I am in the final stages of rewriting and editing a new book. Since I am still enjoying summer I’m going to take the easy, lazy way out and simply post a few excerpts from it.
“Philosophical Fragments Of Your Ancient Name” Excerpts
The title of my next book is “Philosophical Fragments Of Your Ancient Name“. The title is a combination of a book titled “Philosophical Fragments” by the delightfully curious Danish author Soren Kierkegaard and “fragments/of your ancient name“, a line from a poem by the equally delightful and curious German author Rainer Maria Rilke. The book is philosophical – existential – and it’s sprinkled with poetry and poems. So please don’t hang me for ripping off the titles!
The first short excerpt below from the book is from the opening Preface. I begin the book by telling the reader that I am not qualified to write about anything that’s in the book. I don’t want to build the reader’s expectations too high!
“This book is divided into three parts: on Science, Christianity and Mysticism. However, I am neither a scientist, a theologian nor a mystic. I have no particular expertise in any of these fields.
If I am neither a scientist, a theologian nor a mystic then what am I and by what authority do I write upon these things? I am an ordinary man living an ordinary life in an extraordinary time. As such, I am everyman: the amateur, the one without an agenda, the one who can ask any question.
Everyman is simply he who speaks by the authority of being a human being, an authority in which we all participate. And this is a book for everyman. You need not be a scholar or an expert in any of these fields to understand this book. An acquaintance with them will carry you through to the end with little difficulty.”
After acknowledging my incompetence to write about anything that I am going to write about I’m free to pretty much write and say whatever I want. It’s a chronic case of ignorance is bliss. The first section in the book is on science, scientists, education, educators and politicians. I tend to dislike all of them with approximately equal fervor.
“Scientists have become adept at magnifying or exaggerating the importance of their work. Routinely it is of very minor consequence. Although there are millions of scientists feverishly at work at any given time major breakthroughs are noticeably rare. The foot soldiers in the armies of science, our unimaginative PhD researchers, are mostly employed churning out endless nugatory papers which only echo the pedantic dogmatic. That the release of final research reports also routinely occurs near the expiration of funding is not a coincidence. The scientist’s ‘Requires further study.’ mantra is code for ‘Requires further funding.’ And every subsequent ‘Scientific Proof’ comes with implied ‘Best Before’ and ‘Expiry Date’ labels.”
The next section of the book is devoted to my views on christian theology and practices. Were I living during the time of the Spanish Inquisition not only would my book be burned. I would be burned too.
“Grand and majestic cathedrals and churches stand everywhere on the earth; meanwhile the people who built and paid for them continue to live in squalor and slums. The fact that the churches have become incalculably wealthy while the majority of their members have remained grindingly poor does not seem to bother the conscience of theologians one bit. They continue to self-righteously pass around their collection plates without fail, even as their parishoners starve right under the theologians’ godly noses. After millenia of basically stealing food out of the starving mouths of poor children and robbing them of their dreams through the practice of collecting church tithes it is all too evident that christian churches have forgotten to give back what is not theirs to keep in the first place.”
The final section of the book is on the innocuous topic of mysticism. Even in it I find something to complain about.
“Today millions of people happily empty their wallets regularly for yet one more energy fix from their ever-smiling, ever-travelling gurus. I call them drug store gurus because they peddle a brand of meditative enlightenment which is the modern version of the snake oil salesman. The drug store guru is a god in an energetic universe who promises the confused masses more power in an energetic universe. The drug store guru is in essence and by practice a muddle-headed reductionist. To him God is self-power and energy and he has the special power to distribute that energy.”
The book is approximately 17,000 words in length. The 4 excerpts above are about 500 words in length.
Nevertheless, this post is now long enough to publish!
The video below is my latest YouTube. Its topic is book publishing, and the pros and cons of print vs. digitally formatted books.
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