Conformity Crisis: The War Between Conformists & Non-Conformists | #Conformity | #Freedom| #Life | #Truth | #Friendship | #Friends

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


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
May 18, 2019

These days it seems 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.  The point is that many of these disagreements you see, whether in person, or online, stem from 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, the non-conformists, don’t mind when other individuals ask them questions about beliefs and ideas discussed.   The second group, the conformists, take 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 specific information.

This particular trend of individuals not wanting to have open discussions seems to be growing with time.  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 countless 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 millennia ago still takes place now.  That said, 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 contemplating life from an incredibly narrow point of view, which (2) stunts the growth an individual may have by the exposure of a wide array of information.  Further, (3) by attempting to force conformity on others, conformists are taking away a terrific learning opportunity from the individuals truly seeking answers to poignant questions, and (4) in the worst case, these conformists are even losing relationships through all social strata because they are not being open minded about the possibility that other options exist.  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 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 himIf 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][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added].

In other words, allow others the freedom to make choices, to find their own path – to make mistakesThat 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 arguably be the place where the 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][Bold & Italics Emphasis Added].

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 constructed 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 intellectually self-sufficient as possible as they could be in this newfound age of disinformation.  Such an individual will be just like a boat in the ocean with a damaged sail that is drifting aimlessly directly into an eternal storm confusion.

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 integrate these lessons and help others just as so.  This type of concurrent growth is not unlike the rising tide lifting 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][Bold & Italics Emphasis Added]

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][Bold Emphasis Added]

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][Bold, Underline & Italics Emphasis Added]

Questioning our conformable assumptions, our beliefs, about what is worth learning for each individual and bringing about the 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 thingsOne needs to activate themThey should figure things out.  The ambition can even be to liberate them.”[6][Bold, Underline & Italics Emphasis Added].

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 and 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.  Not saying those are not important, so please do not misunderstand me.

All I am getting at is that, perhaps, what the vanguard consideration should be is helping other individuals 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, by not making them conform, is one of the greatest gifts we can help flourish in another human being on 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 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 and incredible self-development.

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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Author’s Note:

This article was written a few years ago for New Agora Magazine.  It has been slightly edited, but the core content remains unchanged.

I share this because if you simplify a lot of the issues taking place nowadays, they are about conformists vs. non-conformists.  Now, whatever side you fall on, that is your business.  What you rarely see from each side, but even less from the conformist side, is an attempt at seeking understanding.

How can progress be made without understanding?  Perhaps that’s where a lot of the arguments and discussions should start, seeking understanding and/or common ground.  After all, we are all humans, and just because we can’t see eye to eye on every issue doesn’t mean we don’t have the option to see what other people have gone through, empathize with their plight, comprehend their obstacles and circumstances better, but most of all, understand why they are who they are and why they believe what they believe.

That alone will solve more problems than forcing people to do anything, even if you are inherently right.
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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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#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: Dialectical Thinking – Zeno, Socrates, Kant, Marx by Tommi Juhani Hanjijarvi Ph.D. | #SmartReads | #Education | #Learning


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 20, 2019

This particular book is a great foray for those beginning to delve into dialectics.

In Dialectical Thinking – Zeno, Socrates, Kant, Marx by Tommi Juhani Hanjijarvi Ph.D., the author seeks to show how valuable dialectical thinking is as he examines the minds of former dialecticians.

To accomplish this, Hanjijarvi sifts through critical data points spoken by the likes of Socrates, Kant, Zeno and Marx.  The author does make it a point to supplant additional data and couple it to specific dialectics discussed when the need arises.

For instance, while analyzing Marx’s foray into dialectics, the author delves into information brought about by Engel, Bernstein, Lenin and such.

As the author makes clear, dialectics have extensive uses.  More importantly, as the author argues “Dialectics are always about the dynamics of the self.”

Being someone who has had interest in formal dialectics for quite some time, it was quite mentally invigorating seeing the different dialectics employed by the great dialecticians.  Moreover, it was also interesting to note where some of their ruminations dovetailed and what paths those notions discussed led them towards.  That said, there were times that the text demanded a bit more from the readers as its complexity increased some.  Still, what the book offers is plenty even if it might be intricate at certain junctures.

These days, the benefit of thinking from opposite spectrums, as dialecticians do and this book showcases, would be a great skillset for individuals to learn.  Rarely do people put themselves on both sides of an equation; people usually end up just simply fostering their points of views without taking the other person’s view into consideration.  For instance, the mainstream media is the greatest purveyor of this and shuns anybody who wishes to think outside the box or question anything that is passed off as fact.  And if they show two sides to a coin, it’s always to stoke the flames of the divide and conquer left right paradigm that we see manifesting in countless forms.

Of course, in reality, there are many sides to countless issues.  This reason is why this type of book is vital, since it helps lay a solid foundation as an introductory volume into the discipline of dialectics.

Thinking unilaterally about incisive issues won’t help people think critically, nor will it help people to think outside the box.  Predictably, this prevents individuals from grasping crucial issues at their core.

For those reasons, and many others, this book should be considered for the inquiring individual.  In fact, am even going to suggest this book to some friends for homeschooling.

As an introduction to the dialectical thinking employed by some of the greatest dialecticians, this book carries out its premise and then some.  Make sure to supplant this book with Socratic Logic and Philosophy 101 by Peter Kreeft, as well as A Workbook For Arguments – A Guide For Critical Thinking by David R. Morrow and Anthony Weston, and you have a veritable foundation for self-directed learning that creates an incredibly ironclad foundation

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Suggested Reading & Watching:

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Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Philosophy 101 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley
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Drilling Through The Core – Why Common Core Is Bad For American Education by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors

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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

___________________________________________________________
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: 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 Philosophy Of #Tolkien – The Worldview Behind Lord Of The Rings by Peter Kreeft Ph.D. | #SmartReads

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 5, 2019

The Philosophy Of Tolkien – The Worldview Behind Lord Of The Rings by Peter Kreeft Ph.D. is quite an insightful book where Kreeft searches for philosophical gems of wisdom embedded by J.R.R. Tolkien within his magnum opus, Lord of the Rings.

Sprinkled generously throughout the book are extrapolations regarding Tolkien’s philosophical view, which are employed in answering some of the most vital and profound philosophical questions.  The questions revolving around this regard: metaphysics (all-that is), philosophical theology (God), angelology (angels), cosmology (the cosmos), anthropology (man), epistemology (knowledge), philosophy of history, aesthetics (beauty), linguistics (philosophy of language), political philosophy and ethics.

Along with commentary about fifty of the greatest questions that have been ever asked regarding the topics above, the book features quite a few references to Lord Of The Rings as well as “three works of Tolkien’s that form the most authentic commendatory on it: his essay “On Fairy-Stories”, The Silmarillion, and The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.”[1]

To help break down those fifty questions, Kreeft presents a variety of tools “for understanding each of the philosophical issues The Lord Of the Rings treats:

a.  An explanation of the meaning and importance of the question;
b.  a  key quotation from The Lord of the Rings showing how Tolkien answered the question (many more passages are given in the Concordance to The Lord of the Rings in the Appendix);
c.  a quotation from Tolkien’s other writings (usually a letter) that explains or comments on the them in The Lord of the Rings;
d.  a quotation from C.S. Lewis, Tolkien’s closest friend, showing the same philosophy directly stated.”[2]

As in his other works, Kreeft does a trenchant job of not only introducing the topic to the reader and helping the reader get to ‘know’ the ghost of J.R.R. Tolkien and everything he stood for, but he also supplants that with salient analysis showing why each of the philosophical questions answered by this particular book are important.

Kreeft opts to begin the book with an apt introduction not only telling the reader what is it that he seeks to accomplish, but also detailing comprehensive insights that tackle many of the questions the reader might have.  Kreeft even goes on to state the five dimensions that make any story great, and why and how The Lord of The Rings attains all those five dimensions.

Beyond that, and perhaps, more importantly, the following is the main reason why The Lord of the Rings has appealed so much to our culture:

The Lord of the Rings heals our culture as well as our soulsIt gives us the most rare and precious thing in modern literature: the heroic.  It is a call to heroism; it is a horn like the horn of Rohan, which Merry received from Théoden and used to rouse the Hobbits of the Shire from their sheepish niceness and passivity to throw off their tyrants, first in their souls and then in their society.”[3][Emphasis Added]

And in an age where authoritarianism, tyranny and fascism are becoming more mainstream, a book like this may perhaps help individuals rise out of their doldrums and help them become cognizant of the freedoms they are so quickly losing.  That’s a whole different story, though.

Another great strength of this book is that it shows why both philosophy and literature are joined at the hip.  This is because:

“They [philosophy and literature] can work like two lenses of a pair of binoculars.  Philosophy argues abstractly.  Literature argues too – it persuades, it changes the reader – but concretely.  Philosophy says truth, literature shows truth.”[4]

Finally, this book also features a Bibliography, as well as an Appendix that contains countless references which address the philosophy of Tolkien.

Whether you’re searching for an engaging book that goes into the deeper philosophical outlook of The Lord of the Rings, or perhaps a book that might serve as an introduction to philosophy, or simply a research tool that features a lot of substance regarding L.O.T.R. and Tolkien’s philosophy, ruminate upon getting this book, for it does all that, and more.

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Footnotes:

[1] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., The Philosophy Of Tolkien – The Worldview Behind Lord Of The Rings, p. 10.
[2] Ibid., p. 11.
[3] Ibid., pp. 16-17.
[4] Ibid., p. 21.
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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.
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

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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.

7 Phenomenal #Books For #Homeschooling Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts | #Education

“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, p. 82.

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
March 29, 2019

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 to make sure individuals 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 reviewed below offer abundant wisdom from which to learn from.  Considering we are in an age where public schooling is about conformity, division, dumbing people down, and more, it would be wise for individuals to take their own education into their hands.

The books below will help individuals cement a firm foundation upon their intellectual faculties and be able to extract the most out of life and their individual journey.  If you wish to read more about the books, click the link on the book titles to heads towards the reviews.

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

Out of all of these  7 books, this is hands down the most demanding one.  That said, this book will net the most benefits because it couples into all the other subjects and areas of life, and well as each of your everyday endeavors.   The lessons of this book will be useful every single day.  This is because logic is employed in everyday life in one form or another.

Although requiring considerable effort, the book is a much easier read than Aristotle’s Organnon, while still covering the core dynamics.

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

Historically, the Trivium was taught as part of classical education.  That is no longer the case however.  Because of that it is imperative that books discussing classical education as The Trivium be ruminated upon since the trivium is one of the leading reasons why education decades and centuries ago was vastly superior than it is now.

The Trivium encompasses all aspects of grammar, logic and rhetoric.  This book is a thorough presentation on general grammar (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.

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.

Book #3:  How 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.  Reading isn’t the main focus as much as information extraction – 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, that is because you read within every day 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, every story and so on, et al., will only help you get and remain ahead of the curve.

This is definitely 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 phenomenal and highly recommended.  It’s been popular for decades, and with good reason.

Book #4:  Philosophy 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, ponder this book.  It’s a very unique way of looking at philosophy and should not be overlooked.  It is also much shorter than the previous three books above.

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, one would figure critical thinking would be at the top of agenda to implement within public schooling.

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 piece 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 with good reason.  Sherlock Holmes hands down is the best book from which to learn critical thinking in fiction form.  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.

Holmes uses his usual analytical approach that’s incisive in logic and precise in detail to solve every single case.  Some cases offer more for learning than others, but the book as a whole is something every person should read and is part of an individual’s robust cultural literacy as well.

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 chosen direction.

This is why it’s crucial to make sure your education stands on firm ground.  Without it, we’re only merely ghosts of ourselves, carrying out only a fraction of what would be possible within our lives.

It’s never too late to proactively continue one’s 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.

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.

After all, if we don’t continue our education, we surrender ourselves to self-chosen ignorance.

And who wants to do that?

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Suggested Reading & Watching:

Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
How A Generation Lost Its Culture – by Professor Patrick Deneen
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Philosophy 101 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
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
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.
A Rulebook For Arguments by Anthony Weston
A Workbook For Arguments by David R. Morrow & Anthony Wesson
Drilling Through The Core – Why Common Core Is Bad For American Education by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors

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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

___________________________________________________________
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.