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.

 

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Book Review: Socrates Meets Kant by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

SocKant
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
August 18, 2017

Socrates Meets Kant – The Father Of Philosophy meets His Most Famous Influential Modern Child by Peter Kreeft Ph.D. is a fictional foray into philosophical conversation taking place as Kant waits in ‘purgatory’.

In his usual logical and deft way, Kreeft does a sensible job of employing philosophy and seeking truth through the eyes of Socrates.  Via the Socratic lens that employs cross-examination, Kreeft goes on to dissect the vital components of Immanuel Kant’s philosophy.  Considering Kant’s philosophy is concerned about the nature of knowing of things as well as ethics, this book is a great introductory synopsis of the core topics Kant spent his lifetime studying.

Given Kant’s prowess as one of the ‘most influential’ philosophers of history, Kreeft’s choice of employing a fictional Socrates – especially given that he’s the grandfather of cross examination – to critique Kant’s philosophy was merely logical.  It’s interesting to fictionally see how Kant would have ‘reacted’ to Socrates’ notable questions, particularly those that touch upon Kant’s Categorical Imperative and Critique of Pure Reason.

Both characters – Socrates & Kant – are brought to life rather well through a very intriguing, and yet not overly complex dialogue.   Kreeft even employs some dry humor to add a bit of flavor to these philosophic inquiries.  That said, the book mainly revolves around Kant’s “Copernican Revolution” as it critiques and analyzes all crucial points therein.

In its totality, this volume seems rather fit for anyone who is seeking an introductory volume to Kant’s work in general, while still offering enough substance for more astute readers of Kant’s philosophical outlook as a whole.

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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.

Zika, HIV: The Abstract Vs. The Concrete In The Pursuit Of Logic

TruthFact
Source: NoMoreFakeNews.com | JonRappoport.wordpress.com
By: Jon Rappoport
June 26, 2017

Medical Warning: this article may require THINKING. Ask your doctor if thinking is right for you.

When a philosopher has no more room to move and finds his back up against a cold wall in the middle of the night, he usually throws up his hands and surrenders his abstract position to concrete interests (like money, position, and power). I watched this happen in the late 1980s, when I saw my first book, AIDS INC., come into print.

The book took on CAUSATION, one of the interests of both the medical and philosophical profession. My investigation centered on: how do you decide a particular germ causes a particular disease?

I won’t bother going into all the details here. Suffice it to say, when I contacted a few academic folks I knew from my days as a college student studying philosophy, they shut their eyes tight and pretended they were having a bad dream, nothing more. They built a wall of silence. You see, asking them for a comment about causation was now treading on medical territory—far more real than the realm of their usual philosophical fiddling. If it turned out the entire medical cartel was tap dancing and faking a concept of causation, in order to falsely blame certain viruses for causing certain (high-profit) diseases, THAT was a scandal of immense proportions. And these academic philosophers wanted no part of it. They didn’t want to see their cozy positions in ivory towers ripped asunder. They didn’t want the concrete to intrude on the abstract. It was all well and good to cite Hume and Ayer and various logicians on the issue of causation, when nothing was at stake, but to move forward into a world where, depending on your view of cause and effect, some people made billions of dollars while other people died unnecessarily…that was out of the question. Therefore, my book was “reckless.” Therefore: no comment. Therefore: “Leave us alone. We never meant for you to grab these ideas and actually use them, logically, to shake up the invisible power structure. You’re doing something unseemly. You’re reflecting badly on us. You’re endangering reputations.”

Aha.

Do not upset apple carts. Do not expose crimes.

In my book, AIDS INC., I performed an obscene act. I implied that, by any reasonable standard of cause and effect, HIV had never been proved to cause the condition called AIDS. I was suddenly a philosopher with a weapon. I was shining a light in a cave where researchers were plundering logic to fake a proof. And, to continue the exercise, I was therefore demonstrating that AIDS was not one condition at all. It was an array of circumstances that produced, in different ways, in different people, the destruction of the immune system—and if you wanted to heal THAT, you had to find, in each afflicted person, what had attacked his immune system (not HIV), and then you had to try to reverse that affliction. In doing so, you could save lives. If, on the other hand, you persisted with the HIV myth, and utilized highly toxic drugs like AZT, you would kill people. Many people.

But the “philosophers” I approached saw no benefit in examining that investigation. The benefit (to them) was in ignoring it.

I would have welcomed an honest debate. But no offer was forthcoming.

I already knew, from my college years, that the walled off Territory of the Abstract was its own province; but this experience with my book, in 1988, was the last straw.

I was trying to approach cowards.

Unfettered, reasoned free speech was not their aim.

Up to a point, advanced education exists. But when you go beyond that point, you’re in the Empty Quarter. You’re staring at a vast parched desert.

Turn around. Walk away. You’re on your own. Your education now takes on a completely different cast. You learn how to apply analysis and do investigation independently.

That process, speaking from experience, is exhilarating.

The mines, and the caves in them, contain gold.

Here’s a quick contemporary analysis of causation: the Zika virus. In a nutshell, Brazilian researchers, working at “ground zero of the purported microcephaly (birth defect) outbreak,” declared Zika to be the cause. However, they admitted—before they cut off all communication on the subject—that traces of Zika could only be found in roughly 15% of babies with microcephaly. This correlation was astonishingly weak.

No matter what version of cause and effect you might favor, there is no way under the sun you can conclude that Zika causes microcephaly, when it can’t be found in 85% of cases.

Any honest researcher will tell you this is a reason to reject Zika as the cause and go back to the drawing board.

But that hasn’t happened. In fact, several groups are conducting studies on a Zika vaccine. They’re plunging forward.

One of these candidate-vaccines delivers synthesized genes into the body…where the genes…permanently alter the recipient’s DNA.

In this case, lying about causation leads to unbridled tinkering with populations’ genetic structure.

But why should academic philosophers care about that? They’re in their safe world, apart from, what shall we call it, LIFE.

HIV faced a similar problem that Zika does. Researchers correlated a diagnosis of AIDS with a positive HIV antibody test: many people who tested positive were later diagnosed with AIDS. There was a problem, however. The HIV antibody test will register positive for at least 60 reasons that have nothing to do with the presence of HIV in the body.

Independent researcher Christine Johnson documented this fact. Her classic investigation has been reprinted at aliveandwell.org. Here is just a partial list of factors that will cause an HIV antibody test to read positive for reasons that have nothing to do with HIV:

1. Anti-carbohydrate antibodies (52,19,13)
2. Naturally-occurring antibodies (5,19)
3. Passive immunization: receipt of gamma globulin or immune globulin (as prophylaxis against infection which contains antibodies) (18, 26, 60, 4, 22, 42, 43, 13)
4. Leprosy (2, 25)
5. Tuberculosis (25)
6. Mycobacterium avium (25)
7. Systemic lupus erythematosus (15, 23)
8. Renal (kidney) failure (48, 23, 13)
9. Hemodialysis/renal failure (56, 16, 41, 10, 49)
10. Alpha interferon therapy in hemodialysis patients (54)
11. Flu (36)
12. Flu vaccination (30, 11, 3, 20, 13, 43)
13. Herpes simplex I (27)
14. Herpes simplex II (11)
15. Upper respiratory tract infection (cold or flu) (11)
16. Recent viral infection or exposure to viral vaccines (11)
17. Prior pregnancy (58, 53, 13, 43, 36, 65)

Fake causation. It’s a big one.

There is much, much more to the HIV story (including serious doubts about whether HIV actually exists). But you get the general idea. The correlation between HIV and AIDS is irreparably weak…

I had a brief conversation about this with an academic philosophy professor. It went this way:

—So, Professor, you see that this is an issue of causation. If the correlation is very weak, the whole assumption of causation fails.

—Well, I don’t know about that. Other factors could be involved.

—Such as?

—That’s the whole point. We don’t know what the other factors are.

—We know enough. If researchers are going to say a particular virus causes a particular disease, they have to establish, at minimum, strong correlation. They have to prove, for starters, that the virus is present in the overwhelming percentage of cases of the disease.

—So this is the kind of thing you’ve been doing since you graduated from school?

—Yes.

—I think you need to reassess your approach.

—Why?

—Disease causation is an issue best left to medical experts.

—Why?

—It’s their field.

That’s where the conversation ended.

Beautiful, just beautiful.

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.

How Living More Zen Can Change Your Life

solitude2
Source: TheMindUnleashed.com
Christina Sarich
April 30, 2017

One inch of sitting, one inch of Buddha. Like lightning all thoughts come and pass. Just once look into your mind-depths: Nothing else has ever been.” – Manzan Dohaku (1635-1714)

The Zen culture and daily life practiced in the East is often misinterpreted by Western aspirants. Many think it is nothing more than sitting on a cushion in a Buddhist Zen monastery, practicing Zazen for countless hours a day, perceived as a fruitless endeavor, and an impossible one!  Once you understand more about “Zen living” though, you can truly change the way you experience reality for the better.

The first thing to understand about Zen is that it is a practice in non-being. This doesn’t translate to nihilism, but as an opposite cultural thrust of what we most often do in the West, which is to assert ourselves, often in an aggressive manner.

We are like the adolescent child learning to make his way in the world in the West, but the Eastern philosophies of Zen, Taoism, Buddhism, etc. are more about relaxing into the flow – an unfettered experience of life without any assertion of our will at all, perhaps how we would imagine an old man behaving after he has made his mark, or even like an innocent baby that has not yet learned he will struggle for love, attention, money, success, etc.

For many who have grown up being taught they have to fight, plan, and work themselves to death, this can be a very hard concept to understand.

Zen also doesn’t fit into a neat conceptual package like many Westerns would like it to. You could use a few catch phrases to try to encapsulate it, but this wouldn’t be Zen. It defies doctrinal teachings and can’t even be described accurately through a list of sutras or rules. There are no “commandments,” such as we are used to in the Judeo-Christian religions.

Nonetheless, Zen asks us to give our “natural, or original face” to the world, and not an egoic mask. It is perhaps in learning how to be authentic through and through that we start to realize what Zen really is. Zen even frowns on anyone who has concrete answers to life’s biggest questions – about God, life after death, our own mortality, etc. Zen Master Taisen Deshimaru once said, “It is impossible to give a definite answer to those questions, unless you suffer from a major mental disorder.

The more important focus in Zen is to ask the right questions. The answers are secondary, because these only come, very personally, and uniquely to each person as they quiet their minds and begin to return to their original state of being.

This is a marked difference from the Western viewpoint. We are trained from our earliest years to seek more, try harder, and work as hard as we can to achieve some finite goal. Then, after achieving all the material success offered by the world and the sweat and toil of these endeavors, we discover that we still aren’t happy. Zen would suggest this is because we have erroneously attempted to “add more,” instead of stripping away the artifice.

Zen Mountains Quote

This difference can be demonstrated in the story of Dogen Kigen (道元希玄) who was disturbed by the Tendai concept of “original enlightenment.” He wanted to understand this concept fully – one which was taught by the Buddha himself.

The Buddha believed that enlightenment is inherent in all beings – any sentient creature has the ability to achieve this state. But Kigen wondered why, if all people were already enlightened, then why do they continue to seek enlightenment? He could not find the answer within the Tendai school of Buddhism, so he went looking for it somewhere else.

He ended up studying Rinzai Zen with the famous Zen teacher, Eisai’s disciple, Myozen. Here Dogen became disenchanted with Myozen’s tactic of relying heavily on koans to teach enlightenment. These are mental puzzles meant to force or shock the mind into enlightenment.

Kigen finally ended up in the Soto school (曹洞宗) of Zen, Zazen, or sitting meditation. This practice, Shikantaza, or “just sitting” was the vehicle of Buddha‘s Awakening. It is the essence of Soto Zen. In this practice, there is no goal to be attained beyond the practice itself. Unlike the Western idea of doing more, getting more, or ‘being’ more, in Soto Zen, you don’t do anything but sit.  You only worry about experiencing the present moment fully. You become aware of every action and thought in the here and now. You are acutely aware, you might say.

As Zen Master Taisen Deshimaru once said, “Zazen has no object, it is purposeless, it only brings us back to ourselves.” One doesn’t need to worry about Satori (Japanese word for enlightenment).

Strangely though, in doing less, we experience more. We get to know our “original face” in experiencing emptiness. Westerners find this so difficult to do because there is no goal. We don’t “try.” If anything, we must learn to “un-try.”

As Zen master, Taisen Deshimaru said: “By simply sitting, without looking for any goal or any personal benefit, if your posture, your breathing and your state of mind are in harmony, you will understand the true Zen; you will understand the Buddha’s nature.

Zen practiced in this way returns us to our original condition, and this changes our lives in ways that are almost indescribable.

We learn who we really are, and what we really desire (which is almost never what you think it will be.) We give up cultural, religious, nationalistic, and other presuppositions about who we should be. We are free to experience more joy, because we accept ourselves as we are, not as an artificial person trying to be “worthy” of our parents, our peers, our bosses, our romantic partners, our children, or even our false selves.

Zen maintains that we are “not one” and “not two,” i.e., “positionless position,” where “not two” signals a negation of the stance that divides the whole into two parts, i.e., dualism, while “not one” designates a negation of this stance when the Zen practitioner dwells in the whole as one, while suspending judgment in meditation, i.e., non-dualism – but all of this is only realized in doing less and sitting, in being in Zazen.

We learn that most of the “action” we take in life is busy work. It is movement without cause, and without need. It is wasted effort. We say we don’t have time, but in Zazen we find that to be patently untrue. All we have is now, and in that moment, there is no time. This happens in real ways, not just conceptual ones.

Escape

People magically start solving their own problems because we stop trying to fix them for them. We also stop creating as many of our own problems, because we don’t act from the egoic impetus that forces us out into the world to act in disingenuous ways. We also are less concerned with taking actions to please others’ egos, and learn when to take true action, guided by our higher selves. We get more and more comfortable with allowing life to unfold, rather than having to force it into the tiny compartmentalized sections that make our egos feel they have control.

Zen offers the perfection of personhood. Maybe this brings us closer to our Godliness, or maybe it just means we are less flawed as men and women, but we begin to cherish simplicity and calm, instead of chasing after chaos.  Zazen (just sitting) changes everything.

Read More At: TheMindUnleashed.com

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The Gift Of Truth, The Gift Of Friendship

TheRoadTruthFriendship
Source: QuotesGram.com

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 17, 2017

“The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.”
– Socrates

It certainly seems these days that not a moment goes by without someone having some sort of disagreement.  Not that people should always agree about everything, that’s not the point.  Disagreements come in all shapes and forms, just like people do.  With that said, it seems like a lot of the disagreements that abound nowadays regard a certain section of the populace’s ceaseless push to inculcate their beliefs on others, regardless of the consequences.

There seems to be two prevailing schools of thought out there regarding how to handle these situations.  When aiding others in their search for truth, the initial school of thought [non-conformists] doesn’t mind when other individuals ask them questions about beliefs and ideas discussed.   The second group [conformists] takes downright offense to anyone questioning them on anything.  The former seeks to help the individual arrive at their own truth; the latter seeks to be the high priest, just like those of ancient times, who controlled the free flow of certain information.

This particular trend of individuals not wanting to be questioned seems to be growing in quite a few circles.  Individuals who do wish to carry out further inquiry to seek firmer ground have nigh no options when speaking to closed-minded conformists because ultimately with a conformist, it’s their way or the highway.  Ironically, what is happening to those who seek firmer ground is not unlike what happened to the “Father of Philosophy,” Socrates, over two millennia ago.

Socrates was feared because he wasn’t afraid of questioning an individual’s beliefs about any given subject, similar to individuals today who question the official narrative on myriad issues.  In parallel fashion to modern conformists, in Socrates’ time the ultimate conformists of the time – as with much of history – was the state.  This see saw bout of ideals that took place back then still takes place now as we can see.  For all intents and purposes, because of his very ideals, Socrates is the Godfather of Non-conformity.  Socrates is the living definition of a question mark.

With the Socratic Method – of querying deeply into the subject – Socrates would begin to dissect an individual’s paradigm and those inherent flaws if any, usually in the realms of justice and goodness.  Because of Socrates’ method, many times the paradigms individuals had – inculcated by the state and by religion – would drastically shift or disintegrate altogether, and begin something anew.  This lead the state to lash out against him for questioning the system, particularly the “might makes right” the state was notorious known for, and eventually got him executed.

The state feared that the changes Socrates’ was bringing about in the populace would continue to spread, and from their tyrannical point of view they could not allow that.  Thankfully though, most of what he was able to accomplish still echoes to this day – even to this very post, thousands of years later.

In similar fashion, nowadays, people who push conformity are doing themselves and the other individuals a great disservice.  This is because individuals pushing conformity are: [1] not being open minded, thus [2] not allowing themselves to grow by being able to see another individual’s point of view, whether it is true or not.  Further, by attempting to force conformity on others they are [3] taking away a terrific learning opportunity from individuals truly seeking answers to poignant questions, and [4] in the worst case, these conformists are even losing relationships because of fear of the ego being overridden, as well as their beliefs possibly being shown to be made of hot air.  All of this stands against the very nature of free-flowing inquiry.

Keen conversations of proactive mental discernment should have a certain flow, like a see saw, a back and forth between [like or unlike] minds.  However, what is taking place is far from such a common sense and proactive approach.  The talks that are taking place currently between conformists and non-conformists echo a societal instability brought about by the conformist that will only exacerbate with time.

Intricately, this particular issue is touched upon in the thought-provoking book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki, who cautions individuals on this very subject:

“Try not to force your idea on someone but rather think about it with him.  If you feel you have won the discussion, that is also the wrong attitude.  Try not to win in the argument; just listen to it; but it is also wrong to behave as if you had lost.  Usually when we say something, we are apt to try to sell our teaching or force our idea.”[1]

In other words, allow others the freedom to make choices, to find their own path – to make mistakes.  That is one of the best ways individuals grow, by learning from their choices. However, forcing opinions and/or beliefs on others is diametrically opposed to all that is good and sensible.    Moreover, not only is overriding someone’s freedoms rather inhuman, or conformist to say the least, but it goes directly against the very idea of Freedom and its downright tyrannical.  In contrast, if conformists would opt to listen to others, as happens in free-flowing conversations of open-minded individuals, those pushing their beliefs and agendas would come to an understanding as to why the other individual feels reticent to the particular issue.  That simple step can help magnitudes in understanding where another person is coming from and why the other person feels as they feel.  A conformist’s conversations never even get that far.  Ironically, that would also be the place where arguably most progress could be made.

If inquiring individuals who wish to engage in mental discernment are not allowed their own personal moment of clarity – of piercing through the veil – they will not own the moment – know the truth – but merely borrow another person’s footsteps as their own.  Such an instance robs the individuals of making great progress in their strides for the truth and thus leaves them at square one.

When someone is forced to intellectually conform they are not allowed the freedom to philosophize – to seek wisdom.  Philosophy is crucial, for it literally means the love of wisdom.  How is an individual ever going to gain insights, journey to wisdom, unless they are allowed or even urged to ask questions?

As modern philosopher Peter Kreeft Ph.D. warned in his Philosophy 101 By Socrates:

“If we do not philosophize, if we do not question appearances, if we are satisfied with whatever makes us feel happy, we will never know whether we are being deceived about who we are and what level of our being is being satisfied.”[2]

An individual that is not allowed to hone their senses and polish their intuition will not have the opportunity to learn to see the forest for the trees.  If said individual merely accepts the authoritarian conformist’s attitudes they will suffer in many ways.  These inquiring individuals will have a harder time – or nigh impossible time – figuring out deception [as we are seeing nowadays]; these individuals won’t be able to figure out a well argued argument based on facts and logic from outright speculation or downright lies; these genuinely curious individuals will also not be able to become as robust and self sufficient as possible as they could be in this coming age of [dis]information.  Such an individual will be just like a boat in the ocean with a busted sail that is drifting aimlessly directly into an eternal storm.

That is why it’s imperative as individuals to help others realize their full potential as they seek truth and growth within our world.  As other individuals grow, they will share what made them change in positive fashion.  And as we learn from them, we can learn as well, and it begins a self reinforcing process in which the rising tide lifts all ships.

Ruminating a bit deeper into this entire conundrum, maybe this issue is about more than truth though.  Perhaps there’s more on the line than meets the eye.  What seems to be missing to some extent, in some individuals at least, is simply the ability for them to be caring human beings, regardless of beliefs.  A truly caring, wholesome individual will not simply railroad someone else because they believe something different or refuse to believe them.

It seems that following a personal philosophy of seeking personal growth through an attempted mastery of your mental and spiritual wellbeing seems like a prudent choice to say the least.  And personal growth involves more than just attaining truth or strengthening beliefs.

Observing the words of Kreeft once more:

“Wisdom is more than knowledge.  Knowing all facts in a library does not make you wise.  Wisdom is a knowledge not just of facts but of values, of what is humanly important; and it is a knowledge that is a lived, that is learned by experience and lived out in experience.”[3]

When conformists push their ideals and beliefs onto inquiring individuals, they take away the opportunity for those individuals to have meaningful experiences for growth and self-development, which includes more than simple truths or beliefs.  Those instances may never take place again. Individuals that are not allowed to live to their fullest extent will only realize a fraction of the capability they would otherwise be able to achieve if they were allowed to venture upon their personal road less traveled – their individual journey.

Those who are allowed to gain personal insights on their road to self mastery will not only grow profoundly but will also develop a more robust Socratic Philosophy, just like the Greeks did in ancient times.

In ancient times:

“The Greeks became the world’s greatest philosophers partly because…they learned to question appearances to find something more, some hidden reality behind the appearances.”[4]

Such is the reason why appearances, beliefs and supposed facts must always be questioned.  For if they are not, what might be hidden will never rise to the surface and will not be able to be seen in pure darkness.  Truth is the only light beam that disintegrates the shadows.  And the only way to attain truth is for individuals to hone their inner fire, their inner light.

Touching upon this very concern, award winning teacher, advocate of self-directed learning and of individual freedom, John Taylor Gatto urged in his landmark book Dumbing Us Down:

“People have to be allowed to make their own mistakes or to try again, or they will never master themselves, although they may well seem to be competent when they have in fact only memorized or imitated someone else’s performance.  Success in my practice involves challenging many comfortable assumptions about what is worth learning and out of what material a good life is fashioned.”[5]

Questioning our conformable assumptions – our beliefs – about what is worth learning – for each individual – and bring about most growth is what this entire conundrum is about.  That is why it is crucial that:

“One should not present others with ready-made answers, preach to them, or only make them memorize things.  One needs to activate them.  They should figure things out.  The ambition can even be to liberate them.”[6]

To help individuals achieve total freedom – physically, spiritually, psychologically, emotionally and mentally – they need to be encouraged to walk their own path, learn their own lessons – find their own wisdom.

If individuals aren’t allowed to grow, or choose not to, their mental faculties will atrophy, like someone who uses crutches constantly has their muscles atrophy from disuse.

As friends, colleagues, or simply caring human beings, perhaps it is imperative not to worry only about our subjective ideas, beliefs, or even outright facts.  What’s important is helping the other individual wherever they may need help, along their road, so they can then better understand whatever it is that they seek knowledge in.  What got them to their current point in life is vastly different to what got you to yours.  In like fashion, what gets them to the truth will most likely be vastly different than what got you to it.

Allowing other individuals the opportunity for growth is one of the greatest gifts we can give to another human being in their journey.  Along this journey, other individuals may at times need help.  Walk along side them, as long as they need, and help them when possible.  But remember, their life is their journey.

While your paths may cross time and again, ultimately an individual’s journey will be a rather unique and authentic experience.  Along this path, the side of the road will surely be rife with random rocks lacking meaning.  But now and again, among/amidst the ruble, an individual’s curiosities will be sparked by sparkles of truth, and they will find gratifying gems.  These are the very gems of wisdom that will push individuals further down their path to intellectual treasure, further towards their adventure for truth – towards individual growth.

Ultimately, what another individual does is up to them, for its their life, their freedom, their choice.  However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help them along that journey. Just help them in any way you can, especially if they implore you for help.  That’s what friendship is all about. That’s what being a caring human being is all about.

And maybe, just maybe, one day these individuals will realize that it was you whose left some of those gems along their road, and that they’ve been given a gift, and that it’s been there all along, just waiting for the right moment.

And the right moment is now.

Give them that gift.
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Footnotes:

[1] Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, p. 108.
[2] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Philosophy 101 by Socrates – An Introductory To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology, p. 74.
[3] Ibid., p. 10.
[4] Ibid., p. 19.
[5] John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling, p. xxxv.
[6] Tommi Juhani Hanhijarvi Ph.D., Dialectical Thinking – Zeno, Socrates, Kant, Marx, p. 32.
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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and 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, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly 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 own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

March Book Haul 2017

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TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 6, 2017

This month there were some serendipitous finds within the realm of books and reading that help feed the addict’s voracious hunger.  The topics are wide in scope as they are intriguing, and have made for some thought-provoking reading when I’ve had the time.

#1: The Nuclear Axis: Secret Collaboration Between West Germany & South Africa by Zdenek Cervenka & Barbara Rogers

The title says it all. This book details the connection between West Germany and South Africa, which is actually more disturbing than at first blush.  The book also delineates which other countries were involved in this fiasco besides South Africa, and shows that Germany, who went on record never to create nuclear weapons post World War 2, became in fact a de-facto nuclear power.  Then again, it shouldn’t be shocking considering that Germany’s attempted world domination in three previous instances.

#2:  Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee’s Wisdom For Daily Living by Bruce Lee

Knowing that Bruce Lee is the epitome of Individuality, reading about him has been something that I’ve wanted to do for quite some time.

This book has been an inspiring read.  Due to its format, the book can be read straight through, or just broken up into small pieces given that it’s not a book which builds on itself like most non-fiction books.  For me the latter method has worked better.

Usually just slice off a few pages on a daily basis as the aphorisms give one much to ponder about in unexpected ways.  Granted, some of the aphorisms are fairly straight forward, but there’s plenty of insights to be had if one remains open minded.

#3Culture As History: The Transformation Of American Society In The Twentieth Century by Historian Warren Susman

Wishing to learn more about the change culture American culture has gone through, this book felt like a natural pick considering it was mentioned in Susan Cain’s Quiet – The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking.  In Quiet, Cain mentions how in her book Culture As History historian Susman covers the transition between the culture of character to a culture of personality.  Seeing the results of this change in modern times, thought it prudent to go back in time and see where society began changing.  Predictably, there was serious social engineering and propaganda taking place to bring this about.   I am definitely looking forward to research this topic further down the line.

#4:  The War Of Art: Break Through The Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles  Steven Pressfield

This book barely became known to me a few weeks ago.  Being the book-addict that I am, initially, I told myself not to purchase this or any other book for that matter until catching up on some reading, but after about a week of pondering, I just couldn’t resist.  This merits a shout out to all bodacious bloggers that feed that addiction!  [If you got time and want to check out another fellow wordpress blogger on all things writing, click this link to check out Calliope Writing]

This book is like the Art Of War but doused with much inspiration and creativity.  If there’s even one cell of creativity within you, ruminate upon getting this book.

#5:  Speed: Facing Our Addiction To Fast & Faster – And Overcoming Our Fear Of Slowing Down by Dr. Stephanie Brown Ph.D.

This book covers society’s addiction to living at the vanguard at Warp 9.  This book brings about quite a few different concerns, especially considering that a sizeable portion of society follows the actions noted in this book to a tee, particularly the younger generations.  If you have young ones or know of anybody that might be plugged in to the matrix 24/7 so to speak, considering having them get this book.  There’s a review of it here.

#6:  UFOs for the 21st Century Mind by Richard Dolan

If you’ve ever wondered about where to start regarding the abstruse subjects of UFOs, START HERE.  Even if you have, this book still offers a lot of value given the severity of the subject.  Having read dozens of books on this subject, many books usually end up leaving the reader wanting more.  Additionally, there really isn’t anything as comprehensive and detailed as this.  The book is sourced to the hilt, is written in an easy to follow manner and considers a serious topic in a sobering and yet thought provoking way.  There’s a review that was written on this here.

#7J.R.R. Tolkien’s: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter

Having binged on many Tolkien books in February, and having heard from John Taylor Gatto that reading many biographies allows individuals the foresight to see things they might have not seen, thought getting this book would be a prudent choice.  Haven’t delved into it, but hopefully am able to within the next month or so.

#8:  The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

Along the same lines as the above, this book was purchased in order to brush up a bit on one of the Founding Fathers through the autobiographical lens.  It’s definitely fascinating getting an inner look at one of the people responsible for helping create America.  It helps put things into perspective in a way that history books lack.   Review will come up soon.

#9:  The Elements Of Style [4th Edition] by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White

This book was purchased with the intention to grow and learn as a writer.  Being an autodidact and seeking to teach myself more on this lengthy subject, this seemed like a prudent place to start.  BOY WAS IT WORTH IT.  The book, although small in size, offers much knowledge to glean from it.  If you’re a writer, you need to get this book for the tenets within it will undoubtedly help you grow.  That said, there is a newer version of this book available.  Found this out about a week after purchasing the first one, go figure!  Given that it isn’t in my hands yet, I can’t vouch for it, YET, but once it gets here it will be read and reviewed in due time.

Why read a book similar to one just read?  Great question.  Because the 4th Edition of Elements of Style offered so much, I thought that if the new book followed through and offer even more information than the previous book, why not give it a gander?  Might end up gifting the other one out to a friend, but either way, the investment will be well placed.

#10:  The Book Of Virtues: A Treasure Of Great Moral Stories by William J. Bennett

A veritable treasure trove of insights on virtue from countless angles, this book homes in on many of the core tents that used to get taught in society but don’t get taught as much nowadays.  It seems like a great place to seek historical sources that showcase virtues within literature.

#11:  Sekret Machines: Gods: Volume 1 Of Gods Man & War by Tom DeLonge & Peter Levenda

I reviewed this book a few weeks ago and predictably, it is being censored by Amazon, as per usual.  If you want to read how to verify the censorship, read the next bracketed paragraph, and if not, just skip it for the synopsis.

[This can be verified simply.  Click on the link above, scroll down to the reviews, and then take a look at the two pictures to the right of customers who took pictures of the book.  The picture on the right under the name ZyPhReX, was the review done by me.  As you can see from the picture, I gave the book 3 stars.  Now, when you go back into the original book link, and click to check on all reviews that gave the book 3 stars, my review will NOT be showing whatsoever.  My contention is that not only is my review critical of this book in sobering fashion, but it also outlines alternative books to this topic, and that’s something the consortium hates to hear.  Regardless of the reason, the Book Review being censored is ludicrous since it follows all guidelines by Amazon, and the review is even shown under the picture.  And no, this isn’t the first time and its happened and doubt it will be the last.]

My original thoughts were that since Peter Levenda is a top-notch researcher, of whom many books I own, and seeing as DeLonge seems to have a genuine curiosity on the subject, the book might be a good read.  Boy was I wrong!

Although the book does feature intriguing information, the authors paint a picture that’s quite bleak of humanity, even using the parlance of “Cargo Cult” for humans and even go on to write about humanity as if wholly incapable, even there’s plethora of evidence showing otherwise.

Moreover, the authors take a very narrow point of views in explaining UFOs, which is quite detrimental.  Not that beings from another place visiting the Earth is out of the question, far from it, but to use a one dimensional approach to explain a multi-dimensional issue served to make this book a catastrophe.

As I noted in the review of this book:

“… one particular point that was quite disconcerting is the fact that the authors take a unilateral point of view of making it seem like UFOs can only be explained by the alien mythos.  While this is certainly one possibility, and one with some solid grounding, it is not the only one, and not by far.  Dr. Joseph P. Farrell, Walter Bosley, and others have come up with an equally arguable case that argues for human ingenuity as one possible way to explain some UFOs.”

Lastly, a rather unexpected find was being able to get almost 20 National Geographic magazines, each for 10 cents at the library.  I am sharing this in hopes for people to realize that sometimes at local libraries there are incredible deals if you happen to venture there at the right time.

That said, did any of you purchase any intriguing books recently?  If so, what were they?  I am always genuinely curious as to what other individuals read and find intriguing. A significant portion of what I choose to read is because of what other people have made known to me, either directly or indirectly, and  this is my attempt to pay it forward.

Hope you are all well and have a great week.

___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and 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, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly 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 own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.