon, Barnes&Nobles and Garage Sales, while some were gifts as well.  I am fortunate to have found some glaring gems for nigh nothing, and am appreciative of the suggestions made by some of you in the department of research.

There’s still much to be done, so that’s all for now.  Did any of you manage to snap up any books in the month of June, or otherwise?  By all means, share your stories below!

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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Why I Love Schools That Ban Books

FakeNews
Source: NoMoreFakeNews.com | JonRappoport.wordpress.com
By: Jon Rappoport
July 21, 2017

Let’s start here. In 2016, as US News reports, “The Portland Public Schools Board on Tuesday decided to ban any classroom materials that cast doubt on climate change. The resolution passed unanimously and requires that textbooks and other material purchased by the district present climate change as a fact rather than theory. Material will also need to present human activity as one of the phenomenon’s causes.”

This is good news. Why? Because a school system has asserted how it wants education to be managed. This is how children will be taught. No tap-dancing around the issue. Here it is. Boom. Out in the open. If you don’t like it, too bad.

If you don’t like it as a parent, take your child out of the Portland system. Launch home schooling. Start your own private school. Move out of Portland to another public school district.

Let’s go all the way back to the beginning of the American public-education system and Thomas Jefferson, who tried (and failed) to get a bill passed in the Virginia legislature. Jefferson:

“But if it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by…[any] general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward, it is a belief against all experience.…No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to.”

Jefferson’s vision was hundreds of small wards within each state. Each ward would have its own public school, and the parents—not the government—would manage it and fund it.

If, in one school, the parents decide children will learn the moon is a painted illusion on the sky, so be it. If they decide that stones can speak or logic is a European plot against human reason, so be it. If they decide to assemble a list of a thousand banned books, which must be burned, so be it.

With this sort of vast decentralization, it wouldn’t be long before disgruntled parents within a ward would break away and start their own school.

The opposite system is federal. Federal mandates, funding, programs, curriculum.

Education run by the individual states is hardly better. These governments are also huge and demanding.

I don’t care what excuses parents come up with, in order to opt out of taking charge of education. It’s their burden, whether through home-schooling, by creating and sustaining their own private schools for their children, or deciding which schools to send their kids to. The responsibility is theirs.

The usual caterwaul goes this way: “But many, many parents aren’t equipped to understand what goes on in the classroom. We need government-run schools to make sure children receive a good education.”

Baloney. Since when is it necessary to design an entire school system around the ignorance of parents?

Why not say most parents don’t know how to raise their children, and therefore the state must take over that function, too?

Well, if you took a few hours to research the work of Child Protective Services bureaucracies around the US, you’d realize this is, in fact happening. The brutal overreach of these agencies, in many cases, amounts to kidnapping. On false pretexts, the State takes children and dumps them into foster care, where violent abuse and high-dose drugging with toxic psychiatric meds is endemic.

Face it, the government loves parents who say they don’t understand education, medical treatment, child-rearing—whatever responsibility parents are willing to abdicate, it’s a cause for celebration in government circles.

The State promotes a consensus of cluelessness and victimhood.

If I were a top federal bureaucrat, I’d sponsor a program (a few billion dollars ought to cover it) to investigate and discover the most ignorant set of parents in America, the mother and father who can’t think their way out of a wet paper bag. I would profile those parents from head to toe, and based on the information gleaned, I would then form 1000 federal programs (adequately staffed) to assume all the child-rearing functions those parents can’t perform AND IMPOSE THOSE FUNCTIONS ON ALL FAMILIES AND CHILDREN IN AMERICA.

“It takes a village.” And this is the kind of village we’re really talking about. Not some African tribal outpost. A federal ghetto.

So good work, Portland, in banning all books that question climate change. My only problem is you haven’t gone far enough. You should have daily chanting sessions for all the children: CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL, CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL, intoned for a half-hour after lunch. Perhaps you can attach electrodes to the children’s heads and produce readouts of secretly dissenting young minds in the classroom, and shunt those kids off to a Chinese-style re-education facility and call it “enrichment.”

Then, perhaps, more parents in your district would wake up and grab their kids and run for the hills and start their own schools, because they can’t deny what you’re doing any longer.

Read More At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
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Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

Book Review: Cultural Literacy – What Every American Needs To Know by E.D. Hirsch, Jr

CulturalLiteracy2
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
July 22, 201

Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsch is a sobering look into some of the reasons why public schooling in America has been spiraling downwards for the last few decades.  At the vanguard of these issues, Hirsch narrows down this intellectual death spiral to the loss of cultural literacy among the masses.  This loss of cultural literacy has exacerbated the significant bifurcation between the individuals that have literate cultural backgrounds, and those that do not.

Moreover, Hirsch makes it a point to show that cultural literacy is not just knowing about significant facts, or information as some would undoubtedly think.  Certainly, these are at times important, but more precisely, the author homes-in on the fact that cultural literacy is information shared by individuals within a particular social strata that makes their communications more efficient and enjoyable, thus allowing for a more cohesive social strata.

With a critical eye, Hirsch notes:

“….literacy requires the early and continued transmission of specific information…Only by accumulating shared symbols, and the shared information that the symbols represent, can we learn to communicate effectively with one another in our national community.”[1]

Employing copious amounts of research, Hirsch shows there should be a significant cause for concern about the poor quality of education, as well as other salient problems.

With deep concern, Hirsch soberingly warns:

“If we not achieve a literate society, the technicians, with their arcane specialties, will not be able to communicate with us nor we with them.  That would contradict the basic principles of democracy and must not be allowed to happen.”[2]

A sound and versatile education is impossible without a robust culturally literate repertoire.  This is why the information touched upon by Hirsch is so pivotal and should be ruminated upon.

To home in on the point of deteriorating education, let’s take a gander at what two-time award winning teacher, researcher and writer, John Taylor Gatto stated in A Different Kind Of Teacher:

““Schools were designed by Horace Mann, E.L. Thorndike, and others to be instruments of scientific management of a mass population.  Schools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.  To a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this.”[3][Bold Emphasis Added]

Lowering cultural literacy, among other things, would undoubtedly be part of this process.  This is because culturally literate individuals will be familiar with the scaffolding of history and many of its nuances; such individuals are magnitudes harder to control, which is why public schooling through the Common Core system seeks to conform everyone through standardized testing and more.  (For more information, please look below the sources at the resources and suggested reading.)

We are at a turning point in history, and we either stop the descent into cultural nescience, individually, and as a nation, or we continue into the swamp of ignorance.

Irrespective of the circumstances, one thing is certain: there is still time to make significant changes if individuals choose to.  It is really up to individuals and their families to educate themselves, because the way the system is constructed, a well-rounded and complete education cannot take place within the system.  This is one of many reasons why self-teaching is growing at an immense rate, and will continue to do so.  Don’t allow yourself, or those you know to fall by the wayside merely because the system is corrupt and cares not for true education but rather to instead create cogs for the machine.

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Sources:

[1] E.D. Hirsch, Jr., What Every American Needs To Know, p. xvii.
[2] Ibid., p. 2.
[3] John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 16.

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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.