Whenever you finish a book, post it here

Tippy

Woodpecker
Other Christian

This is a book about masculine archetypes. The main thesis is that there is a crisis in modern masculinity due to men being unable to access the healthy forms of these archetypes and displaying their shadow forms. Just think about how much worse this has gotten since the book was written in 1991!

It's fun to read the book and think 'hmm...what behaviours of mine are showing these archetypes?"

An example for me was understanding my shadow warrior self which is sometimes present in my workaholism. Or my shadow lover with porn addiction. Unfortunately, my shadow self is more present in my behaviours.

The book is implicitly anti-Christian, unfortunately. In the lover sections of the book the appetite for lust is depicted as natural and healthy, as is generally the case in secular thought.
 

rouchno1fan

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
Have just read: "Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future" by Fr. Seraphim Rose (excellent - absolutely essential reading)
followed by "The UFO Deception: An Orthodox Perspective" by Fr. Spyridon Bailey (very good - recommended)

Currently re-reading "God's Revelation to the Human Heart" (also essential reading) by Fr. Seraphim Rose while I decide what to read next.
 

OrthoCole

Sparrow
Orthodox Catechumen
What was your take on it? I read it during my Jordan Peterson times, but never got a grip on it. Sure, wisdom here and there, but didn't catch me for some reason.
I thought it was good, but my expectations were low going into it. I was expecting a simple collection of motivational quotes, as that's what most of the online stoics use it for. But I was surprised by how philosophically in depth it was. It doesn't read like a philosophy textbook but it is there through analogy and poetry. Also, I learned that the stoic view of suffering is amendable to the Orthodox Christian view.

One criticism I have is that it is very repetitive, which is not the fault of Marcus Aurelius, I'm guessing he didn't intend it to be put together as a book. So you really only need to read the first 100 pages or so. But overall I enjoyed it and didn't find it too difficult to read, and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in studying Western philosophy.
 

Tippy

Woodpecker
Other Christian

This is a book about masculine archetypes. The main thesis is that there is a crisis in modern masculinity due to men being unable to access the healthy forms of these archetypes and displaying their shadow forms. Just think about how much worse this has gotten since the book was written in 1991!

It's fun to read the book and think 'hmm...what behaviours of mine are showing these archetypes?"

An example for me was understanding my shadow warrior self which is sometimes present in my workaholism. Or my shadow lover with porn addiction. Unfortunately, my shadow self is more present in my behaviours.

The book is implicitly anti-Christian, unfortunately. In the lover sections of the book the appetite for lust is depicted as natural and healthy, as is generally the case in secular thought.

So by the same author, I just finished 'Facing the dragon: confronting personal and spiritual grandiosity.'


This was actually the last published work by this writer before his murder suicide (!!!) in 2016.

Some key insights:
'You are most vulnerable to it (evil) when you are most disconnected from your relationships and trying to cope with your life and problems alone.'

Although this book is discussing evil from a Jungian perspective, he ultimately comes to the same conclusions many Christians would - that Satan gets to us when we are alone and disconnected. Grandiosity (the theme of the book) is really another word for the sin of pride (known to be the worst of all sins). He goes into more depth here:
'grandiosity' means you have larger fantasies and wishes for yourself than your real life can support, so they either make you manic, running around trying to keep up with their demands, or they make you depressed because your desires are so high and unachievable that it soon seems useless to try to do anything at all.'

'Humans beings have an enormous desire not to know. It is very painful to know. If we did a popularity contest among all defense mechanisms, the defense mechanism of denial would win hands down.'

This struck me in particular when considering the willful ignorance of masses during the coronavirus pandemic. People will do anything to avoid knowing the truth, including harming their own children with dodgy injections.

'When you relate adequately to your archetypal warrior within, whether you are male or female, you will be more effective and have less trouble with depression.'

The idea of those with warrior issues is they are just a mess. Depressed. Self-defeating. Avoidant. This is not the warrior. The warrior gets things done and focuses on the correct things which need to be done.

'Evil is very much antilife. It is full of hate. It tries to destroy relatedness. It uses deceit, lying and illusion. In fact, almost all folklore presents evil as deceit and lying and a master of illusion...evil hates cannot stand to be exposed, and it hates human community for that reason. Evil wants to get you alone and isolate you.'

Reading this passage haunted me a little. I couldn't help but think about the pandemic again and how truly evil the results of it have been (as planned of course). Community gatherings made illegal. Many people sat alone in rooms. The use of deceit to manipulate people into the desired course of action. Reading this section solidified for me the fact that those involved in orchestrating this pandemic are acting under the influence of satan and spreading his influence through isolating and deceiving the masses.

There is a warning for Christians here:
'Spiritual practice, then, can often be a clever disguise for someone possessed by infantile grandiosity and related delusional humility.'
A little cynical maybe, but often someone can turn to religion but be overwhelmed with the pride of being a good Christian, and even humility can be a kind of arrogance as well!

What is true humility?
'(a) knowing your limitations and (b) getting the help you need.'

This section made me think about recent YouTube vids I'd seen by John Doyle:
'Culturally modern people who retreat into secular individualism have fewer places to contain their grandiosity, so they tend toward self-medication excesses like consumerism, the cults of beauty, celebrity, or addiction, or some other king of addictive pseudo spirituality. Prophetic voices from all the world's religious rightfully criticize these forms of malignant narcissism.'

Even though he recommends some secular solutions to this problem of grandiosity, he also suggests a need for religious community and discusses the importance of prayer.

There is so much in this book and I think you can look at all of his advice through a Christian lens even though this guy is a hardcore Jungian. When he talks about 'king, warrior, magician, lover' being 4 archetypes you could arguably see all of these within the figure of Christ, so it still works for me it read this work through that lens as a reminder I need to be Christlike in multiple areas. Being a good Christian is of course not just about turning the cheek.

I'm looking forward to reading other books in the series!
 
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rouchno1fan

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
Just read "The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios" by Dionysios Farasiotis. A great read. The stuff in India is highly sinister, and there's some fantastic insight into St Paisios. I'm now reading "Saint Paisios of Mount Athos" by Hieromonk Isaac.
 
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