7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschooling Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts

“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Real books disgust the totalitarian mind because they generate uncontrollable mental growth – and it cannot be monitored.”[Bold Emphasis Added]
– John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, [1]

AMind

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
February 15, 2020

Education is the most vital component of an individual’s repertoire.  Without it, the individual is like a ship without a rudder, drifting aimlessly amidst the seas of life.

For that reason it is imperative for individuals to make sure that they continue to educate themselves, no matter what stage of life they are in.  This is why the following list has been composed.

Each of the books that have been reviewed below offers abundant wisdom from which to learn from.  Plus, considering we are in an age where public schooling is about conformity, division, dumbing people down, and more, it would be shrewd for individuals to take their own education into their hands.

If you wish to read more about the books, click the link on the book titles to heads towards the reviews.

Book #1Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D

Out of all of these 7 books, this is easily the most demanding one, but this book also has the capacity to net the most impact in your life given that logic may, and should, be employed at any given moment in life.  That is because there is no area of life that Logic cannot help in.

The lessons of this book will be useful every single day.  Although requiring considerable effort, the book is a much easier read than Aristotle’s Organnon, while still covering the core dynamics in a pragmatic format.

Book #2The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Grammar, Logic & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.

In the past, the Trivium was taught in classical education, and was the foundation upon the rest of an individual’s education stemmed from.  That is no longer the case however.  Because of that it is imperative that books discussing classical education such as The Trivium be given serious consideration since the Trivium is one of the leading reasons why education decades and centuries ago was vastly superior than it is now.

In fact, think of these names: Leonardo Da Vinci, Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Ayn Rand, Nikola Tesla, Sir Isaac Newton, and countless others.  What do they all have in common?  They are some of the most brilliant minds in human history, and none of them came out of a modern public schooling system.

As Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence note in their sobering, and yet noteworthy book Rotten To The (Common) Core:

“None of them attended a twentieth or twenty-first century American public schooling system.

None of them was taught by a teacher that had to obtain a teaching “credential” at an accredited – that is to say, officially “approved” – state or private school.  Indeed, some of them positively bucked the modern system by having been “homeschooled” by persons running small “schools” out of their homes.”[2]

Translation: all of those individuals became some of the greatest minds by employing traditional methods of education, methods that have been outright siphoned from public schooling, which is why I often make the distinction in separating public schooling from education, as the late Gatto so incisively stated, as they are not the same thing.

Just as a house cannot be complete without a foundation, an individual’s education, no matter the age, cannot be complete without knowledge of the Trivium.  The Trivium encompasses all aspects of grammar, logic and rhetoric.  This book is a thorough presentation on traditional grammar, which is vastly different than what modern schooling teaches, fallacies, syllogisms, a solid logic introduction, enthymemes, poetics, figurative language , all with a hefty dose of examples from which to learn from.

Book #3How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren.

The title of this book is a misnomer, and many people overlook it because they ‘know’ how to ‘read’ a book.  However, reading isn’t the main focus of this book; it is information extraction and retention – getting the most out of the book, which is much more different than simple reading.

If there is one book you read, make it this one because you read everyday in life, and the more information we are subjected to, the more we will read.  Knowing how to get the most out of everything we read, every article, every study, every book, and every story and so on, will only help you get ahead of the curve.

Simply stated: this is a must-read book.  In fact, it would be a mistake not to have it because not following many of these tenets would mean an individual is only attaining fractional understanding of all subjects.  The book really is downright crucial and I cannot recommend it highly enough.  It’s been popular for decades, and for good reason.

Book #4Philosophy 101 – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

If you want an easy-to-follow introduction to philosophy that is accessible to everyone but also stimulating enough to get your brain cells churning, get this book.  It’s a refreshingly unique way of looking at philosophy and should not be overlooked.  It is also much shorter than the previous three books above, and is incredibly accessible.

Book #5
The Complete Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston.

This book hones your critical thinking skills in a very incredible manner.  Seeing the failure of modern schooling, one would figure for a public school system that continues to fail, critical thinking would be at the top of the agenda to implement within public schooling. Such is not the case though, wherein this book comes in.

This book is affordable, has ample exercises, uses a very logical and reasonable approach that builds on itself and is easy to follow.  It’s complex enough, but not overly so.  It’s a book that’s referenced often and highly valuable.

Book #6
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi.

Now, this book by Cioffi brings a fascinating and refreshing outside-of-the-box perspective to argumentation to boot.  The author takes a rather unique approach I’ve never seen before, and one I wished was available in public schooling, but of course isn’t.  The book covers everything from essays, thesis, creative writing, paragraph design, audience considerations, writing prompts, fallacies and more.  If you’re a regular writer of any type, even if it’s not argumentation per se, I would still say this is a must read.  Or at least consider it.  As part of a homeschooling and self-directed course, this is definitely a must have though.

Book #7: Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle.

And here comes the curveball: learning Logic through fiction!

This one’s an outside-of-the-box suggestion, but for an incredibly reason.  Sherlock Holmes is easily best book from which to learn critical thinking in fiction form.  Nothing else comes even close.  If you have any suggestions to add, or better, I would really like to hear them because I am always open-minded and would like to read similar books in fictional form since it allows a reader to enjoy leisure time, while also honing the mind simultaneously.

If you haven’t read any of the Arthur Conan Doyle books, Holmes uses his usual analytical approach that’s incisive in logic and precise in detail to solve every single case he ends up getting involved in.  Some cases offer more for learning than others, but the book as a whole is something every person should read give that not only does it teach you Logic in a roundabout way, but it does so in an interesting way, too.

What we as individuals accomplish in life, especially if you want to live life to the fullest, is directly proportional to what we know and are capable of.  Without robust capabilities, an individual is like a leaf in the wind, merely flowing aimlessly in the wind without a chosen direction.

This is why it’s crucial to make sure your education stands on firm ground, and you are proactive about seeking it as well.  Without a proactive approach, we’ll only achieve a portion of what we could attain in life, merely growing into a fraction of our true boundless potential, thus not living life to the fullest.

It’s never too late to be proactive about your education.

Seek to better yourself, every single day; every single step, every single breath.

Seek to learn every day, from every person, in every instance, through every breath, in every way.

Not only will that help solidify your intellectual faculties in an ironclad manner, but it will also imbue your life with more meaning than you could ever imagine.

Life never stops moving forward, and neither should you.
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[1] John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 82.
[2] Dr. Joseph P. Farrell, Rotten To The(Common) Core, p 4.

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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  BreakawayIndividual.com
___________________________________________________________

Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Are You Living Your Dreams?
What Is The Difference Between Education & Public Schooling?
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture
Philosophy 101 by Socrates – An Introduction To Phylosophy Via Plato’s Apology By Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers By Frank L. Cioffi
A Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking by David Morrow
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Mainstream Media Control
Socratic Logic V 3.1 by Peter Kreeft PhD
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Mary Joseph Ph.D.
Why Read The Classics?
Getting Things done by David Allen
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan

Book Review – Philosophy 101 By Socrates – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
February 13, 2020

My introduction to Peter Kreeft’s work took place via his magnum opus Socratic Logic – A Logic Text Using Socratic Method, Platonic Questions, And Aristotelian Principles Edition 3.1With that book, Kreeft set the bar extremely high for his own work given the phenomenal job he did in the execution and importance of that book.

Philosophy 101 By Socrates – An Introduction To Plato’s Apology though not as large in scope, is still a seminal job in introducing individuals to philosophy.  In essence, what Kreeft creates is what one may call a ‘user-friendly’ guide to Philosophy.

Philosophy 101 by Socrates is distilled to serve as a very pragmatic introduction for individuals to venture forth into many philosophical subjects from a kaleidoscope of angles.  Additionally, not only is it possible to use this book as a portable classroom given the pragmatic way that it is structured, but it can be useful for homeschooling and even college classrooms.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “Why is Philosophy even important?”  Excellent question.   The reason Philosophy is important is because as Kreeft himself argues, Philosophy takes no prisonersPhilosophy questions everything.  Like a curious kid asking ‘why’ in their nascent stages, Philosophy seeks truth – not belief – within every crevice it dares to delve into.

Kreeft shows how Socrates’ philosophy operates in the following passage:

“Socrates is the apostle of reason.  He demands that we give logical reasons, grounds for beliefs, and follow the logical consequences of our beliefs, taken as premises or hypotheses, to their logical conclusions through a number of logically compelling steps.”[1]

Such incisiveness will undoubtedly get to the core of the issue far more often than not if employed correctly.

And yet, as Kreeft implies, philosophy isn’t an antithesis to certain disciplines, such as religion.  In fact, Kreeft goes to show how faith and reason can coexist if used trenchantly:

“One of the main functions of philosophy as practiced by Socrates is a critique of religion, finding reasons for (or against) faith.  These reasons often claim only probability rather than certainty; and even when they claim certainty, they may be mistaken for man is not God and infallible; but it is surely a gain to use binocular vision, reason and faith, and to make at least somewhat clearer and/or more reasonable the ideas most people find the most important in their lives.”[2]

As an introduction to philosophy and Socrates simultaneously, one would be hard-pressed to find a better book than this.  In that, Kreeft does an exceptional job in showing how Philosophy and Socrates interweave, especially given how Socrates planted many of the seeds that helped become the foundation through  his life’s work.

Employing Plato’s Apology as the foundation of the book, Kreeft undertakes the task of showing the many ways philosophy can be understood, by using forty different descriptions of the subject.  It was particularly interesting seeing the range of descriptions that Kreeft was able to come up with and how he was able to seamlessly show how apt those descriptions were to the act of philosophizing and broadening an individual’s understanding of a wide array of subject matter.

Subsequent to that, Kreeft gives readers a cursory analysis of parts of the Euthyphro, as well as Phaedo, which are both dialogues by Plato, the latter of which details Socrates’ last days.  These dialogues help undergird the book with a wider foundation of Philosophy that merge swiftly with the rest of the book.

One of the main strengths of this book is its ability to narrow complex topics into practical – but not overly simplified – gems of information that the reader can learn from easily.  By contrast, many other philosophy books tend to overcomplicate philosophy, which turn readers off, or to oversimplify philosophy, which ends up not showcasing the latitude and incisiveness that philosophy can employ when used effectively.

This practical primer of philosophy also helps readers realize the importance of the art of cross-examination, which Socrates is the father of.  Coupled with that, and more importantly, by the very precise cross-examination techniques Socrates employs in philosophy, Kreeft helps readers gain an understanding of the thorough depth that philosophy will venture to in search for truth and the process that it employs in seeking to achieve that.  Philosophy 101 can only strengthen an individual’s repertoire.

Plain and simple, this book by Kreeft should be an integral component in every single individual’s education.  What the book offers is a template for what’s possible by the application of philosophy in a sound manner, and not having knowledge of these skills in life emblematic of a surgeon at the operating room without a scalpel.

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Sources & References:

[1] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Philosophy 101 By Socrates – An Introduction To Plato’s Apology, p. 104.
[2] Ibid., p. 141

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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  BreakawayIndividual.com

_________________________________________________________________________________

Suggested Reading & Viewing:

Are You Living Your Dreams?
How TV Robs You Of Your Life
How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
The Minds Of Men [Documentary] | Social Engineering & Mind Control
Manipulation Of Media Messages & Astroturf by Sharyl Attkisson
Mainstream Media Control
Socratic Logic V 3.1 by Peter Kreeft PhD
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Mary Joseph Ph.D.
Why Read The Classics?
Getting Things done by David Allen
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
The Catastrophic Decline of Public Schooling: 21 Facts Why School Performs Poorly
Mindset Musings#1: Venturing Outside Of Comfort Zones
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
Lesson’s From Orwell’s 1984
Against Public Schooling – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
Social Engineering 101
The Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses By Daniel Estulin
Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak & The Death Of Free Speech
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Social Engineering 101
Drilling Through The Core by Sandra Stotski & Contributors
What Is An Elite Curriculum?
Invisible Influence by Kevin Hogan

#Book Review: Everyday Tao – Living With Balance & Harmony by Deng Min-Dao | #SmartReads | #Balance | #Tao | #Mindset | #Mindfulness

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 22, 2019

Eastern philosophy is a rather intricate subject that has many different viewpoints.  This particular book couples well into those philosophies.

Everyday Tao – Living With Balance & Harmony by Deng Min-Dao is a very insightful book.

Split up into 15 different sections, Everyday Tao covers a variety of ways into which individuals are able to get in tune with the Tao.  The 15 sections are: nature, silence, books, strategy, movement, skill, craft, conduct, moderation, devotion, perseverance, teaching, self, simplifying and union.

Using Chinese ideograms, which contain inherent stories therein, the author brings about much meaning showing the reader what each ideogram breaks into and what insights can be had.

The way the book is set up, each individual insight covering no more than a page, makes this the type of book that can be read straight through, or on a day-by-day basis.  For me, the latter offered much enjoyment and meaning because I was able to digest and discern much of what the book provided and ponder it deeply therein without rushing.  I reference often when I feel my mind lacking a mindful approach in my every day endeavours.

Through and through, the book offers a no-nonsense approach into Taoist insights.  As someone who’s relatively new to Eastern Philosophy and am open minded about it, there was much to appreciate, regardless if one is locked within a particular paradigm or not.  This volume offers much value, and if you’re seeking more to read on Tao or Eastern Philosophy, do not hesitate – get this book.

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Suggested Reading & Viewing:

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Paradise Lost by John Milton
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Exploring J.R.R. Tokien’s The Hobbit by Corey Olsen Ph.D.
The Philosophy Of Tolkien – The Worldview Behind Lord Of The Rings by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue By Tolkien & Lewis by Louis Marko Ph.D.
Lord Of The Rings: How To Read J.R.R. Tolkien [Presentation]
The Vision Of Freedom That Tolkien Got & The West Forgot [Video]
Socrates Meets Kant by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Dialectical Thinking – Zeno, Socrates, Kant, Marx by Tommi Juhani Hanjijarvi Ph.D.
Confucius – The Analects by Raymond Dawson

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If you find value in this information, feel free to 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  BreakawayIndividual.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.

#Book Review: Confucius – The Analects by Raymond Dawson | #SmartReads | #Philosophy


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 11, 2019

Confucius – The Analects is a rather intriguing book since it aims to tackle information regarding the well known Confucius in a cogent manner.

The book is laid out in a fairly straight forward approach with no frills that’s an extremely quick read.

Within the introductory section, there is some background material featured, while later on the book features notes on particular translations the book offers.  Knowing how complex translations can be, it’s a well-thought out approach to delineate what the book means by each translated term, instead of assuming that the reader will know.  Not only that, certain words have various meanings, so to be able to narrow down with precision what was stated is greatly appreciated.

For individuals seeking veritable gems of Confucius, this book has dozens of them.

Reading this book will certainly help the individual realize how the culture was at the time, and why the information presented here was so vital to the upbringing and society in ancient China.

The totality of the book is seamlessly interwoven to give you everything you need for comprehension, while not an iota more.

Taking all into account the book definitely belongs in the libraries of individuals who value such knowledge with resounding depth.  Confucius was definitely a master of his craft, and this book exemplifies that quite trenchantly.

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Suggested Reading & Viewing:

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Paradise Lost by John Milton
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Exploring J.R.R. Tokien’s The Hobbit by Corey Olsen Ph.D.
The Philosophy Of Tolkien – The Worldview Behind Lord Of The Rings by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue By Tolkien & Lewis by Louis Marko Ph.D.
Lord Of The Rings: How To Read J.R.R. Tolkien [Presentation]
The Vision Of Freedom That Tolkien Got & The West Forgot [Video]
Socrates Meets Kant by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

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If you find value in this information, feel free to 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  BreakawayIndividual.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.

#Book Review: Socrates Meets Kant by Peter Kreeft Ph.D. | #SmartReads | #Philosophy


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 10, 2019

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

In his usual logical and deft way, Kreeft does a exemplary 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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Suggested Reading & Viewing:

The Catastrophic Decline Of Public Schooling: 21 Facts About Why Public Schooling Performs So Poorly
The Breakaway Guide To Censorship, Disinformation, Logical Fallacies & More
Piercing Perspectives #3: The Divide & Conquer Left Right Paradigm
Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
How A Generation Lost Its Culture – by Professor Patrick Deneen
How Our Public Schooling Cripples Our Kids By John Taylor Gatto
The Seven Lesson School Teacher
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Philosophy 101 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley
What Is Education?  The Elite Curriculum – John Taylor Gatto
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
Social Engineering 101
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
The True Purpose Of Modern Schooling
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Open-Source Method: Genius Education – Examples | John Taylor Gatto
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
A Rulebook For Arguments by Anthony Weston
A Workbook For Arguments by David R. Morrow & Anthony Wesson
7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschooling, Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts
Drilling Through The Core – Why Common Core Is Bad For American Education by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors
Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Lawrence
The Secret History Of Western Education – Charlotte Iserbyt [Documentary]
The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse

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If you find value in this information, feel free to 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  BreakawayIndividual.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.

#Book Review: The Journey by Peter Kreeft | #SmartReads


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 8, 2019

Life as a journey has always been a concept that has intrigued me to no end.  With that regard, the following book showcases some of the reasons why I hold such a concept with such curiosity.

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

With his dear philosophical companion, Socrates, who is a confidant and guide by his side, the Kreeft creates a journey in which quite a few philosophies are encountered, and each philosophy is addressed as needed in order to journey 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 on particular philosophical ideas.  These individuals 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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Suggested Reading & Viewing:

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Paradise Lost by John Milton
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Exploring J.R.R. Tokien’s The Hobbit by Corey Olsen Ph.D.
The Philosophy Of Tolkien – The Worldview Behind Lord Of The Rings by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue By Tolkien & Lewis by Louis Marko Ph.D.
Lord Of The Rings: How To Read J.R.R. Tolkien [Presentation]
The Vision Of Freedom That Tolkien Got & The West Forgot [Video]

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If you find value in this information, feel free to 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  BreakawayIndividual.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.

#Book Review: The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien | #SmartReads | #Fiction

A Laudable Landmark In Epic Fantasy


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 6, 2019

If The Hobbit is Tolkien’s opening salvo into the world of epic fantasy literature, then The Lord Of The Rings [LOTR] is his full fledged assault on the genre cementing his name in epic fantasy’s timeless lore.

Thankfully, The Lord of The Rings picked off right where The Hobbit left off, building and expanding on Tolkien’s Universe to a whole different level.

The Lord Of The Rings is, as many of you may know, the sequel to The Hobbit, which is set in Tolkien’s Legendarium, and also plays a part in the world of Arda.

One of the simplest ways a reader may note the quality of a fantasy book is asking themselves: does it conjure magic?

Evoking literary mastery in a genre that was nigh nonexistent, and which many outright shunned, what J.R.R. Tolkien did with his entire Middle-Earth Series was nothing less than astonishing.  Not only did Tolkien write a veritable milestone in literature to boot, but he did so in a time where not many souls cared to venture upon the genre of fantasy.

Touching upon this very issue,medieval literature specialist and writer Corey Olsen Ph.D. puts it in his intriguing and in-depth book, Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit:

Tolkien was very aware of the artistic challenge he faced in writing a work of fantasy, especially since fantasy literature was far from the literary mainstream in the early twentieth century.  He knew that when they encountered his story in The Hobbit, his readers would have to leave their mundane and comfortable world behind and invest their imaginations in a world that contains magic and unexpected marvels.  In chapter One, Tolkien gives us a model for this very process within the story itself.  We begin in our safe and predictable world, and in the first chapter, we find ourselves in a world of wizard and dwarves and dragons.  In this transition, we find ourselves coming alongside a protagonist who is struggling through the exactly the same process, a character who himself internalizes the conflict between the mundane and the marvelous   Our first introduction to this magical, grim, and dangerous world of adventure is also his introduction, and his reluctance and difficulty in adjusting to it give us time to ease past our own discomfort and reservations.  Bilbo Baggins serves as a perfect touchstone for readers, both exploring and embodying the trickier frontier between the predictable and the unexpected.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

This goes to show that Tolkien wasn’t simply a savvy writer, but understood societal challenges he was facing at the time and made sure to do his best to address this notable issue.  What’s more, Tolkien simply didn’t stop there.

The Lord Of The Rings shows why Tolkien’s imagination was not only gratifyingly limitless, but how it was rather robust with meaning in many ways.

In fact, the power of this book is so profound and meaningful that philosopher and writer Peter Kreeft Ph.D. said the following words of it:

The deepest healing is the healing of the deepest wound.  The deepest wound is the frustration of the deepest need.  The deepest need is the need for meaning, purpose, and hope.  And that is what The Lord Of The Rings offers us.”[2][Bold Emphasis Added]

And still there’s more:

“…The Lord Of The Rings is infused with the same light that illumined the man who wrote it. And that light is true, for it reveals the reality of the world and life.  And it is also good, because it heals our blindness.  Like the Fellowship itself, Tolkien’s philosophy fights.  It conquers what George Orwell called the “smelly little orthodoxies” of political correctness that have twisted and wounded our souls.  In other words, it is like the healing herb athelas.”[3][Bold Emphasis Added].

Such is the potentiality held within Lord Of The Rings.

Although at times called a trilogy, The Lord Of The Rings is in fact a stand-alone novel that is split up into six separate books.[4]

The mythical and expansive universe created by Tolkien is one that still ignites the imagination in a way that nigh no other books do, except the greatest ones.  In like fashion, not only does Tolkien fuse fantasy with Norse myth and folklore, but The Lord Of The Rings features a plot that is robust, characters that grow and change with the plot, a setting that is phenomenal and enchanting, all woven within a seamless story that vaults the imagination into other worlds.

Throughout the book, the uniqueness and authenticity the characters echo shows the realism of the novel.  For instance, temptation sinks its teeth into Boromir and Galadriel, each displaying their own set of circumstances in battling against this malevolence.

Instances as the above and many more show many examples that this particular book is chock-full of life lessons to boot.

That’s what makes this particular book great piece of literature.

On the forward of On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue With Tolkien & Lewis Peter Kreeft Ph.D. comments:

That’s why reading literature, next to meeting people, is the single most effective way to learn not to flunk lifeLife is a story, and therefore moral education happens first and foremost powerfully through stories, e.g., through books.”[5][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added]

Why this is so is because:

“…Tolkien bequeathed to the world a new treasure trove of heroic tales and adventures with the power to reinvigorate classical and medieval virtues that our modern technological age has deemed irrelevant.  Together with The Hobbit and its prequel (the Silmarillion) The Lord Of The Rings stands as a lighthouse in a world that has not only lost its way, but has lost much of its virtue, its integrity and its purpose.”[6][Bold Emphasis Added.]

In a modern age that is starving for virtuous souls from which to learn from, Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R Tolkien has much depth to offer.

For all of the above reasons, Tolkien’s magnum opus – The Lord Of The Rings – has stood the test of time and will continue to enthrall readers for ages to come.  Just like the characters in it, the story grows with every new pass you give it.

This understanding is best grasped by what J. Adler & Charles Van Doren shared in, How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading, which is the touchstone of critical reading:

“…if the book belongs to the highest class – the very small number of inexhaustible books – you discover on returning that the book seems to have grown with you.  You see new things in it – whole new sets of new things – that you did not see before.  Your previous understanding of the book is not invalidated; it is just as true as it ever was, and in the same ways that it was true before.  But now it is true in still other ways, too.”[7][Bold Emphasis Added]

Lord Of The Rings helps expand the bounds of imagination the more an individual journeys within its realm.  Even better, this book helps one see whole new perspectives and ideas that one had not previously considered.  Just like life offers ample opportunities for much learning, this book does as well.

Whether you’re looking for a great story, epic fantasy, incredible depth, mindful philosophy, or simply want to take a audacious adventure into a different setting, this book has much to offer.

Tolkien’s crown jewel – The Lord Of The Rings – has stood the test of time and will continue to enthrall readers for ages to come.  It has enthralled readers not simply because it’s a great piece of fantasy fiction, but also because this book and the lessons of virtue woven therein echo directly into your soul.   For those very reasons, this book will continue to be a touchstone for life, for not only does it teach you what happens when evil rises unabated, but more importantly, it teaches you what happens when individuals with high quality of consciousness help good conquer evil.  That alone makes this book a timeless possession in an age where virtues and goodness continue to dissipate

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Footnotes:

[1] Corey Olsen Ph.D., Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, p. 35
[2] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., The Philosophy Of Tolkien – The Worldview Behind Lord Of The Rinigs, p 17.
[3] Ibid., p. 3.
[4] J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship Of The Ring, p. 9., HoughtonMifflin.
[5] Louis Markos, On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue With Tolkien & Lewis, p. 8, citing Peter Kreeft in the forward.
[6] Ibid., p. 14.
[7] Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading, p. 333.

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Suggested Reading & Viewing:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Exploring J.R.R. Tokien’s The Hobbit by Corey Olsen Ph.D.
The Philosophy Of Tolkien – The Worldview Behind Lord Of The Rings by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue By Tolkien & Lewis by Louis Marko Ph.D.
Lord Of The Rings: How To Read J.R.R. Tolkien [Presentation]
The Vision Of Freedom That Tolkien Got & The West Forgot [Video]

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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.