Friedrich Nietzsche – Thus Spake Zarathustra

Created on Sunday, 29 March 2009 10:35

A treatise by Friedrich Nietzsche, written in four parts and published in German between 1883 and 1885 as "Also Sprach Zarathustra". The work is incomplete, but it is the first thorough statement of Nietzsche's mature philosophy and the masterpiece of his career. It received little attention during his lifetime but its influence since his death has been considerable, in the arts as well as philosophy.

Written in the form of a prose narrative, Thus Spake Zarathustra offers the philosophy of its author through the voice of Zarathustra (based on the Persian prophet Zoroaster) who, after years of meditation, has come down from a mountain to offer his wisdom to the world. It is this work in which Nietzsche made his famous (and much misconstrued) statement that "God is dead" and in which he presented some of the most influential and well-known (and likewise misunderstood) ideas of his philosophy, including those of the Ubermensch ("overman" or "superman") and the "will to power."

Nietzsche's vision of the "Superman" (der Ubermensch) is at the center of this book, and Nietzsche gives a perfect description of his vision and what it will incorporate and help to abolish. It soon becomes clear that Nietzsche's Superman would be mentally strong rather than purely physically.

The amount of metaphors that Nietzsche uses is immense and he beautifully illustrates all his main points without a single drawing. This is a brilliant masterpiece and whether or not you agree with every point that Nietzsche makes (and few do), you will still be able to appreciate the beautiful poetry. And still, however much you may disagree, this book is thought-provoking and may turn your entire world upside down.


Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet

Created on Friday, 27 March 2009 20:27

A prophet has waited twelve years in a coastal town for the ship that will bear him back to his homeland.

Why he is there, why he is waiting, how he knows what he knows and who he is, is a mystery. As he departs, the townspeople gather to wish him well. A local seeress who knows him best asks him to share his wisdom so that it will endure for generations to come.

On the pages that follow he reveals his wisdom on love, birth, marriage, children, pain, talking, pleasure, death and so much more.

It is a profound work, and here is his advice on marriage so you may judge for yourself:

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.


Tsai Chih Chung – Zen Speaks

Created on Friday, 27 March 2009 20:25

Hard to imagine that a cartoon could unfold the depths of Zen. Perhaps it is the fact the cartoons are brief yet encapsulate so much. Personally, I find it to be in the expressions of the characters in the drawings that tell the story. I really feel the smiles throughout the book and can almost see them winking along with that smile.

Never straying from the seriousness of Zen, this little gem really reveals the joy that lies underneath. A great way to get started; a great little reminder for those already underway.


Deepak Chopra – The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success

Created on Thursday, 26 March 2009 20:47

From Library Journal
Teilhard de Chardin said, "We are spiritual beings having a human experience". Chopra builds on this powerful thought in this book that expands his life's work in spiritual approaches to daily living. He explains the laws of pure potentiality, giving, karma, least effort, intention and desire, detachment, and dharma and includes useful suggestions on how to apply these fundamental, natural principles if one is truly searching for purpose and a satisfying life.

Ancient Vedic concepts form the basis of this philosophy of living, that transcends the Eurocentric theological dogma that seems to preoccupy Western thought.