Wednesday, October 17, 2012

G3 The Meaning of Your Life: Secular HELP for the Puzzled, Disappointed or Depressed

Title of the Book: The Meaning of Your Life: Secular HELP for the Puzzled, Disappointed or Depressed

Author: Marius Croeser

Publishing Company: Board of Mediators

Publishing Date: 2011

Other Works: None. This is the author's first book

ISBN: 978-0-9869530-0-2

Theme: 

(From page 11 of the book): "My intention was to write in order to meet the need, that I and others have felt, for a guide towards understanding personal meaning and to do so specifically wtihin a secular context. For those with whom I have dialogued, I sensed that life could be enriched by having, not an academic textbook, but rather (to use a metaphor my partner would appreciate) the necessary gardening tools to help meaning grow and flourish. The goal of this work then, is to give to you some of these important tools that may assist you with your meaning. This work is intended to be hopeful and helpful and it has been written primarily for the person who is asking questions about meaning. I expect you (as a sensitive or serious thinker) to have considered various answers to the problem of meaning by now. Perhaps your efforts have resulted in some feelings of puzzlement or even disappointment? My hope for you is that this book will help you to find healing (for any residual disappointment) and provide at least some answers to your questions.

Problem discussion:

I would guess that very often people don't think for themselves when it comes to finding meaning or other things, that we allow others in form of society or religion to control our thoughts. Those people that don't question religion are very unhappy individuals. (from page 53) "God is interwoven (part-and-parcel) with many a person's self identity. For these individuals, thinking about God is thinking about themselves; being critical of the God of organized religion then becomes a self-criticism of sorts."

Brief book summary:

Discover what you need to know about:
* Your life's meaning;
* Your purpose in life;
* Living freely without fear:
* Meaning outside of organized religion;
* Being liberated from guilt;
* Cultivating a healthy world view;
* Meaning and sexual fulfillment;
* How to triumph over life's apparent absurdity;
* Help for your anxiety and depressive thoughts;
* What Quantum Mechanics, Epigenetics and Information Theory can teach us about our meaning.

Thesis:

(from page 142) "Our certainty in life comes via our inheritance. We are not isolated individuals adrift in some mechanistic absurdity. We are an aspect of the whole of Reality and therefore we are part of the active movement of Reality. We are Reality's change agents! Our purpose is self mastery that leads each of us to effect harmonious changes to Reality. Our hope is in the possibility that the effects of change and harmony may be abundant, sufficient and infinite."

Main points:

The main focus that the book discusses is Quantum mechanics, religion, philosophy as well as Nietzsche. What the author always mentioned is that you're not alone in the world, to recognize and realize the agents that cause you to think the way they do, and that change is very possible.

Why its interesting and informative:

Don't let the butterfly cover fool you, because it fooled me, along with the summary. I thought I would be getting a book that can be easily read as well as understood, something in writing for the typical lay person. Instead, this book is philosophical, scientific and heavy. I admit that I didn't understand the science aspect of it, and wished I could have appreciated it, but not the case. I also would imagine that a lot of christians would find the book offensive because of what it says about God and other aspects, yet I hope if they decide to read the book, they would start thinking and questioning instead of writing this book off as something being sent by the devil.

Issues the book addresses:

The main issues it addresses is how certain things aren't helping us anymore and are in fact holding humanity back from flourishing and realizing potential. It addresses the role of religion as well as God and philosophy by Nietzsche as well as scientists like Bohm. I could imagine that this type of book will greatly affect the role of God and christianity, or that it could affect a person great deal in helping them change as well as hitting some nerves in the process.

Agree/Disagree:

A lot of things he has talked about are ones I had to struggle with throughout the whole year: not religion part, but a recognition that I should depend on myself to make myself happy or that I should change instead of depending on something else for a change. It also held up some of the views that I had such as being active in life instead of passive. While prayers and spirituality does help, action helps a lot more. I agree that people should be more concerned about the life they've lived instead of a place they'll go to when they die.

Sources:

I liked that most of the sources were foot notes instead of end notes. (Pet peeve is end notes because I have to stop reading, flip to the back page, read the end note then return to reading over and over again...) The sources can be thought of as secondary but they are current. There are some wikipedia and youtube videos, and a problem with that is perhaps they might be removed or something of the kind. I think in some cases teh author should have used texts to be on the safe side instead of Internet sites like wikipedia (in college we weren't allowed to use wikipedia for sources because it may not be accurate.)

Conclusion:

If you are unhappy and are open minded, (you need to be for this book,) and have tried to read various self help religious texts or others and they didn't work, I might recommend this book because it will help you look at yourself in a different way and perhaps will help you break away from thoughts that cause depression.

Quick notes: I won this book on goodreads.com thus this review will appear in its entirety on goodreads as well as the blog.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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