Book Review: The Lord Of The Ring’s by J.R.R. Tolkien

A Laudable Landmark In Epic Fantasy

thehobbitlotr
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
March 15, 2017

If The Hobbit is Tolkien’s opening salvo into the world of epic fantasy literature, then The Lord Of The Rings [LOTR] is his full fledged assault on the genre cementing his name in epic fantasy’s timeless lore.

Thankfully, The Lord of The Rings picked off right where The Hobbit left off, building and expanding on Tolkien’s Universe to a whole different level.

The Lord Of The Rings is, as many of you may know, the sequel to The Hobbit, which is set in Tolkien’s Legendarium, and also plays a part in the world of Arda.

One of the simplest ways a reader may note the quality of a fantasy book is asking themselves: does it conjure magic?

Evoking literary mastery in a genre that was nigh nonexistent, and which many outright shunned, what J.R.R. Tolkien did with his entire Middle-Earth Series [check name] was nothing less than astonishing.  Not only did Tolkien write a veritable milestone in literature to boot, but he did so in a time where not many souls cared to venture upon the genre of fantasy.

Touching upon this very issue,medieval literature specialist and writer Corey Olsen Ph.D. puts it in his intriguing and in-depth book, Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit:

Tolkien was very aware of the artistic challenge he faced in writing a work of fantasy, especially since fantasy literature was far from the literary mainstream in the early twentieth century.  He knew that when they encountered his story in The Hobbit, his readers would have to leave their mundane and comfortable world behind and invest their imaginations in a world that contains magic and unexpected marvels.  In chapter One, Tolkien gives us a model for this very process within the story itself.  We begin in our safe and predictable world, and in the first chapter, we find ourselves in a world of wizard and dwarves and dragons.  In this transition, we find ourselves coming alongside a protagonist who is struggling through the exactly the same process, a character who himself internalizes the conflict between the mundane and the marvelous   Our first introduction to this magical, grim, and dangerous world of adventure is also his introduction, and his reluctance and difficulty in adjusting to it give us time to ease past our own discomfort and reservations.  Bilbo Baggins serves as a perfect touchstone for readers, both exploring and embodying the trickier frontier between the predictable and the unexpected.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

This goes to show that Tolkien wasn’t simply a savvy writer, but understood societal challenges he was facing at the time and made sure to do his best to address this notable issue.  What’s more, Tolkien simply didn’t stop there.

The Lord Of The Rings shows why Tolkien’s imagination was not only gratifyingly limitless, but how it was rather robust with meaning in many ways.

In fact, the power of this book is so profound and meaningful that philosopher and writer Peter Kreeft Ph.D. said the following words of it:

“The deepest healing is the healing of the deepest wound.  The deepest wound is the frustration of the deepest need.  The deepest need is the need for meaning, purpose, and hope.  And that is what The Lord Of The Rings offers us.”[2]

And still there’s more:

“…The Lord Of The Rings is infused with the same light that illumined the man who wrote it. And that light is true, for it reveals the reality of the world and life.  And it is also good, because it heals our blindness.  Like the Fellowship itself, Tolkien’s philosophy fights.  It conquers what George Orwell called the “smelly little orthodoxies” of political correctness that have twisted and wounded our souls.  In other words, it is like the healing herb athelas.”[3]

Such is the potentiality held within Lord Of The Rings.

Although at times called a trilogy, The Lord Of The Rings is in fact a stand-alone novel that is split up into six separate books.[4]

The mythical and expansive universe created by Tolkien is one that still ignites the imagination in a way that nigh no other books do, except the greatest ones.  In like fashion, not only does Tolkien fuse fantasy with Norse myth and folklore, but The Lord Of The Rings features a plot that is robust, characters that grow and change with the plot, a setting that is phenomenal and enchanting, all woven within a seamless story that vaults the imagination into other worlds.

Throughout the book, the uniqueness and authenticity the characters echo shows the realism of the novel.  For instance, temptation sinks its teeth into Boromir and Galadriel, each displaying their own set of circumstances in battling against this malevolence.

Instances as the above and many more show many examples that this particular book is chock-full of life lessons to boot.

That’s what makes this particular book great piece of literature.

On the forward of On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue With Tolkien & Lewis Peter Kreeft Ph.D. comments:

“That’s why reading literature, next to meeting people, is the single most effective way to learn not to flunk life.  Life is a story, and therefore moral education happens first and foremost powerfully through stories, e.g., through books.”[5]

Why this is so is because:

“…Tolkien bequeathed to the world a new treasure trove of heroic tales and adventures with the power to reinvigorate classical and medieval virtues that our modern technological age has deemed irrelevant.  Together with The Hobbit and its prequel (the Silmarillion) The Lord Of The Rings stands as a lighthouse in a world that has not only lost its way, but has lost much of its virtue, its integrity and its purpose.”[6]

In a modern age that is starving for virtuous souls from which to learn from, Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R Tolkien has much depth to offer.

For all of the above reasons, Tolkien’s crown jewel – The Lord Of The Rings – has stood the test of time and will continue to enthrall readers for ages to come.  Just like the characters in it, the story grows with every new pass you give it.

This understanding is best grasped by what J. Adler & Charles Van Doren shared in, How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading, which is the touchstone of critical reading:

“…if the book belongs to the highest class – the very small number of inexhaustible books – you discover on returning that the book seems to have grown with you.  You see new things in it – whole new sets of new things – that you did not see before.  Your previous understanding of the book is not invalidated; it is just as true as it ever was, and in the same ways that it was true before.  But now it is true in still other ways, too.”[7][Bold Emphasis Added]

Lord Of The Rings helps expand the bounds of imagination the more an individual journeys within its realm.  Even better, this book helps one see whole new perspectives and ideas that one had not previously considered.  Just like life offers ample opportunities for much learning, this book does as well.

Whether you’re looking for a great story, epic fantasy, incredible depth, mindful philosophy, or simply want to take a audacious adventure into a different setting, this book has much to offer.

Tolkien’s crown jewel – The Lord Of The Rings – has stood the test of time and will continue to enthrall readers for ages to come.  It has enthralled readers not simply because it’s a great piece of fantasy fiction, but also because this book and the lessons of virtue woven therein echo directly into your soul.   For those very reasons, this book will continue to be a touchstone for life, for not only does it teach you what happens when evil rises unabated, but more importantly, it teaches you what happens when individuals with high quality of consciousness help good conquer evil.  That alone makes this book a timeless possession in an age where virtues and goodness continue to dissipate

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Footnotes:

[1] Corey Olsen Ph.D., Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, p. 35
[2] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., The Philosophy Of Tolkien, p 17.
[3] Ibid., p. 3.
[4] J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship Of The Ring, p. 9., HoughtonMifflin.
[5] Louis Markos, On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue With Tolkien & Lewis, p. 8, citing Peter Kreeft in the forward.
[6] Ibid., p. 14.
[7] Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading, p. 333.

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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies regularly 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.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: Everyday Tao – Living With Balance & Harmony by Deng Min-Dao

EverydayTao
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
March 19, 2017

Eastern philosophy is a rather intricate subject that has many different viewpoints.  This particular book couples well into that philosophy.

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.

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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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies regularly 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.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: The Hobbit By J.R.R. Tolkien

thehobbitlotr

TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
March 2, 2017

“Real books disgust the totalitarian mind because they generate uncontrollable mental growth – and it cannot be monitored.”
John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 82.

“Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry.  When we consider a book, we musn’t ask ourselves what it says but what it means.”
– Umberto Eco, The Name Of The Rose

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is one of his landmark pieces, which is part of Tolkien’s legendarium.  Tolkien’s legendarium revolves around the world of Arda.

Unknown to many, The Legendarium was created by Tolkien to serve as fictional mythology about the remote past of Earth, in which Middle Earth is the main stage.

The Legendarium is composed by phenomenal fiction such as The Lord of the Rings and also The Hobbit, as previously mentioned.  But also, the Legendarium features works such as The Silmarillion, The History of the Middle-Earth, The History Of The Hobbit, and more.

Undoubtedly one of the most significant books in the 20th Century, The Hobbit takes us through the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, whose life early on echoes predictability, comfort and simplicity.

However, after an unexpected party, Bilbo’s life changes most auspiciously.  After repeatedly stating he was not interested in being privy to an adventure, Bilbo was tricked into going by his guests, the dwarves, appealing to Bilbo’s more adventurous side – his Tookish side. There in the adventure begins.

On Bilbo’s quest to the Lonely Mountain, he and his companions traverse through Rivendel, the Misty Mountains, the dark forest of Mirkwood and even Lake Town, before anchoring at the Desolation of Smaug for the apex of the story.

On the way, Bilbo and his gang run into all sorts of folks: elves, humans, eagles, wargs, orcs, and even intricate characters such as Beorn and Gollum, all of which serve to make this phenomenal fantasy into one of the most intriguing mental escapes any fictional book has ever accomplished.

Throughout the epic, Bilbo’s journey mirrors that of the readers in the time which Tolkien published the story in 1937.  Just as Bilbo was reticent of going in the journey, being rather conservative, and being comfortable in his rather run-of-the-mill cookie-cutter everyday life, so were the people of the time of Tolkien a bit reserved about venturing on a journey into the realm of epic fantasy.  Mainstream folks weren’t interested in fantasy, and some even felt askance to it.  This was the reason why Tolkien used Bilbo as an analogy for the reader to familiarize itself with this Universe.

In fact, as medieval literature specialist and writer Corey Olsen Ph.D. puts it in his in-depth book, Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit:

“Bilbo’s initial perspective is so narrow, so domesticated, that being made late for dinner apparently counts as very serious hazard.  When Gandalf suggests sending him on an adventure, Bilbo runs into the house in panic.”[1][Emphasis On Original]

That’s how reticent Bilbo was!

These very circumstances, which mirror those of the readers of the time, are best exemplified by the following words:

“Tolkien was very aware of the artistic challenge he faced in writing a work of fantasy, especially since fantasy literature was far from the literary mainstream in the early twentieth century.  He knew that when they encountered his story in The Hobbit, his readers would have to leave their mundane and comfortable world behind and invest their imaginations in a world that contains magic and unexpected marvels.  In chapter One, Tolkien gives us a model for this very process within the story itself.  We begin in our safe and predictable world, and in the first chapter, we find ourselves in a world of wizard and dwarves and dragons.  In this transition, we find ourselves coming alongside a protagonist who is struggling through the exactly the same process, a character who himself internalizes the conflict between the mundane and the marvelous   Our first introduction to this magical, grim, and dangerous world of adventure is also his introduction, and his reluctance and difficulty in adjusting to it give us time to ease past our own discomfort and reservations.  Bilbo Baggins serves as a perfect touchstone for readers, both exploring and embodying the trickier frontier between the predictable and the unexpected.”[2]

And yet, no matter what Bilbo thought on the surface, deep down inside part of his deepest self was quite intrigued with the prospect of an adventure.  This insight is best viewed in the following passage, which takes place right when the dwarves begin an impromptu musical performance at his abode:

“Bilbo “forgot everything else, and was swept away into dark lands under strange moons, far over The Water and very far from his hobbit-hole under The Hill”.  He is transported into the land of the dwarves, and their song even brings him to share for a moment their own perspective and experience.  As they sing, he “felt the love of beautiful things made by hands and by cunning and by magic moving through him, a fierce and jealous love, the desire of the hearts of dwarves.”  For a little while, Bilbo is moved by the music and the poetry of the dwarves, and he steps imaginatively out of his little world and into their story.  At this moment, “something Tookish woke up inside him,” and Bilbo finds that there is a part of him that desires adventure after all.”[3]

Once Bilbo’s imagination is unleashed it was like Pandora ’s Box, and there was no putting it back.

The contrast within Bilbo is best noticed when compared with Gandalf, as each represent two sides of the same coin.

As Olsen elucidates:

“Bilbo’s settled, Baggins life is like prose, plain and businesslike, and the magical world of Gandalf and the dwarves is more like poetry, full of wonder and marvels, but also strange and sorcerous like Gandalf’s smokerings. Bilbo may adhere to the Baggins point of view, but his Tookish heritage does give him a tendency toward that other, adventurous life, a tendency that is lurking beneath the surface when Bilbo meets Gandalf.”[4]

This tendency towards  what’s intriguing and portentous is what helps Bilbo grow throughout the journey as he finds the core of his Tookish side, and uses it to help himself and his newfound friends in this journey.

Intriguingly, as Bilbo grows accustomed to the wondrous and imaginative changes that magic brings about, so did the readers of the time.

The best part of this The Hobbit is that it’s so in depth and profound that there’s much to be had from it.

Truth be told, as Louis Markos Ph.D. notes in his book, On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue With Tolkien And Lewis:

“So greatly did The Hobbit delight adults and children hungry for the lost realm of fairy tales that the cried out for a sequel.  In response, Tolkien spent the next decade and a half crafting a far richer and more mature work that would ratchet up its predecessor from a humble fairy tale to a full-scale epic in the tradition of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Beowulf.”[5]

The Hobbit is truly an upper echelon book.  This book resides within a class of books that belongs in an entirely different realm.  Some of the greatest books of all literature treat life as a journey, and this book is no different.  Moreover, not only that, but the book is so in depth, and offers so many subtle themes, that people for ages will be learning from it.

Touching upon this very subject, Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren speak about these type of books in their own touchstone piece, How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading:

“There is a second class of books from which you can learn – both how to read and how to live.  Less than one out of every hundred books belongs in this class – probably it is more like one in a thousand, or even one in ten thousand.  These are the good books, the ones that were carefully wrought by the authors, the ones that convey to the reader significant insights about subjects of enduring interest to human beings.  There are in all probably no more than a few thousand of such books.”[6]

The Hobbit offers many profound lessons of life.  Through fantasy fiction Tolkien creates a story which is analogous to what each of our own journeys are individually.  And just as life offers us countless lessons from which to learn from, so offers The Hobbit many germane gems of wisdom that are for the taking which are woven throughout the story.

In sum, the best reason to read this book is encapsulated in the following words by Markos:

“All ages at all times need stories, but our needs them so much more…The stories that we need are precisely those that will beckon us to follow their heroes along the Road; that will embody for us the true nature of good and evil, virtue and vice, and then challenge us to engage the struggle between the two…”[7]

And The Hobbit, for those very salient reasons, and more, is just one of those stories.

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Sources:

[1] Corey Olsen Ph.D., Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, p. 21.
[2] Ibid., p. 35.
[3] Ibid., p. 24.
[4] Ibid., p. 23.
[5] Louis Markos Ph.D., On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue With Tolkien And Lewis, pp. 13-14.
[6] Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading, pp. 332-333.
[7]Louis Markos Ph.D., On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue With Tolkien And Lewis, p. 187.
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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

Book Review: Summerhill School – A New View Of Childhood by A.S. Neil

shTheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
March 3, 2017

Having read three books by John Taylor Gatto’s, who has spoken out at length about the inherent issues within public schooling, while also having met some people through discussing these books, someone was kind enough to recommend this particular book.  To say the least, this book is outside of the box as outside of the box can be.

Summerhill School – A New View Of Childhood by A.S. Neil is a book that details the venture of those who took part in the school known as Summerhill, which sought to achieve a new standard of learning and growth.

A.S. Neil was the person mainly responsible for this audacious undertaking, and his actions echo still to this day.

What Neil sought to do was create a place where the idea/value of Freedom is wholly respected, through and through.  For this, this new school required a different way of thinking – a whole new mindset.  This venture required the removal of preconceived notions of childhood schooling, coupled with the open-mindedness that to achieve true education in the school system the child must govern entirely free to govern themselves.  This means that the child would be active in most of what the child chooses for their own development, which may include various aspects learning or playing.

Neil’s individually democratic style education is quite evocative, because when carried out correctly [as myriad examples show in his book] it shows that children can self-govern themselves, and also do so quite well.  This takes place also with little to no interference from the adults, except in some very unique circumstances.  For the most part though, children were left to their own devices, to choose what type of learning they would undertake.

To gauge what Neil strove to achieve, let’s take a gander at his own words:

“The goal was to use childhood and adolescence to create emotional wholeness and personal strength.  Neil thought that once this wholeness had been achieved children would be self-motivated to learn what they needed academically.  The key to this growth was to give children freedom to play for as long as they felt the need in an atmosphere of approval and love.   The children were given freedom but not license; they could do as they pleased as long as it didn’t bother anyone else.”[1]

Therein lies the beauty, for the child who ends up not playing, ends up not using one of the most important parts of life for learning and growth.  Furthermore, the children that have unfinished childhoods so to speak, later in life seek to do things that could have already taken place, and which end up slowing down the progress of growth as an adult.  That’s what Neil seemed to notice anyhow.

Within the book there is a wide array of topics discussed.  Everything from social structure, emotional problems, particularly with children who are a bit older, meetings, self-government, what are called ‘problem children’, play and self-regulation and much more is discussed at length.

Perhaps, the best way to understand what Summerhill is truly about comes from the following piece:

“You don’t have Summerhill in order that children should study or learn to become “ists” of any kind.  You let them function in their own play-work fashion, and you postulate no purpose for them at all.”[2]

The genius of the idea is that because their core individual foundation in childhood was so enjoyable and emotionally robust children end up learning vastly quicker when they choose to follow their path than students that follow the public school system.  However, is that growth is not allowed when children are forced through compulsory schooling [Read: Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto] which crushes their individuality and imagination.  Those very circumstances turn children in robots, only capable of following orders and never taught to critically think.  Only memorization of facts becomes important, and not arriving at the facts.

For that reason, many of the topics of the book do delve into the idea of playing.  Neil does make it a point about focusing on the benefits of playing quite a bit.  What the author states constitutes play is:

“…not thinking in terms of athletic fields and organized games; I am thinking of play in terms of fantasy.  Organized games involve skill, competition, teamwork; but children’s play usually requires no skill, little competition, and hardly any teamwork.”[3]

In other words, true play, like a whetstone, hones the development of imagination.  And imagination is integral, because a child whose imagination hasn’t developed has had his childhood stultified, as well as their imagination, and will be a conformist child, and thus, a conformist adult at the drop of a hat.  Disturbingly, this is exactly what we see in society more and more with time.

The book is split up into two parts. Firstly, the book covers all facets regarding Summerhill, which are covered at length from a variety of angles, citing dozens and dozens of examples of how children responded to particular scenarios and whatnot. Everything from classes, theater, music, sex, teachers, and much more is discussed here.  The second part of the book covers many aspects of Neils life, as he takes us through the journey of what brought him to taking part in Summerhill.

All this considered, the book is a really great read.  Admittedly, the first half appealed to me a lot more than the second part, but that’s because the interest for me was in the process for the individual and not so much in how the author came to be part of it.  Regardless, the book really is something worth pondering for anybody that thinks the one-size-fits-all public schooling and compulsory conformity system that western education has become is good, really needs to take a look at the conformity crisis that’s taking place.  That, however, is a whole different can of worms.  One that John Taylor Gatto discusses at length in all of his books.

If you have read any of John Taylor Gatto’s book, then you will know how indoctrination and conformity are the aim of public schooling, and there’s many documents showing this.  Because of that, and more, an honest view into a different paradigm such as this one brought about by Neil is needed.  Summerhill has shown that education and personal growth can actually be enjoyable for once.

Summerhill has already broken new ground for a new paradigm.  Now it’s up to individuals to ruminate upon how to learn from it and see where it may take them.

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Suggested resources reviewed below for those seeking ideas to self-teach and become autodidacts:

Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Philosophy 101 – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
The Complete Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi

The following books reviewed below cover the disturbing issues within the public schooling system:

Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.& Gary Lawrence
Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
A Different Kind Of Teacher – Solving The Crisis Of American Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Drilling Through The Core, by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors
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Sources:

[1] A.S. Neil, Summerhill School – A New View Of Childhood, p. xviii
[2] Ibid., p. 217.
[3] Ibid., p. 32.
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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

Book Review: Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited By Aldous Huxley

bravenewworld
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 28, 2017

“It is rather alarming to find that only twenty-seven years [after writing Brave New World] quite a number of those forecasts have already come true, and come true with vengeance…Some of them were foreseen, and I think some of them I didn’t have the imagination to foresee, but I t think there is a whole armory at the disposal of potential dictators at the moment.”
– Aldous Huxley [1958]

Known for being one of the most influential dystopian authors of all time, Aldous Huxley, who was a jack of all trades, created his magnum opus, Brave New World in 1931, which was published a year later.  Nigh nine decades later, many of his ominous and scholarly insights are manifesting right before our eyes.  For these reasons, Brave New World should be read through rather carefully, for it serves as a severe warning not only about what might be coming, but what is already here.

This particular fusion of Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley truly is as fascinating as it is disturbing in scope.  The former offers his vision of what a dystopian world might be like, while the latter offers a trenchant examination of Brave New World.

While some may call some of Huxley’s ideas ‘prophetic’ in a sense, it’s more of a logical deduction given the available information that there was at a time.  If one has a reasonable amount of quality information, one surely would be able to postulate a reasonable result given humanity’s penchant for falling for propaganda in droves historically.  After all, most nations historically don’t operate under true freedom.  What’s more, many ‘modern’ nations already implement many of the disturbing trends written about in this sobering, if intense account of could have happened, although in fiction, which is now turning into reality.

Brave New World has been compared to Orwell’s 1984 due to the engineered control grid – each of which carries different methods – and with good reason.  Whilst 1984 is ruled with an iron fist, Brave New World is ruled with a velvet one.  Endless arguments have ensued in many circles as to which one we are gravitating towards, and it’s definitely intriguing although distressing contemplating such facts.

Huxley does an outstanding job of painting a disturbing portrait within his fictional realm.  The individuals within his society – who are essentially drones – have fallen over themselves for the ‘good of all’ – for the collective.  The book is littered with countless examples of this.

The individual, who is the foundation of society, is thrown aside, by the wayside.

In respect to this troublesome and pernicious pervasive issue, which is seen more and more nowadays, Huxley noted the following words:

“Brave New World presents a fanciful and somewhat ribald picture of a society, in which the attempt to recreate human beings in the likeness of terminates has been pushed almost to the limits of the possible.  That we are being propelled in the direction of Brave New World is obvious.  But not less obvious is the fact that we can, if we so desire, refuse to co-operate with the blind forces that are compelling us.  As Mr. William Whyte has shown in his remarkable book, The Organization Man, a new Social Ethic is replacing our traditional ethical system – the system in which the individual is primary.  The key words in this Social Ethic are “adjustment,” “adaptation,” “socially oriented behavior,” “belongingness,” “acquisition of social skills,” “team work,” “group living,” “group loyalty,” “group dynamics,” “group thinking,” “group creativity.”  Its basic assumption is that the social whole has greater worth and significant than its individual parts, that inborn biological differences should be sacrificed to cultural uniformity, that the rights of the collective take precedence over what the eighteenth century called the Rights of Man.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Furthermore, as Huxley notes, the:

“…ideal man is the man who displays “dynamic conformity” (delicious phrase!) and an intense loyalty to the group, an unflagging desire to subordinate himself, to belong.”[2][Bold Emphasis Added]

Talk about a conformity crisis!  That’s exactly where society is torpedoing to as we speak.  And it all starts in youth, through the public schooling system.

This conformity crisis in public schooling has been spoken about at length by John Taylor Gatto in his books, Dumbing Us Down, A Different Kind Of Teacher and Weapons Of Mass Instruction.

In Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling, Gatto mentions the following explosive remarks:

Mass education cannot work to produce a fair society because its daily practice is practice in rigged competition, suppression and intimidation.  The schools we’ve allowed to develop can’t work to teach nonmaterial values, the values which give meaning to everyone’s life, rich or poor, because the structure of schooling is held together by a Byzantine tapestry of reward and threat, of carrots and sticks.  Official favor, grades, and other trinkets of subordination have no connection with education; they are the paraphernalia of servitude, not of freedom.”[3][Bold Emphasis Added]

Schools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.”[4][Bold Emphasis Added]

“…schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet.  No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes.  The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders.”[5] [Bold Emphasis]

Gatto minces no words.  If you wish to see what is happening, right from the start via the public indoctrination system, READ John Taylor Gatto’s work.  It is HIGHLY recommended.

Returning to Huxley, the latter part of Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited also features Huxley’s letter to Orwell.  Additionally, and arguably more importantly, the second book, Brave New World Revisited is absolutely mind bending.

Brave New World Revisited includes intriguing information at length that supplements droves of added substance for the reader to familiarize themselves with some of the deeper niches of everything Brave New World stands for.  One could view it as a few different essays on many of the most disturbing components and trends, featured in Brave New World, which society is currently following.

Topics which are discussed include conformity, the collectivization of society, the attack on individuals, brainwashing, propaganda, social engineering, distractions within society, chemical persuasion, possible solutions and much more.  Brave New World Revisited encompasses nigh 100 pages of additional information that should be essentially mandatory in education.

It would be interesting to see what Huxley would have thought about the precision condition that is currently taking place on a mass scale in society today.  There are so many angles to this, that one could write many essays and analyze it in a myriad of ways.  Many have, and rightly so.

With the recipes featured in Orwell and Huxley’s books, the system seems to be changing day by day, and not for the better.  Propaganda, entrainment technology, social engineering, overmedication of the population, and more, are all being used to maliciously mold society to become not only uniform, but obedient to boot.

Incisive individuals who value freedom and have inquiring minds should not only make this part of their library, but should prepare for what’s already here and much of what’s coming soon.

Couple Brave New World with 1984, and you have the recipe of what the world is beginning to look like, which is a merger of those two ideals.  And that’s a very, very disturbing proposition.

Be warned.

_______________________________________________________________
Sources:

[1] Aldous Huxley, Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited, p. 257.
[2] Ibid., p. 257.
[3] John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling, pg. 69.
[4] Ibid., p. 23.
[5] Ibid., p. 21.
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If You are interested in the subject, the Book Reviews below follow as highly suggested reading:

1984 by George Orwell
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto
 A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Rotten To The (Common) Core: Public Schooling, Standardized Tests & The Surveillance State by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell
The Tavickstock Institute: Social Engineering The Masses by Daniel Estulin
Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse Of Global Transformation by Patrick M. Wood
Propaganda by Edward Bernays

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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

Book Review: 5-Minute Chi Boost by Sifu William Lee

5minutechiboost2
TheBreakAway
Zy Marquiez
February 27, 2017

If Sifu William Lee were a skilled baseball player, he would win a batting title.  This is because to win a batting title is a testament of skill, but more so, simplicity.   And you can have all the skill in the world, but if you don’t keep things simple, you will become your worst enemy.

5-Minute Chi Boost by Sifu William Lee, takes a very pragmatic approach into the discipline of Chi and how to learn simple ways of employing it.

Like his previous two books, Total Chi Fitness [review here] and Healing Chi Mediation [review here], Lee provides the reader with a sound manual that’s as incisive as it is no-nonsense.

As his previous works, Lee commences the manual with the what’s and why’s that pertain to Chi.  These help the reader understand what Chi is, how it can be employed, and so on.

From there, Lee explains the five pressure point methods, which can be applied in specific locales on the body, as well as preparations the reader should do to maximize the efficiency of the exercises.

The techniques within the book 5-Minute Chi Boost, while seemingly unconventional, have helped me personally achieve additional energy and focus.  Out of all three of the books reviewed by me of Lee, it’s been the most helpful, although admittedly it’s also the quickest/simplest to employ, which is why it’s often used.

Speaking simply, if you want to add energy to your life in a simple and yet measurable way, get this book.  Its benefits will be proportional to your effort, but the best part is that it doesn’t take too much effort to employ these techniques, which is why the book is getting more noticed.

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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

Common Core Crisis [Part 4]

educationsystem
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 20, 2017

“In our dreams, people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present education conventions of intellectual and character education fade from their minds, and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk.
We shall not try to make these people, or any of their children, into philosophers, or men of science. We have not to raise up from them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for great artists, painters, musicians nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen — of whom we have an ample supply
.  The task is simple. We will organize children and teach them in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.”[John Taylor Gatto, quoting John D. Rockefeller Sr., Occasional Letter Number One, General Education Board 1906, In Weapons Of Mass Destruction, p. 8]

John Taylor Gatto has been doing yeomen’s work in the field of education for quite some time, and with good reason.  Gatto has fiercely spoken out at length countless times about the systematic issues that are inherent within the bowels of the corrupt public schooling system.

The passage that follows is from his incisive book, Weapons Of Mass Instruction, which details one of these very disturbing and growing issues.

In his words:

“I remember the shock I felt the first time I discovered, quite by accident, that I could personally negotiate larger discounts on book purchases (or anything else) than the school district could.  It didn’t seem to make sense.  The most personally troubling occasion was the moment I decided to use my own funds to purchase classroom sets of good books for student use rather than rely on the “approved” list of books for which school funds could’ve used, and which required many months, if not a full year, to pass through the acquisition protocols to be shipped.  Traveling to a book wholesaler, open to anybody, to secure its standard 40% discount, as I stood at the cash register with a hundred copies of Moby Dick and a hundred copies of Shakespeare’s Plays in shopping carts, the checkout clerk asked me, “Are you a school teacher?”  Without thinking I nodded affirmatively, after which she rang the books up at 25% discount.

“You’ve made a mistake,” I told her.  “The discount is 40%.”

Not for schoolteachers,” she replied curtly.  And when I bellowed in angry protest, she became indignant.  “Look,” she said, “that’s the discount your Board of Education negotiated.  If you don’t like it, take it up with them.”

Now why on Earth would my employer sell out my rights to a standard discount?  Can you think of any reason that isn’t crooked?  And, of course, it wasn’t only my right to full discount the school authorities had stolen, but every teacher’s right in New York City.  Perhaps, this will help you understand why I tilted this chapter “Everything You Know About Schools Is Wrong.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Not only is modern public schooling about indoctrination, conformity and downright nonsense [as we can see in previous example #1, example #2, example #3] but as seen above, it’s also about lining the pockets of Big Business with money.  After all, why else would you not allow school personnel the right to purchase products at discount, and force those people to forgo their rights?  That doesn’t even begin to cover all the other moral implications.

There is so much wrong with this, that much more can be said.  We will digress for now, however, as more examples will follow in the upcoming days.

For additional reading about this disturbing trend please research the following books reviewed below from teachers that are either still working within the public schooling system, or worked within the public school system at one time:

Book Review: Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.& Gary Lawrence
Book Review: Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Book Review: A Different Kind Of Teacher – Solving The Crisis Of American Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Book Review: Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Book Review: Drilling Through The Core, by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors

The following books are crucial tools for individuals who wish to become autodidacts & self-directed learners, homeschoolers and anyone else interested in learning valuable skills not mandatory in public schooling:

Book Review: Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Book Review: How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammer & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.

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[1] John Taylor Gatto, Weapons Of Mass Instruction, pp. 20-21.
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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

Book Review: Philosophy 101 By Socrates – An Introduction To Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

philosophy101
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 10, 2017

My introduction to Peter Kreeft’s work took place via his magnum opus Socratic Logic A Logic Text Using Socratic Method, Platonic Questions, And Aristotelian Principles Edition 3.1With that book Kreeft set the bar extremely high for his own work given the phenomenal job he did in the creation of that book.  Thankfully, that type of high quality standard travels with him to this other book.

Philosophy 101 By Socrates – An Introduction To Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft PhD is an indispensable introduction into the realm of Philosophy.

Although notably not as long as Kreeft’s book cited initially, this book still packs a punch.  The author creates what one may call a ‘user-friendly’ guide to Philosophy.

Given its length, the book can be read rather quickly.  Additionally, Philosophy 101 by Socrates is distilled to serve as a jump-off point for the reader/learner to venture forth into other philosophical topics.  Not only is it possible to use this book as a portable classroom, but it can be useful for homeschooling and even college classrooms.

Arguably the main strength of the Kreeft thesis is that philosophy takes no prisoners.  It questions everything.  Like a curious kid asking why in their nascent stage, it seeks truth – not belief – within every crevice it dares to delve into.  This may be problematic for individuals that do not want their beliefs question.

Kreeft shows how Socrates ‘philosophy operates in the following passage:

“Socrates is the apostle of reason.  He demands that we give logical reasons, grounds for beliefs, and follow the logical consequences of our beliefs, taken as premises or hypotheses, to their logical conclusions through a number of logically compelling steps.”[1]

Such incisiveness will undoubtedly get to the core of the issue far more often than not if employed correctly.

And yet, as Kreeft implies, philosophy isn’t an antithesis to certain disciplines, such as religion.  In fact, Kreeft goes to show how faith and reason can coexist if used trenchantly:

“One of the main functions of philosophy as practiced by Socrates is a critique of religion, finding reasons for (or against) faith.  These reasons often claim only probability rather than certainty; and even when they claim certainty, they may be mistaken) for man is not God and infallible); but it is surely a gain to use binocular vision, reason and faith, and to make at least somewhat clearer and/or more reasonable the ideas most people find the most important in their lives.”[2]

As an introduction to philosophy and Socrates simultaneously, one would be hard-pressed to find a better book than this.  In that Kreeft does an exceptional job in showing how Philosophy and Socrates interweave, especially given how Socrates planted many of the seeds for this whole discipline with his life’s work.

Using Plato’s Apology as a jump-off point, Kreeft undertakes the task to show the reader many of the ways philosophy can be understood by using forty different descriptions of the subject.  It was particularly interesting seeing the range of descriptions that Kreeft was able to come up with – some of it which might shock the reader – and how he was able to seamlessly show how apt those descriptions were to the act of philosophizing.

Subsequent to that Kreeft gives readers a cursory analysis of parts of the Euthyphro, as well as Phaedo, which are both dialogues by Plato, the latter of which details Socrates’ last days.  There are various purposes for the dialogues and the commentary that follows, and these merge swiftly with the overview of philosophy that Kreeft undertook.

One of the main strengths of this book is its ability to narrow complex topics into practical – but not overly simplified – gems of information that the reader can glean.  By contrast, many other philosophy books tend to overcomplicate philosophy, which turn readers off, or to oversimplify philosophy, which ends up not showcasing the latitude that philosophy can employ when used trenchantly.

This practical primer of philosophy also helps readers realize the importance of the art of cross-examination, which Socrates is the father of.  Coupled with that, and more importantly, by its very precision cross-examination employs in philosophy, Kreeft helps readers gain an understanding of the thorough depth which philosophy will go to in search for truth.  This journey in search for Wisdom will percolate into all disciplines, and can only strengthen an individual’s repertoire.

Drawing on all the data above, the book should be an integral component in education.  What the book offers is a template for what’s possible by philosophy’s employment, and not having these skills/knowledge in life emblematic of a surgeon at the operating room without a scalpel.

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Sources & References:

[1] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Philosophy 101 By Socrates – An Introduction To Plato’s Apology, p. 104.
[2] Ibid., p. 141.

Book Review: Three Moves Ahead by Bob Rice

3movesahead
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 6, 2017

Three Moves Ahead by Bob Rice is a solid synthesis regarding the seemingly disparate aspects of business and chess.

Rice reveals many core aspects of Chess theory and gameplay that can and do apply to business in everyday life.

Weaving the reader into myriad historical business ventures – both successes and failures – the author illustrates what made these particular businesses succeed or fail, and goes to underscore the essential Chess tactics that were involved in those scenarios.  Furthermore, Rice journeys beyond that to show the reader how even more can be gained from further introspection if one carries out that additional mental weightlifting.

The analogies Rice employed in the book to compare the subjects are rather adequate.  Admittedly, some are much stronger than others.  Still, Rice gives the reader ample information to chew on regarding the similarities between chess and business.

A noteworthy point is that, even if the reader isn’t an avid player at all or knows nothing of the game of chess, the author explains himself rather well and is easy to follow as he seamlessly flows from topic to topic within the book.

Three Moves Ahead is definitely something to ponder for business-oriented individuals who are seeking ways to grow.  But even beyond that, the principles of the book can be applied to other aspects of life depending on how creative the individual uses what Rice delineates in the book.

If you’re looking for an additional book along the same lines, but with more Chess flavor to it, go on to read Garry Kasparov’s How Life Imitates Chess: Making The Right Movies, From the Board To The Boardroom.  It’s kind of similar to this book, but from the opposite side of the spectrum.  For me it was more enjoyable than this one, although because am coming at it from a chess perspective than a business point of view.  Still, both complement each other rather well if you’re looking to see ‘two sides of the same coin’.

Book Review: Cosmic War by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.

cosmicwar
BreakawayConsciousness
Zy Marquiez
August 18, 2016

Oxford educated researcher Dr. Joseph P. Farrell unleashes a reverberating hypothesis regarding ancient history whose echoes will be forever heard.

Cosmic War – Interplanetary Warfare, Modern Physics & Ancient Texts by Dr. Joseph P Farrell Ph.D. is an extremely intriguing incursion into the possibility of a very ancient war in high antiquity.

Dr. Farrell’s hypotheses of an Ancient Interplanetary War is argued in an in-depth, precise and reasonable approach.  The extensive evidence Farrell collates and synthesizes in this particular book will leave the reader aghast with the possibilities.

Intriguingly enough, many ancient cultures stated that the ‘Wars of the Gods’ were quite real.  Predictably, even though there’s extensive evidence for advanced physics, advanced weapons, ancient [millions and billions of year old artifacts found by reputable sources], the establishment has painted all over ancient history with the brush of ‘myth’.

Regarding this very issue, Jim Marrs in his book Our Occulted History, sets his cross hairs on this very issue:

“The term mythology stems from the Greek word mythos, simply meaning words or stories reflecting the basic values and attitudes of people.  In past ages, when the vast majority of humans were illiterate, easily understood parables were used to educate people about history, science, and technology.  During the Dark Ages, when most of people were taught that the Earth was flat, the word mythology was changed by the Roman Church to mean imaginative and fanciful tales veering far from truthfulness.  This small change in semantics has caused untold damage in current perceptions.”[1][Emphasis Added]

Ironically enough, there is starting to be more and more evidence of ‘myths’ now turning out to be fact.

As Chris Hardy Ph.D remarks in her poignant book DNA Of The Gods:

“…let’s remember that, before the discoveries of loads of ancient tablets written in the pictographic Sumerian language (Late Uruk period, fourth millennium BCE), the kingdom of Sumer was believed to be a mythWe had already discovered Akkad and deciphered Akkadian, and still archaeologists wouldn’t give credence to the numerous carved references, within historical dated records, to a line of kings whose title was “King of Sumer and Akkad“.[2][3][Emphasis Added]

Or how about the “myth” of Troy:

This myth collapsed in 1865 with archeologist Frank Calvet’s discovery of the historic ruins of not only one city of Troy but nine layers of it!  The city, whose siege is recounted in Homer’s Iliad, is only Troy VII, the seventh level underground, dating to the thirteenth century BCE.”[4][Emphasis Added]

And notwithstanding:

“…according to geologist Robert Schoch, who, in 1990, worked with the renowned pioneer Egyptologist John Anthony West, the vertical erosion of the Sphinx was due to heavy and extensive rainfall that happened in the region between 10,000 and 5,000 BCE, thus dating the Sphinx’s construction to at least 7,000 to 8,000 years ago ) according to Schoch’s conservative estimate).  What was the reaction of conventional archaeologists?  Here is one: Zahi Hawass, Director General of Giza, was asked in an interview on the PBS series NOVA if it was possible that a more ancient civilization might have built the pyramids and sculpted the Sphinx.  Hawass replied: “Of course it is not possible for one reason…No single artifact, no single inscription, or pottery, or anything has been found until now, in any place to predate the Egyptian civilization more than 5,000 years ago.”[4]

That last passage in particular showcases the inherent dogma that we as a society have had to deal with.

The gatekeepers, for many reasons, want to keep established history in a nice little box.  Fortunately, as anyone who has extensively research these topics know, there’s more than ample evidence that shows that at minimum history isn’t what we have been told.

In any case, Cosmic War covers wide ranging but pertinent topics such as Van Flandern’s exploded planet hypothesis, an analysis of plasma in relation to weapons that employ scalar physics, petroglyphs which show plasma instability glyphs that were recorded by ancient cultures, remnants of giants in ancient history, optical phase conjugation, the story of the ‘gods’ as related through ancient texts, pulsars, generational charts of the ‘gods’, the scarring of The Valles Mariners being possibly from a weapon, Iapetus and its hexagonal craters, and a LOT more.

The ramifications of this book abound, and filter in all aspects of our lives.  Dr. Farrell gives is more reasons [coupled with countless others in his other trenchant books] as to why we need to give history, particularly ancient history, a very long and thorough look.

In its totality, this book is a veritable fountain of information that is scholarly in precision, and thought-provoking in its ramifications.  This book is a must read for anyone interested in ancient history, ancient civilizations, and any of the topics there in.  There is more than enough information to make the reader curious about our past in more ways than they can really imagine.
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Sources & References:

[1] Jim Marrs, Our Occulted History, pg. 168.
[2] German businessman and archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann also played a role in early excavations of Troy.
[3] Chris Hardy Ph.D, DNA Of The Gods, pg. 11.
[4] Ibid., pg. 11.
[5] Ibid., pg. 11.