Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm No Philosopher...

I'm no philosopher. As an adolescent, the nuns in my Catholic school despaired of me. I only took one philosophy course in college, then retreated thankfully to studying easier stuff like biology, chemistry and statistics. I have occasionally read a work about philosophy or religion but I seemed always either not to understand them or, if I do understand them, not to agree. The single exception is a slim volume of "The Way" by Lao Tzu, to which my first husband introduced me; it seemed actually to make some sense. So, recently, when a young friend of mine gave me this book, I was reluctant to crack the cover. I'm not really even sure why I did give it a try - it's on Oprah's reading list and, as I have never had time before or since retirement to watch Oprah, I was inclined to pooh-pooh it (and possibly her).

It's a good book. It's a very good book. In simple language that anyone can understand, Eckhart Tolle explains what consciousness is and how once you start on the road to being conscious, it expands your life. Drawing from religions as diverse as Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, Tolle shows how each has at its foundation people who saw the importance of "presence," and expressed it beautifully, each in his own tradition.

I haven't read the first book Tolle wrote, "The Power of Now," but this one is really useful, very simply written and yet presenting very complex concepts. I can't explain it nearly as well as he does - all I can do is recommend that you get a copy (it's in paperback now) and read it. I had to take it in little bites as the ideas were simply expressed but not simple ideas. I'm glad I did; I actually think I might enjoy philosophy if it were always so well expressed.

3 Comments:

Blogger Dagny said...

I am often reluctant to read books from the Oprah list. When I do, I usually discover that they are quite good books. Therefore, I might just have to check this one out.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008  
Blogger katiez said...

Like you, I would avoid it out of principle (Oprah's list). But it does sound intriguing...I'll tack it on my Amazon wish list for when I have time to read something other than the trash I read to put me to sleep....
Oh, and the nuns? They thought I should join them... Until I was a bit too convincing in my role as the atheist on a 'religion debaters panel' That got my parents called in...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Dagny, I have had the same experience now twice - she must have a knack for finding good books!

KatieZ, the nuns wanted me, too, until I was about 13 and started to question...

Thursday, September 18, 2008  

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