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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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: Validity In Interpretation by E.D. Hirsch

A Concise, Cogent & Comprehensive View Into Literary Interpretation

validityininterpretation
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
January 5, 2017

Validity In Interpretation by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. exegetes and distills the plethora of issues revolving around literary interpretation.

Hirsch deftly narrows down the truth behind the much confounding premise that truth lies within subjectivity.  The author logically shows how objectivity is not only attainable, but should be striven for even when individuals are told otherwise.

Admittedly, as a caveat, this book was quite arduous to read.  Its precision in analysis is highly reminiscent of some logic books read by myself.  The framework undertaken by the author provides him with an ironclad scaffolding for which to base his contention against the vacillating subjectivity of ‘truth’ within psychologism, historicism and more.

Hirsch undertakes the hermeneutic task of showing the reader why the meaning of a certain text and the significance of a text are different.  On one hand, the significance of a text changes within whichever context it resides in, while on the other hand the meaning of a text is static and unchanging.

As the author elucidates:

“…when we construe another’s meaning we are not free agents.  So long as the meaning of his utterance is our object, we are completely subservient to his will, because the meaning of his utterance is the meaning he wills to convey.  Once we have construed his meaning, however, we are quite independent of his will.  We do not have to accept any longer the values and assumptions he entertained.  We can relate his meaning to anything we want and value it as we please.”[1].

Ultimately, Hirsch confects a sagacious treatise on literary interpretation that is superb and incisive.  Those interested in literary interpretation should definitely consider implementing this into their individual repertoire.

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Source & Reference:

[1] E.D. Hirsch, Validity In Interpretation, pg. 142

 

Book Review: LBJ & The Conspiracy To Kill Kennedy – A Coalescence Of Interests by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell

lbjknd
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
November 22, 2016

LBJ & The Conspiracy To Kill Kennedy by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell is a landmark book into the conspiracy/coup d’etat that killed President Kennedy.

The main strength of this book is that it seeks to reverse engineer the threads of evil that wielded their ways in order to carry out one of the greatest conspiracies in modern times.

Without a doubt, this is a landmark book in every sense of the word.

In the nascent stage of this book Farrell makes it a point to lay the foundation for the methodology of the events that took place.  This helps the reader understand the angle he is going to take.

Beyond that, however, Farrell goes above and beyond what any average researcher does.  In his usual methodical, leave-no-stone-unturned fashion, Farrell not only analyzes the coalescence of interests that had a hand in the assassination – FBI, CIA, Banksters, Nazis, Masons, Mafia, Big Oil, The Military, The Secret Service – but further distills these to the deep core nexus that arguably played the most prominent roles in the assassination of President Kennedy.

Furthermore, and most importantly, Farrell, in harpoon-like fashion homes in on the most devious of all public players that played a notable role in the architecture of the conspiracy: Lyndon B. Johnson.

At minimum, the turn-coat and traitor Johnson cast his tentacles all over the official “investigation” derailing the possibility of any semblance of truth from rising to the foreground.

As Farrell notes:

“…it is certainly clear that Johnson, by his policies and behaviors after the assassination, acted as if he knew who was ultimately behind the murder, for at every turn, he acted in their interest as well as his own, in suppressing any evidence tending to incriminate him, or them.  Nowhere more did he do this more clearly than in his selection of those members of the Warren Commission itself.”[1]

What this book does is not only destroy the official story, which admittedly has been done by many other researchers, but also takes it a few steps beyond that into the realm of deeper and darker elements.  Elements that made it a point not only to carry out arguably the conspiracy of the century, but also transformed the consciousness of Americans and infused enough trauma into the social psyche the likes of which western society had not witness in modern times.  Such is the signature of those that slither behind the scenes.

With everything noted, and still so much left unsaid, everyone would be served well to read this book.  The value this book offers not only in understanding what took place that day, but the coup d’etat that took place  will help one understand why we are witnessing many of the issues we are in our society, and why things haven’t changed.  That alone should be reason enough, but the book offers countless more reasons for one to read it, as all of Farrell’s book do.

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Source:

[1] Dr. Joseph P. Farrell, LBJ & The Conspiracy To Kill Kennedy – A Coalescence Of Interests, pg. 285.

[Book Review] – Perfect Breathing by Al Lee & Don Campbell

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TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
July 16, 2016

Perfect Breathing by Al Lee & Don Campbell is an indispensible resource for individuals seeking to learn the intricacies of what the ‘perfect breath’ entails.

For me, the notion of ‘perfect breathing’ was rather intriguing at first blush for a variety of reasons.  The deeper one delves within the pages of this book, the easier it was to see the various ways individuals can end up carrying out imperfect breathing.

As the authors note:

“During times of stress – and that can be anything from lack of sleep, screaming kids, or a bad day at work to physical confrontations, overwork, or being chased by lions – we become shallow chest breathers.  Chest breathing stimulates the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response, a response we’ll speak of often.  It makes the body react as if it’s in a state of emergency and produces a buildup of stress-related chemicals such as adrenaline and lactic acid.  Researchers have found that prolonged shallow, rapid breathing – while necessary to protect us from immediate danger – can make us feel chronically anxious, fatigued, or disoriented.  Shallow breathing also contributes to stress-related and stress-affected disorders such as PMS, menstrual cramps, headaches, migraines, insomnia, high blood pressure, asthma, back pain, and allergies.”[1]

That passage resonated with me quite profoundly, because before knowing that, because of stress and a particular disease shallow breathing plagued me quite often.  Something else that bothered me often as well was holding my breath unknowingly in times of stress.

Fortuitously, the book also provides a kaleidoscope of breathing exercises that can help an individual breathe optimally.

Another small gem of information that’s shared by the authors regards one of the exercises suggested.  The authors suggest [what we’ll call the 2-1-2-1 breathing technique] inhaling for two seconds, holding breath for one second, exhaling for 2 seconds, and holding for one second, and repeating as needed.  This technique has been used by me for years now, while alternating with another one.

This was used in tandem with a modified  4-4-4-4 system, based on the suggestion of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, in his book On Combat.  Both breathing techniques help me greatly, except the later one helps me slow down not only my breath, but also helps slow down my mind a lot more which aids me personally in a variety of circumstances.  The instances will dictate what feels right at the time for me.

In any case, as the authors note about the 2-1-2-1 breathing technique:

“This exercise, as simple and innocuous as it seems, is the most important exercise to master.  Once you have developed the habit of slow, deep breathing and your body remembers that this is the natural way to breathe, it will slowly become a part of everything that you do.  It will become your “secret weapon” when you need an extra burst of energy; it will become your rock when you are feeling emotional shattered; and it will become a peaceful, quiet refuge at times when you need sanctuary.”[2]

As someone who’s used this technique and others more and more over time several times daily, the benefits have been quite great for myself as well as those friends of mine who also chose to use it.

The authors also showcase easily a few dozen references to studies conducted in respect to breathing, stress, and various other physiological issues.

In its totality, this book is a masterpiece in the art of breathing, and it should be highly considered by everyone, particularly those experiencing stress regularly, or disease.  Either way, the book has enough information for any individual to take advantage of this book.  And the best part about it is that its advice is free, and easy to follow.

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Sources:

[1] Al Lee & Don Campbell, Perfect Breathing, pg. 12-13.
[2] Ibid., pg. 53.

[Book Review] Emotions Revealed – Recognizing Faces & Feelings To Improve Communications & Emotional Life by Paul Ekman

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TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
July 5, 2016

Paul Ekman, who is also author of the landmark book Unmasking The Face – A Guide To Recognizing Emotions From Facial Expression, has been at the tip of the spear in regards to the topic of emotions and behavioral psychology.

In Emotions Revealed – Recognizing Faces & Feelings To Improve Communications & Emotional Life, Ekman speaks at length throughout the book about the extensive research he has conducted throughout his life in respect to the emotional behaviour individuals display, and also offers ways of ascertaining whether those individuals are carrying deceit or not.

The book Emotions Revealed couples extremely well with Unmasking The Face because the former provides ample emotional data for reading/understanding individual behavior, while the latter offers dozens of visual examples of these emotions – happiness, surprise, fear, anger, disgust and sadness.

Ekman in Emotions Revealed  helps individual glean information in a manner that is reasonable and easy to follow with the photographs used, and the exercises to carry out, which helps individuals seep within the mind of another potential person.  This aids individuals in the comprehension of how others would behave in many emotional-charged situations.

The author states in the preface to the second edition that his goal is to ‘help people improve four essential skills’, which are:

First, becoming more consciously aware of when you are becoming emotional, even before you speak or act.
Second, choosing how you behave when you are emotional, so you achieve your goals without damaging other people.
Third, becoming more sensitive to how others are feeling.
Fourth, carefully using the information you acquire about how others are feeling.

Knowing the goals the author had in the beginning of the book, it can be said without equivocation that the author did a trenchant job at fulfilling his goal.

Not only did Ekman provide individuals throughout the book with extensive data that merges with his central goals, but he also carries it out in a clear and direct manner.

This book is indispensible in the field of emotions and behavior and it is an essential tool to understanding how people behave.