Best Books on Buddhism

Best Books on BuddhismFounded by Siddhartha Gautama – The Buddha or the “Awakened,” this relatively old teaching lured many followers in 500 B.C.

These so-called early Buddhists quickly began spreading the word of their master – wisdom that will be etched into the hearts of many generations.

Siddhartha was born as a prince, who had all the privileges of living a life anyone could wish for. His stay at the castle deprived him of seeing the actual truth behind closed doors.

When “The Buddha” finally got a touch with reality, he was both anxious and eager to learn more about suffering.

It was this moment, that can be marked as the beginning of a new era. Many people would disagree that Buddhism is a religion, due to the fact that it allows you to find your own path to self-knowingness.

On the other hand, it shares a handful of insights to guide you on this endless journey.

The story about a prince and heir to the throne, who gave up the crown and worldly pleasures to become the Buddha, a person who is aware of its inner potential.

Many stories link him to peacefulness, and how he managed to pass over the wisdom to others.

Buddha’s decisions surprised many, and sometimes his methods were not only unorthodox but also quite shocking.

He frequently refused to help people with mental baggage, who demanded merely a therapy not to embark on a full-scale adventure.

He believed that it’s not up to him to help them but to show them the way so that they can overcome the egoic world.

To cut a long story short – He fought against “I,” the egocentric phenomenon that represents the foundation for all evil that exists in human action.

In Christianity or Islam, the priests are duty-bound to impart the same methods over and over again to untold generations.

Buddhism however, cannot sum up the teachings of Buddha in one central text.

To put it simply, what we know today as Buddhism is in actuality a mix of philosophies, insights, revelations, and inner pulls. A real collection of practical tips that are supposed to aid you in the struggle of reaching nirvana.

Let’s expose the Top 10 Books on Buddhism:

Radiant Mind1. Radiant Mind – Jean Smith

We can say with some confidence that Jean Smith underlines only the most life-altering tips for novices in the field spirituality.

If you are eager to plunge into the secrets of Buddhism, this is the book you wouldn’t want to sidestep.

A collection of all the essential teachings is more than enough to get you started.

Even if you are still not sure of your path, this book can provide guidance, especially when the ride gets a bit bumpy.

A Force for Good2. A Force for Good – Daniel Goleman

Although this book doesn’t cover the teachings directly, it sure illustrates the urge for providing help and assistance to others.

Dalai Lama in his efforts to educate the world and spark peacefulness puts under the radar the elementary principles, we as a society have embraced.

He explains why a peaceful solution is the only permanent fix that cannot fade away. Compassion is the only weapon we should use against ignorance and hatred.

Extinguishing a fire, with bigger flames is not advisable nor feasible.

Being Upright3. Being Upright – Reb Anderson

Reb Anderson displays all the fundamental teachings of Zen and how these concepts of pure Zen Buddhism thoroughly examines the ten basic precepts.

Among them, you can find something similar to the ten commandments: Don’t steal, kill nor lie.

It’as based on ethics and real understanding among all beings of the universe.

Compassion as a tool is once again at the center of the process because it represents the alpha and omega in Zen Buddhism.

We believe that Reb is a real devote and a passionate teacher who acquired his knowledge through ethics-based learning.

Peace is Every Step4. Peace is Every Step – Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Monk, who thrives in helping the society to improve in all aspects.

His methods are practical and easy-to-follow. Peace is Every Step illustrates the only path to full-awareness or mindfulness.

Many people are misled with the terminology such as “mindfulness.” It doesn’t indicate that your “brain” is filled with all sorts of items or elements, but on the contrary, it’s on another level.

A stage of true devotion towards the ultimate purpose, which is – achieving peace on a global scale.

Zen and the Art of Making a Living5. Zen and the Art of Making a Living – Laurence G. Boldt

The real question is – Can you escape the daily grind? – Laurence questions the prowess to turn the attention over to more important things, such as being happy!

Such cliché talks are often ignored by the people because it seems like we’ve got it all figured out. However, your emotional position tells a different story.

If you cannot make a real living out of your habits, you are doing something wrong, so take notes and see what this book has to say.

The Poetry of Zen6. The Poetry of Zen – Sam Hamill and J.P. Seaton

This collection of Japanese and Chinese poetry can bring your Zen knowledge to another level.

It stretches beyond the boundaries of time covering a wide range of teachings starting from the early days to the modern era.

Contemplating this amazing poetry will surely put you in a better mood.

Siddhartha

7. Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse

Herman Hesse shares another story regarding the life of “The Buddha” or his real name – Siddhartha. 

Before reaching a stage of total awareness, he had to handle a myriad of challenges.

In this book, you’ll get introduced to various situations that helped him to become the symbol of peacefulness and mutual understanding.

Mindfulness in Plain English

8. Mindfulness in Plain English – Henepola Gunaratana

This book is perfect for “rookies” in the realm of spirituality and enlightenment.

It provides an excellent cover for those willing to dive into the river of non-conceptualized knowledge.

We can only endorse its methods and encourage you to drink water from this fountain until you quench your thirst.

Generally speaking, exploit your potential by burying the hatchet.

Why Buddhism is True9. Why Buddhism is True – Robert Wright

Wright explains how “The Buddha” realized the essence of this existence all those years ago.

Scientists today still struggle to find proof regarding the accuracy of these theories.

He acknowledges that meditation acts as a key to finding another route to happiness.

If you wish to get out of the circle of anxiety and be happy, maybe you need to alter your viewpoints and allow Buddhism to enter your heart.

The Three Pillars of Zen10. The Three Pillars of Zen – Roshi Philip Kapleau

In this teaching by Roshi Philip Kapleau, you’ll be introduced to the core principles of becoming truly aware of the nature of your inner-self.

Just by following the three main pillars: teaching, practice, and enlightenment you’ll improve not just your life, but also serve as an example in your community.

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Final Notes:

We hope that this list can help you in your journey of becoming truly in the presence of love and compassion.

Don’t delay anything, take action and start your adventure leading towards full-mindfulness.

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Oxygen Summary

Oxygen SummaryThe molecule that made the world

Do you know the nature of oxygen? Do you know what happens when you breathe?

Do you know the role oxygen has not only in keeping you alive but for the evolution of the species as well?

If not, this is a good place to start finding out the answers to those questions.

Who Should Read “Oxygen” and Why?

“Oxygen” is a book about the gas that keeps us alive, and as you will see once you read the book, poisons us really slowly.

We recommend it to all readers who would like to know the role oxygen played in the evolution of organisms, and how the world became as it is today, as well as to those who wish to understand the process of breathing and how it affects our bodies.

About Nick Lane

Nick LaneDr. Nick Lane is a prolific author who holds a degree in biochemistry from the Imperial College in London.

“Oxygen Summary”

If we ask you what is Oxygen, then you will probably tell us that it is what keeps you alive, right?

But did you know that Oxygen also kills you?

Yes, breathing both keeps you alive and slowly kills you at the same time.

With every breath you take, some toxic byproducts are produced and stored in your body, and over time these byproducts harm you.

It is not like you can stop it.

If we found the answer to this – we would have stopped aging already.

Anyway, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and start from the very beginning.

Today, in the air we breathe, there is around 21 percent oxygen. However, that was not the case around four billion years ago when the atmosphere had very little oxygen.

Then, after the Cambrian explosion, the only survivals on earth were plants.

In order to survive the harsh conditions, they had to do much photosynthesis and produce vast amounts of oxygen in the process.

The single cellular organisms which were not used to this amount of oxygen tried to escape it, but not being able to, they ultimately had to group themselves, and that is how the multi-cellular organisms evolved.

After some time, in the air there a lot of oxygen – almost double of today’s levels.

This percentage made it easier for cells to grow and thus the giant animals were created. However, this percentage did not only make it easier for the animals to grow, but they could also move more easily, which made hunting easier as well.

One significant name to note during our explanation of the topic is the world-renowned Marie Curie.

Curie is a Nobelist which discovered radiation. However, her discovery seemed to be fatal since she died of leukemia when she was 67.

But why is Curie important to oxygen?

Because her discoveries of radiation are closely related to oxygen as well.

Do you remember that we told you that oxygen could kill?

Well, Curie’s findings show that the biological damage as a result of radiation and oxygen poisoning are almost the same.

Wait, what?

Yes! I was just as surprised when I read this information as well!

When radiation pierces the body, it breaks water into oxygen and hydrogen, in the process producing toxic byproducts.

When you breathe, however, these byproducts are turned into water.

So, breathing is poisoning you – it just does it very slowly.

But, if it is so, how can you protect yourself? You cannot stop breathing, can you?

Filling yourself up with antioxidants is one way of doing it. Another technique is to exercise cardio exercises – to run.

Although there are many innovations nowadays, we cannot seem to answer the one question that has been pressing people forever: how to stop aging.

In the modern world, two theories of aging exist stochastic and programmed theories.

The first ones argue that aging has nothing to do with genes. This is where the oxygen poisoning theory comes into play.

The programmed theories, on the other hand, are those that believe that aging is mainly genetical.

The author of the book believes that the truth about aging is somewhere in between.

And until someone proves it – we cannot state anything for certain. However, it is quite reasonable to think that the fewer toxins we enter in our body, the slower the aging process will be.

The question is, how can we stop oxygen from producing toxins that harm us in the long term?

Key Lessons from “Oxygen”

1.      Multi-Cellular Life Developed Thanks to the Increase in Oxygen
2.      Giant Animals Can Exist Only With High Levels of Oxygen
3.      Breathing Determines the Speed of Aging

Multi-Cellular Life Developed Thanks to the Increase in Oxygen

Most of the organisms we interact with in everyday life are multi-cellular.

However, primate life was not like that. Multi-cellular organisms developed thanks to the increase in oxygen that happened because the plants that survived the Cambrian explosion started photosynthesizing a lot of oxygen to survive.

Giant Animals Can Exist Only With High Levels of Oxygen

The giant animals from the past could only exist because of the huge levels of atmospheric oxygen. When these animals live, there was 35% oxygen in the air. To compare it with, today we have only 21% oxygen in the air.

Oxygen made it easy to grow and breathe, but also it eased the movement as well.

Breathing Determines the Speed of Aging

Did you know that breathing both keeps you alive and kill you?

With every breath you take your body produces toxic byproducts, and stores them. These byproducts over some time are the cause of damage.

However, there is not a limit of how much oxygen you can breathe – it all depends on your body.

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“Oxygen Quotes”

Our bodies are historical accidents of evolution and ultimately can only be understood from an evolutionary perspective: how things got to be the way they are. Click To Tweet Mitochondria, as we have seen, are only passed on in the egg, so all 13 mitochondrial genes come from our mothers. If these genes really do influence lifespan, and we can only inherit them from our mothers, then our own lifespan should… Click To Tweet As conventionally stated, the idea that breathing oxygen causes aging is disarmingly simple. Click To Tweet Unlike infections, aging is not easily reversed: mitochondrial damage accumulates continuously. Click To Tweet The expression of normal genes in an oxidized environment is the basis of their negative pleiotropic effects in old age. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

This is not a book you pick up to read for fun, but it is filled with so many interesting information that you would not come across.

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SuperBetter Summary

SuperBetter SummaryThe Power of Living Gamefully

Games are everywhere.

Contrary to what you may believe, this is not that bad.

Who Should Read “Superbetter” and Why?

“SuperBetter” is a book about games, and the impact they have, as well as the impact they could have on our lives.

It is a guideline for people who have undergone trauma and are looking for ways to heal, as well as all others who feel that games are a waste of time.

Games are happening, and we cannot fight them, so why not find out how we can use them to improve our lives?

About Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigalJane McGonigal is a researcher on game perception and game development.

She is an author, a Director of Games Research and Development at the Institute of the Future in Palo Alto, California and a creator of alternate reality games.

“Superbetter Summary”

What do you think about games?

Do you think they are just a way to escape reality and waste time that could be otherwise spent on other, more important things that could actually improve the quality of people’s lives?

You should not judge games that much.

Why?

Because games are fun, and people love doing fun things.

So, why not use games to your advantage, instead of criticizing them?

The author came up with this idea, while she was recovering from a brain injury.

She wanted to get not just better, but SuperBetter, and realized that creating a game was the way to go, since people do not feel stressed when they overcome challenges through a game.

So, she created this game that is designed to help people whenever they feel overwhelmed with problems.

But does SuperBetter really work?

It does.

And it has to thank two human phenomena for its success: post-traumatic grown and post estatic growth.

Contrary to what you may believe trauma does not always have long-lasting negative consequences on human life.

Instead, it can be used as a catalyst for growth and for a more fulfilling and happier everyday experiences.

However, not only trauma leads to growth – you can induce it yourself, by overcoming challenges on your own, which is called post ecstatic growth.

These two forms of development result from going through hard times.

It is true what people say: that hard times will make you toucher.

They do help you build mental, emotional, physical and social resilience.

When people face big challenges, they can easily fall into the trap of starting to feel alone and isolated. However, you must not let yourself do this.

Allies surround you at all times – you just have to find them.

Video games make people feel more connected to those they play with.

Humans tend to mimic those whom they are surrounded with, and studies show that game-players tend to develop similar patterns of thoughts and actions when they spend time together and play games.

What this means is that video games can help people develop friendships and find their “allies” making them feel less alone.

Another thing they can help with is motivation!

Yes, you heard right – it is true that they can be a form of procrastination, but they can also help you build your confidence, motivation, and strength.

Of course, it all depends on the way games are designed and the way people use them.

But what causes the difference between how games affect different players.

We all know some people who become incredibly antisocial when they are playing games and others that become more motivated and hardworking.

Well, surprisingly in life the answer does not lie in what games people play or the time they spend playing them. Instead, you should look at the reason you play.

Why you play matters the most of all factors since not all people play for educational purposes.

Some people play to escape reality. These are the cases when gaming is bad for the individual.

On the other hand, if the approach toward gaming is different, games can help you improve your life.

Just like with every other thing in life, in gaming as well, the mindset is everything.

Thankfully, developing the right mindset to reap the benefits of gaming is not that hard. Just remember what positive changes they can bring you, by letting you do something you find enjoyable.

If you do take the right approach, they can make you happier and can help you manage your problems. Playing multiplayer games can improve your communication, organization and coordination skills as well.

SuperBetter is a game that consists of seven steps that let you enjoy all the positive aspects of gaming.

No matter what problem is at hand – the game always has seven steps.

Which are the steps?

We number them in the key lessons below.

Key Lessons from “Superbetter”

1.      The SuperBetter Seven Steps
2.      Games Can Reduce Pain
3.      Care About the “Why”

The SuperBetter Seven Steps

Challenge yourself to reach a specific goal. Change your mindset: your goal is a challenge, not a threat.

Identify the power-ups that help you move forward.

Find your allies.

Complete quests – one quest per day is an excellent place to start.

Self-reflect and develop a secret identity.

Always push yourself and aim toward more significant wins.

Games Can Reduce Pain

Games do not work just as a mental escape – they can have physical effects as well, like for example reducing physical pain.

They do this by shifting our attention and engaging us in a state that is called flow, in which we feel in control of our lives.

Care About the “Why”

The difference between people who experience positive results from games and those that suffer negative consequences is not the time they are playing or the kinds of games they are playing, but their reason for playing.

The mindset is everything.

Luckily, the mindset can be changed, and each person can start playing for the right reasons, no matter how it was in the past.

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“Superbetter Quotes”

Work ethic is not a moral virtue that can be cultivated simply by wanting to be a better person. It’s actually a biochemical condition that can be fostered, purposefully, through activity that increases dopamine levels in the brain. Click To Tweet Over time, even the tiniest meaningful actions add up, each one bringing you closer to a life that is truer to your dreams and free of regret. Click To Tweet Even if you never increase your physical or social resilience, seeking out more positive emotions every day alone can add a full decade to your life. Click To Tweet S. Eliot famously wrote, - If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? Click To Tweet Purposeful play builds self-confidence and real-world problem-solving skills. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Jane offers an interesting view on games and the effects they have on people. Just like her other book “Reality is Broken,” “SuperBetter” delivers a theory backed up by studies and logical reasoning.

It is an interesting read that anyone can learn from.

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Meditations on First Philosophy Summary

Meditations on First Philosophy SummaryHow do we know that reality is what we think it is? How do we know that what we see is true?

Descartes believes he has the answer to such perennial questions: our ability to think.

Who Should Read “Meditations on First Philosophy” and Why?

“Meditations on First Philosophy” is a classic, but it is not a book for everyone, simply because it is a bit complex for understanding.

It tries to explain how the human mind and the ability to think proves our existence, as well as the existence of God.

If you love philosophy and philosophical books, though, then this is a read that you should definitely put on your shelf.

About René Descartes

René DescartesRené Descartes was a French philosopher widely both criticized and acclaimed for his works.

He was the one who created skepticism and broke away from the earlier philosophical tradition which followed Aristotelian footsteps.

“Meditations on First Philosophy Summary”

People make sense of the world relying on their five senses: taste, smell, touch, sight, and hearing.

However, the sense is not always reliable.

Let’s take dreams for example.

When you dream, everything in the dream feels real, no matter how bizarre it may be. You only realize the dream’s absurdity when you wake up.

So, although we may think that senses give us an actual and utterly realistic image of the world that surrounds us, the fact is that the information we get from the senses can be distorted by external forces.

But if we cannot entirely rely on our senses and the information we get from them, what can we do?

Well, we should start perceiving everything there is with a dosage of skeptical doubt.

Wait, what exactly can we get from skepticism?

About other things, we cannot guarantee, but one thing that we can guarantee is that skepticism will make you think.

Thinking, in fact, is the only reliable technique that we can use to evaluate the world.

This is why Rene Descartes said: I think, therefore I exist.

However, what is thinking and what is just processing the information the senses give us?

Well, when you think, your mind makes a judgment about the world and defines events and objects. But if thinking is a way to prove our own existence, how can we prove that the world exists as well?

Don’t we get a sense of the world through the senses, which we already said cannot be trusted?

It is significant to have in mind that some things in the world are understood with the sole use of our minds.

We are talking about concepts that people do not need to encounter in the physical world in order to grasp them.

Other things, on the other hand, are imposed on us from the outside world whether we like it or not – like the feeling of cold or warm for example.

However, since our senses can be fooled, it is logical to note that the concepts we grasp using our minds are more reliable than those which we understand based on our senses.

Just think about people in the past and how they perceived nature. They were wrong, weren’t they?

If we solely use our senses, we would just see the sun as a small ball on the sky, and not understand its true nature.

The smallest degree of reality, however, have the ideas that we create ourselves.

In any case, the ability to think proves that the mind actually exists, and not the other way round.

However, this thinking does not need to be “trapped” in a physical form in order to happen – thinking can happen without physical properties.

In fact, body and mind pose two different levels of existence.

The mind is the highest form, and the body is the secondary, sensory form.

Since the mind and the body exist in two different levels, it means that they are not dependent upon each other.

In other words, they can exist independently.

What does this mean for you?

Simply put, it proves that the soul or mind, whatever you may call it, can continue existing even after the death.

We understand that the concepts we played out briefly for you may seem abstract since it is impossible to explain them in such a short space thoroughly, so we recommend you read the whole book, so you get a better understanding of the topic

Now, we move on to the key lessons.

Key Lessons from “Meditations on First Philosophy”

1.      Always Question Your Senses         
2.      Thinking Proves Your Existence
3.      Three Categories of Truth Exist in This World      

Always Question Your Senses

Your senses do not always show you the true image of the world. Many times they will give a distorted concept of reality, and that is why you must doubt your senses and question them at all times.

Only through skepticism and careful thinking you can come to the truth.

Thinking Proves Your Existence

If senses are not to be trusted, then what can we rely on?

Descartes believes that human thoughts are the way to prove existence. The judgments the brain makes on things whether they are based in reality or imaginary, prove that you are alive.

Three Categories of Truth Exist in This World

Each thing in this world can be considered as one of three categories of truth.

The first group is the things that you can explain only using your minds, or by thinking.

The second category is the things that can be explained by using your senses.

Finally, the third category is a mix of the previous two.

According to Descartes, the first category of truth is the most reliable since thinking is more reliable than senses.

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“Meditations on First Philosophy Quotes”

It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived.

Doubt is the origin of wisdom.

But what then am I? A thing that thinks. What is that? A thing that doubts, understand, affirms, denies, wills, refuses, and that also imagines and senses.

When I turn my mind’s eye upon myself, I understand that I am a thing which is incomplete and dependent on another and which aspires without limit to ever greater and better things.

The destruction of the foundations necessarily brings down the whole edifice.

Our Critical Review

“Meditations on First Philosophy” is far from an easy read. It is a classic that will make you question everything you know, but in order to understand it, you will have to consult the Internet and more books.

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The Power of Starting Something Stupid Summary

The Power of Starting Something Stupid SummaryHow to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live Without Regret

Sometimes the sense of fear can overwhelm us, but not even that can be an alibi for not taking action.

You no longer need to bite your fingernails, stay with us and learn how to make your knowledge count.

We summarize the fundamental details of Norton’s vision which explain the path to success.

Who Should Read “The Power of Starting Something Stupid”? And Why?

Honestly, not many people dare to follow their dreams.

Even though it sounds a bit cliché, it is an unavoidable reality we all live in.

The Power of Starting Something Stupid” is a book that breaks all the chains and prompts a new attitude that will help you to trust in your “stupidity.”

We recommend it to all people, due to its broad use.

About Richie Norton

Richie NortonRichie Norton is renowned for his ability to conduct comprehensive research in the realm of entrepreneurship and find the gaps that are causing trouble.

He is the owner of a blog called Start Staff, and the author of the bestseller Resumes are Dead and What To Do About It.

“The Power of Starting Something Stupid Summary”

Are you one of those who abandoned its idea because of other people’s opinions? Don’t let your dream disappear and your hopes vanish due to lack of self-esteem.

A “stupid” plan or incentive can make you wealthy, so allowing others to affect your decision-making is something you wouldn’t want to embrace.    

When you become an old man/woman, how would you turn back and see that you discarded the thing that could have been the start of something big? You could have been the star of the night!

Let’s create a situation: you’ve got your Eureka Moment, and out of sheer curiosity and passion, you share it with your friends, only to find out that they are not really supportive.

Comments such as “it’s stupid,” “no one needs that” “don’t fool around” derive from disappointing life, and they are subtly sucking you in!

What’s even more surprising – the wealthiest people launched their “stupid” idea, despite all the warnings, and made a fortune.

This seemingly silly concept brought many innovations to the top of worldly influence and domination – so, think twice before you give up on your “craziness.”

Find that courage to follow your intuition and rely on your instincts. Out of those who do graduate with flying colors, only a small percentage is aware that good grades are not the embodiment of success.

As much as we want to be labeled as successful, you cannot sidestep any stage.

You’ll need strong determination in order to take the hits placed down the road leading to ultimate prosperity.

Sadly, we always find an excuse to justify our incompetence and lack of conviction in the vision. What’s even more misleading is people’s idea of a perfect life.

So, the idea of firstly becoming rich and then enjoying life with all its pleasures is not a very convenient strategy for the wise ones.

Imagine yourself living in a small house, 50 years from now, and recalling all those things you could have done differently. Is there anything more painful than that?

The pain of regret is far greater than the one triggered by failure.  

You don’t need us reminding you of the bridge an “unknown” person named Jeff Bezos had to cross to indulge in success.

As he explains, a simple mantra allowed him to understand the big picture and leave the Wall Street job in order to embark on a new adventure.

Don’t be afraid to question the inventiveness of others and go beyond the borderline! Investigate your ideas daily, find a way to improve your service and hope for a masterpiece to kick in!!

How to cross the self-imposed restrictions? Successful innovation can be best described as a process that broke the boundaries of an old standard.

This novelty is continuously challenged by brand-new “stupid” ideas, which by all means, stimulate economic expansion.

One can never be too sure of its possibilities, and the risk of failure is an unpleasant but a realistic scenario. How to avoid it?

Have you heard that attack is the best form of defense? Courage and eagerness to crush all signs of failure should be your first step!

How to be all “Tom Cruise”?

From very young age, we’ve developed a habit of procrastinating, and most people are not capable of finally putting an end to that! So, what can be done?

  • First and foremost, if you are stuck in a busy trap don’t try to find more free time by sleeping less or do something in-between other commitments. Simply, cancel everything that is irrelevant.
  • Secondly, don’t make it harder on yourself, just cut off all those meaningless tasks that are producing little or no results at all.

So, should you ask for professional assistance or go on your own from start to finish? – Don’t forget that people with the necessary expertise can make things a lot easier.

Once the safety net is torn apart, there’s not much that can be done at that point.

Therefore, build a network or base of individuals who possess the know-how and are passionate about your intentions.

Give them the freedom to express themselves, and they’ll repay with sweat and ingenuity to an unmeasurable extent.

The bottom line is, one must stop finding excuses and start chasing its dreams with no intention of stopping.

Key Lessons from “The Power of Starting Something Stupid

1.      Trust in your co-workers, make them feel valuable
2.      Find support and professional help
3.      Discover your real fears and incentives

Trust in your co-workers, make them feel valuable

Throughout history and even today people were driven by an idea, and if that vision applies to their mindset, they will undoubtedly be on their best behavior and act correctly.

The power of trust can trigger a new set of productivity that can ever surpass the defined expectations.

Find support and professional help

One way to do it is by approaching a person who can provide guidance in times of crisis.

How to do it? – You want to borrow some money to invest in your business, but you lack the funds, and you need to find a group of investors.

Find the one who has already been in a similar position and ask for directions.

Discover your real fears and incentives

Set a reminder to tell you what is hiding behind your actions.

Don’t forget to meditate, keep your mind calm and sharp so that new energy can burst in and fill the air with hope.

Control your fears by conducting an in-depth preparation for what is to come.

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“The Power of Starting Something Stupid” Quotes

Opportunities will come and go, but if you do nothing about them, so will you. Click To Tweet Your life should consist of more than commuting, working, eating, surfing the Internet, sleeping and watching TV. Your life should be filled with purpose-driven experiences and projects that bring excitement, passion, energy, and… Click To Tweet To crush fear doesn't mean you eliminate it; crushing fear means you literally crush it down into smaller, more manageable parts and tackle one piece at a time. Click To Tweet It all starts with a tiny, stupid idea, then one thing leads to another, and suddenly, you find something amazing: yourself. Click To Tweet Don't allow life to pass you by because you are afraid of looking stupid. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We want to remain impartial, and we’ll continue to follow the same practice.

This book has made us believe in ourselves and showed us that every journey starts with a stupid idea.

It may sound silly, but that’s how it is. We encourage to apply Norton’s tips and enjoy life without regret.

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The Botany of Desire Summary | PDF Version |

The Botany of Desire PDFA Plant’s-Eye View of the World

We walk around trees and plants, or we line our windows with potted flowers not giving much thought about their past and our role in their survival.

In today’s summary of “The Botany of Desire,” we will change that and show you the real power of plants.

Who Should Read “The Botany of Desire” and Why?

Even in school, you have probably been taught about the ways insects spread pollen enabling plants to reproduce.

However, what they did not teach you is the role people have and how they help plants.

“The Botany of Desire” tackles the history of plants and how they have used their “powers” to appeal to basic human desires and reproduce and spread all around the world.

We recommend it to all readers interested in biology, those that use substances such as marijuana and want to understand the biological root of its power, and other people that believe that plants are just things that they can use as they like.

About Michael Pollan

Michael PollanMichael Pollan is an author who teaches journalism at the UC Berkeley. He is the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” as well.

“The Botany of Desire PDF Summary”

Whenever we think of ourselves as humans, we think of ourselves as subjects or the ones that can influence everything. We believe that the world exists to serve us and our purposes, along with all other creatures like plants and animals.

However, is that the case?

Isn’t it possible that plants are the subjects that make us act in ways they want us to?

You must think we are talking nonsense, but just think about it:

Insects go to plants to use their nectar for food. However, in this relationship, the flower is the one in charge, using its smell to attract the insect and make it spread its seed.

Isn’t it the same for humans as well?

Plans appeal to our basic needs: the need for food, so we are the ones who need them to satisfy our hunger.

Plants can influence humans using four tactics: beauty, sweetness, intoxication, and control, which all appear to the four basic needs of humans.

Plants needed to develop such abilities because they are immobile, and are not able to reproduce themselves.

For example, apples appeal to humans with their taste and flavor. But it is normal, you say, since people need food, and they can eat apples.

However, flowers are not delicious, and people do not crave them, so what could make them so special?

Well, humans love beautiful things. And flowers are extremely beautiful.

Interestingly, humans considering flowers as beautiful is so natural, that scientists consider people indifferent to flowers as clinically depressed.

There were even times when humans went crazy over the appeal of flowers.

In the 17th century, the tulip bubble, otherwise known as tulipmania almost destroyed the economy in Holland. During that time a mere bulb of Semper Augustus tulip was priced the same as the most expensive house in Amsterdam.

So, even history shows that human’s desire for beauty is strong, and sometimes even goes beyond reason.

And yet, there are even more desires that humans have, which plants can appeal to.

Let’s think about the forbidden “fruit” for a while.

Even nowadays we have a forbidden plant like that: marijuana.

Yet, so many people continue using it and being drawn by it.

Why?

Well, it is all part of who we are as human.

Even little kids turn around in circles and enjoy getting dizzy.

This is because all people have an inner desire of reaching an altered state of consciousness.

Plants have the power to help people achieve such states.

Finally, there is the desire for control, which is satisfied by no other plant but the potato.

Yes, the potato!

It is not a boring staple food as you may consider it to be.

In fact, before the potato was introduced to humans, many people were starving, especially in northern Europe.

However, when the potato entered the households, people could satisfy their nutritional needs with just potatoes and milk.

After a while, people wished to control the potato by genetically modifying it.

Key Lessons from “The Botany of Desire”

1.      Plants Use Humans and Animals to Reproduce
2.      The Sweet Appeal of Plants
3.      The Human Need for Intoxication

Plants Use Humans and Animals to Reproduce

Plants cannot move, and yet they need to find a way to reproduce.

That is why they are using their powers like beauty and smell to appeal to animals and humans and use them to spread their seeds.

The Sweet Appeal of Plants

The apple is one of the fruits that have spread all across America because of its sweetness and taste.

Many other plants are using their taste and flavor to appeal to the basic human need – the need for food, and as a result, spread around and continue existing on the planet.

Apart from taste, there are also other needs people feel, like for example the desire for beauty, which plants can also satisfy.

The Human Need for Intoxication

People are wired to enjoy altered states of mind, and some plants, like cannabis, satisfy this desire. That is why even though some plants are considered as forbidden, continue to exist and to be consumed.

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“The Botany of Desire” Quotes

Design in nature is but a concatenation of accidents, culled by natural selection until the result is so beautiful or effective as to seem a miracle of purpose. Click To Tweet For it is only by forgetting that we ever really drop the thread of time and approach the experience of living in the present moment, so elusive in ordinary hours. Click To Tweet It has become much harder, in the past century, to tell where the garden leaves off and pure nature begins. Click To Tweet Memory is the enemy of wonder. Click To Tweet People who smoked cannabis were Other, and the cannabis they smoked threatened to let their Otherness loose in the land. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Botany of Desire” will teach readers about the power of plants, and make them look beyond their notions that plants are just passive, helpless objects that humans can use as they like.

This book argues that plants are actually the ones that use their powers to appeal to people and animals and spread their seeds.

The only problem we found with this book is the title, which may be a bit misleading: readers may expect to read about the effect plants have on physical and sexual desires.

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The Longevity Project Summary

The Longevity Project SummarySurprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study

Once again, we find ourselves stranded on an isolated island.

Yearnings to expand the knowledge of human life has brought us to this point, where one can analyze the entire existence of species.

In our brief summary, we discuss the factors that affect longevity and what you can do about it.

Who Should Read “The Longevity Project”? And Why?

The person’s lifespan depends on various factors that include both influences deriving from external and internal sources.

If you are eager to “prolong” the end of this journey, you must take countermeasures.

The Longevity Project” is a practical and insightful book, which focuses on superior knowledge with an intention to decode the message in the bottle.

We recommended it to all people, no classification is necessary.

About Howard S. Friedman & Leslie R. Martin

Howard S. FriedmanHoward S. Friedman is an award-winning psychology professor at the University of California.

He is the author of several books including “The Personality Reader,” and “The Self-Healing Personality.”

Leslie R. MartinLeslie R. Martin is a colleague of Howard and teaches at La Sierra University in California.

She is passionate about finding a way to improve social relationships and find the recipe for longer life.

“The Longevity Project Summary”

Being organized is a good way to earning the nickname “Geek” or something similar.

But fear no more, research has shown that these children tend to be an adjunct of conscientious; an asset that adds to longevity and happiness on a larger scale.

Take notes and push forward.

In other words, a great way to indulge in happy childhood and later stages of life is to apply carefulness.

The power of such attitude derives from conscientious behavior, which leads to forming a defensive mechanism construed of positive vibes and sincerity.

Dr. Terman realized the significance of observation. As a matter of fact, the only way to make this analysis work was to take into account all patterns.

Evaluating the impact of these concepts must be supported by two analyzes, one at the beginning, and the second one 20-30 years later – during the adulthood age.

By all means, one cannot stop from mentioning, that conscientious people have hard feelings about risk, an attitude that grants them the privilege of living a healthy life.

They are less prone to be addicted to drugs, alcohol, or to get into trouble.

We don’t end here; biology plays its role when it comes to synchronizing the components of the brain, and the ones of the emotional intelligence.

Taking the matters to another level rests in the hands of those who understand that laughter and playfulness are essential for achieving longevity.

It may seem too optimistic, but a cheerful behavior can easily subdue any type of cold, and help you feel better.

Is this a long-term prescription, or merely a placebo effect?

As it was expected, children that were not exposed to stress and violence during the childhood period had better chances of living longer and being happier.

Same cannot be said about those who encounter struggle on a daily basis.

The abundance of information makes us cling to one particular theory, that is often misleading.

For instance, laughter as a phenomenon cannot be placed in the same category with happiness.

Finding a beacon of hope is not enough, and many other participants of the study felt the same way.

As it turns out, a healthy lifestyle is the only route one should take. Having the full package includes being wise, happy, and healthy despite the influence of external factors.

We bet you are already familiar with the growing divorce-rate throughout the world.

Scientists have proven that longevity is mostly affected by unhealthy relationships and represents a strong ground for turning towards drinking and immorality.

In college, Donna began smoking, and even though she managed to build a successful career, Donna wasn’t able to create harmony in the home.

Her marriage also resulted in divorce (same as her mother), and not even prosperity, regarding the professional endeavors, saved the situation.

Donna’s example should serve as a lesson to you, and to those who believe that children exposed to the painful process of divorce, will continue to penetrate life in all its spheres without any scars left from the painful past.

After comprehensive research, it was discovered that failed marriages have a greater effect on man’s life longevity than on women.

Such disturbance triggers instability in both physical and mental perspective, leading to health problems and frustration.

Not even one list can go without the effects of religion or belief in something. The philosophy about life is critical for maintaining happiness in the long run.

According to experts, these ideas are not entirely accurate, and the aftermath of such claims is yet to be discovered.  

From what we have seen so far, the formula for ensuring the quality of life varies on a case-to-case basis.

However, one thing we can say for sure: Having too many friends, is not the same as having a few that react to your cry for help.

Longevity = Happiness + Social Acceptance + Happy Marriage + Health + Belief

Key Lessons from “The Longevity Project

1.      Failed relationships are a real issue
2.      The power of religion
3.      Understand happiness, and absorb its features

Failed relationships are a real issue

In reality, married men tend to outlive those who are single or got divorced. As far as the women are concerned, their longevity is affected by the quality of marriage.

Such revelation indicates that divorced women have no disadvantages when it comes to the lifespan.

The power of religion

The conducted study revealed that the side-effects of a “prayer” had no significant impact on one’s life, nor the quality of it.

It doesn’t influence health and longevity, because the last touch belongs to the person and its individuality.

Religion is here to keep high spirits and motivate its subordinates.

Understand happiness, and absorb its features

It’s not a rocket-science to be aware of the fact that happiness has no existence of itself. It’s often the byproduct of successfulness in other fields.

Good social life, successful career, healthy marriage, loving wife/husband all contribute or hinder the progress of one human being in efforts to find bliss.

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“The Longevity Project” Quotes

The late comedian and actress Lucille Ball had her own secret to staying young: live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We cannot reveal all the secrets that will eliminate your urge to read the book.

We leave you on the verge of restlessness, which will hopefully reduce the stigma attached to meaningless concepts.

In our opinion, this book will remain embedded into the very core of human existence.

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The Whole-Brain Child Summary

The Whole-Brain Child PDF

12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

“The Whole Brain Child” is a guidebook for parents to understanding their children’s minds.

About Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson

Daniel J. Siegel

Dr. Daniel J. Siegel is an author, leader at Mindsight Institute and teacher of psychiatry at UCLA.

Tina Payne Bryson

Dr. Tina Payne Bryson is an author, a Child Development Specialist at Saint Mark’s School in Altadena, and a clinical psychotherapist in Arcadia, California.

“The Whole-Brain Child PDF Summary”

New parents get a bunch of advice from everyone around them. However, one type of advice is crucial: how parents should approach the child’s brain?

And yet, no one has advice for this matter.

Children use only a portion of their brain’s capacity when they deal with life situations.

The reason behind this lies in growth: different brain functions develop at different times.

As a parent, you need to help your child to explore the new brain functions as it gets them and guide her through the process of getting used to using these new functions.

Our brains determine our characters. Also, minds are changed by different experiences.

This means that parenting is all about dealing with your child’s experiences, in a way that they shape the person it becomes.

However, we are not saying that you should protect your child from bad experiences.

In fact, you should let it have such instances, but you should guide it to use the brain in a way that will make it a positive experience for its growth overall.

The key notion behind “managing” your child’s brain growth is integration. In other words, the brain has many different parts, and for a child to grow to a smart and happy individual, it needs to learn how to integrate all of these parts to cope with the experiences that come to its way.

This is what is called whole-brain parenting.

Okay, but how can you help your child to start using its whole brain?

Well, a good place to start is to start using all of yours.

Your child picks up your behaviors and copies them.

Key Lessons from “The Whole-Brain Child”

1.      Two Strategies for Teaching Your Three-Year-Old to Use Both Hemispheres
2.      What to Do When A Toddler Throws a Tantrum
3.      Develop Positive Memories

Two Strategies for Teaching Your Three-Year-Old to Use Both Hemispheres

Connect and redirect: connecting with your child’s feelings and redirecting it toward a logical explanation.

Name it to tame it: make your child name the feelings it gets when it retells its experiences.

What to Do When A Toddler Throws a Tantrum

Your child has two brains: a higher and a lower brain.

When it throws a tantrum, it uses the lower brain. To deal with this, first, ask your child what has caused its anger and then, ask your child for a solution.

By doing this, you will engage its higher brain, instead of just enraging the lower one with punishment.

Make sure that you use all opportunities to guide your child to use the higher brain.

Develop Positive Memories

Memories are associations between events of the past and the present.

Make sure that you do everything you can to form positive memories for your child. You can do this, by creating a pool of positive experiences in the present, that would make good memories in the future.

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“The Whole-Brain Child Quotes”

Too often we forget that discipline really means to teach, not to punish. A disciple is a student, not a recipient of behavioral consequences. Click To Tweet As parents become more aware and emotionally healthy, their children reap the rewards and move toward health as well. Click To Tweet Harmony emerges from integration. Chaos and rigidity arise when integration is blocked. Click To Tweet It’s also crucial to keep in mind that no matter how nonsensical and frustrating our child’s feelings may seem to us, they are real and important to our child. It’s vital that we treat them as such in our response. Click To Tweet As parents become more aware and emotionally healthy, their children reap the rewards and move toward health as well. That means that integrating and cultivating your own brain is one of the most loving and generous gifts you can give… Click To Tweet

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The Artist’s Way Summary | FREE PDF |

The Artist’s Way pdf

A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

“The Artist’s Way” is a book for all creative souls who want to free their inner artist.

Who Should Read “The Artist’s Way” and Why?

Do you believe you have had an artist in you, that disappeared, because of all of your obligations and tries to fit society’s standards?

Do not worry, that artist is still there. You just need to wake him or her up.

We recommend “The Artist’s Way” to all people who feel like they strayed from their creative path, as well as those who sometimes feel blocked and unable to get inspired.

About Julia Cameron

Julia Cameron

Julia Cameron is a poet, fiction writer, essayist playwright, and award-winning journalist.

“The Artist’s Way PDF Summary”

Let’s go back to the time when you were a child.

Could you just sit in the room by yourself, just drawing, or singing for hours and hours?

Did you go to bed wishing to hear bedtime stories, and imagining things when you were supposed to sleep?

Are those passions still active today?

Or, have you, like most of us, become a person wanting to be creative, but can never find the time because of his stuffy office work?

These people are called shadow artists and are living their lives haunted by what they could have become.

Even if you are an artist, you may encounter creative blocks.

So, how can you free your inner artist?

There are twelve steps that “The Artist’s Way” reveals to you, which you should focus on weekly, for ten weeks.

Do not rush through the steps and allow yourself to truly make them your habit.

We will cover some of them briefly.

First, start by writing morning pages.

Morning pages let your mind unwind and wander. Your morning pages will not be brilliant – but that is their purpose.

You need to free yourself and let yourself rumble.

Morning pages are a form of artistic meditation which focuses your attention on the present moment.

How do you write them?

Simple. First thing in the morning, before you do anything else and let the world get in the way of your creative awakening, sit down, and let your thoughts wander on a sheet of paper.

There will be days when you will not know what to write but just start somewhere, even from the fact that you do not know about what to write.

When you are working on your morning pages, it is important that you shut off the internal editor, that critical part of yourself which will make you evaluate what you are doing.

Do not worry about how good these pages are! Just let your brain experiment with different thoughts.

Next, make sure you take your inner artist on a date. Relax in your own company, and let your mind drift.

This date is a day you set out for yourself, and allow yourself to relax.

Go to the movies, pamper yourself, or just go for a walk around the block. It does not matter what you do – you can even wash the dishes if that is what you enjoy doing!

Just pay attention to your surroundings. Explore the taste, the smell, the sound of all things you do.

You will be amazed at how many different new things you will discover once you pay attention.

Make it your habit to explore and experience something new – no matter how small it may be.

Now, you have to know that there will be tough times. But desperate times will come, whether you are an artist or not.

You may not be an artist, just because you believe that artists have a harder life. You may think that they lose their sanity, or that they cannot hold healthy relationships.

Whatever it is, realize that your thoughts hold you back from achieving your creative freedom.

And so do people. People can be intimidating, but you should not allow anyone to influence your creativity.

Now, if you have suppressed the creative part of yourself for a long time, maybe it will be harder to wake it up.

But nothing is impossible!

And the further you go with digging inside yourself, the easier it will get.

You will notice new thoughts and feelings, which you may find strange or scary at first, but you have to embrace because they are part of the process.

Another thing art can do to you is expose you to criticism and as a result, strengthen you as a person.

Do not be ashamed of your work!

Listen to what people say, but do not let them influence what you do.

On the path to creativity, you will discover many weaknesses.

But whenever you do – do not worry. Instead, celebrate!

At least you know you are on the right path of waking up your inner creative genius.

Key Lessons from “The Artist’s Way”

1.      Art as the Path to Self-Discovery
2.      Accept that Nothing is New
3.      Trust the Universe

Art as the Path to Self-Discovery

Whenever you experience frustration, anger, negativity, or fear – be happy!

It means that your artistic process is working and that it is showing you all of your weaknesses.

However, art will also show you many sides of your strengths that you have previously not been aware of, and ultimately will lead you to understand your true being better.

Accept that Nothing is New

Artists do not come up with their own ideas – the collect them out in the world, in the universe.

Accept this, and you will notice how creative blocks become a distant past.

The pressure when you take accountability for your “brilliant” idea is immense and can block you entirely.

Think of yourself as just a channel, and you will be much more peaceful and creative.

Trust the Universe

When you are passionate about what you do and about your vision, opportunities will pop up on every step of the way.

The higher power will take care of you and help you. Everything you need to do is to keep being creative.

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“The Artist’s Way” Quotes

In times of pain, when the future is too terrifying to contemplate and the past too painful to remember, I have learned to pay attention to right now. The precise moment I was in was always the only safe place for me. Click To Tweet Leap, and the net will appear. Click To Tweet Pray to catch the bus, then run as fast as you can. Click To Tweet Serious art is born from serious play. Click To Tweet Creativity - like human life itself - begins in darkness. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Artist’s Way” is not an easy fix that will instantly change your life.

It is a book which will make you go through a 12-week process filled with various exercises that will help you find the creative side of yourself.

If you follow through, you will surely feel liberated, and free up the creativity that you have spent your life suppressing.

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The Power of Myth Summary

The Power of Myth PDFFrom Ancient Myths to Han Solo

“The Power of Myth” takes you back to the beginning of myths and explains their meaning.

About Joseph Campbell

Joseph CampbellJoseph Campbell (1904-1987) was an American author, mythologist, and lecturer, best known for his studies of comparative religion and mythology.

“The Power of Myth PDF Summary”

We have all grown up listening to bedtime stories.

Most of the stories parents tell children are rooted in myths and as such play a significant role in the collective identity.

Myths appeared in ancient times when people needed to make sense of the events that were happening in their surroundings.

However, even though today we have science and technology, we still need myths.

Why is that so?

Well, myths help us understand significant points of our lifetimes such as birth or death.

They make the transition from one stage to another more smooth and less scary.

Also, myths still form the identity of a group and explain the differences that exist among groups as well.

The stories in myths are specific for the places they originate from.

And, as circumstances on those places change, so do myths.

However, although myths change as time goes by, their core message stays the same.

Different cultures share common ideas in the form of archetypes. Archetypes are ideas that transcend culture.

All of us, no matter where we come from, understand these archetypes and what their meaning is.

This is so because we all share the same perennial hopes and fears.

That is why myths will never disappear.

Sometimes, myths are abstract. However, they have their concrete counterpart: ritual.

Rituals are sets of steps that people need to follow to achieve a specific goal.

In contemporary times, myths and rituals do not exist in such a distinct form as before, but we still use them to make sense of our roles in the society.

As we already mentioned, myths also help understand stages of life. Especially death.

They depict death as a fundamental part of life, as the other side of the coin. As a result, they decrease the fear of death that people have.

People also have a problem with depicting abstract concepts, such as god, time and space, et cetera.

When people cannot assign physical or concrete meaning to transcendent concepts, myths also help.

Key Lessons from “The Power of Myth”

1.      Blind to the Similarities
2.      How Myths Make Death Bearable
3.      Why Have Myths Been Pushed to the Margins?

Blind to the Similarities

Many concepts in mythology transcend cultures. However, people still want to seek differences instead of looking for the similarities among myths.

People just want to prove that their notions are true, and on the way to proving that, they remain blind to all the common ideas they share.

How Myths Make Death Bearable

Myths help us make death bearable.

In ancient times, fear of death was nonexistent, since death was considered a part of life, and not as an end of it.

Why Have Myths Been Pushed to the Margins?

First, schools do not teach them anymore and second; societies shift the perspective from the group to the individual.

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“The Power of Myth Quotes”

Sit in a room and read--and read and read. And read the right books by the right people. Your mind is brought onto that level, and you have a nice, mild, slow-burning rapture all the time. Click To Tweet We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about. Click To Tweet I don't have to have faith, I have experience. Click To Tweet Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy. Click To Tweet The demon that you can swallow gives you its power, and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply. Click To Tweet

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