Book Review: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand | #SmartReads

TheFountainhead
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 7, 2017

There are writers.  And then there’s Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand was a very unique individual; an individual that isn’t afraid to stand by her convictions, no matter what anyone said.  That’s what made her so beloved and hated.  Even more so, that’s why people were so bifurcated about her books.

Knowing that, then it isn’t shocking to realize that The Fountainhead was written with her very own ideals embedded within every page, within every character, within every thought.  In that sense, she is rather unique because not only did she create an amazing story, as many authors have, but she went a step beyond and used the book with the essence of her philosophy, which was, and will always be, a  truly daring endeavor for any writer.

The Fountainhead has been described in many ways, but at its core it is about The Individual vs. The Collective; about Freedom vs. Conformity.

With characters that are gripping, settings that are par excellence, and dialogue that displays incredible depth, the book is a well rounded synthesis about the nature of individualism and what it means to be human.

The leading characters all flow through their roles seamlessly, and whether you love them or hate them, you can feel the realism in them, even if at times they are the epitome of Rand’s ideal.

Anyone who values individuality will value this book.  Those that seek to conform will undoubtedly hate it.  That’s the nature of the beast, and always will be.  What Rand did though, perhaps better than anyone else, is show both sides of the coin – Individualism vs. Conformity – in a manner that nobody else had brought about through fiction.  This is why the book is so engaging, because you hate the villains as much as you love the characters you gravitate towards.  It is rare when a book has you personally invested in nigh every character failing or succeeding, but this book accomplishes that in spades.

Ayn Ran went to war for the Individual against The Collective in a torrential manner in a way almost nobody does.  Through her characters, Rand did a salient job of showing the wide range of latitudes within human nature.   All of this was, of course, was to highlight the importance of Individualism.

As Rand herself elucidates in the following passages, the last of the three which is in her own words, the prior two through her characters:

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their vision.  Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, their vision unborrowed, and the response they received – hatred.  The great creators – the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors – stood alone against the men of their time.  Every great new thought was opposed.  Every great ne invention was denounced.  The first motor was considered foolish.  The airplane was considered impossible.  The power loom was considered vicious.  Anesthesia was considered sinful.  But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid.  But they won.”[1]

“From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man – the function of his reasoning mind.”[2]

“And for the benefit of those who consider relevance to one’s own time as of crucial importance, I will add, in regard to our age, that never has there been a time when men have so desperately needed a projection of things as they ought to be.”[3]

Rand stated those words decades ago, and they apply even more so now.  Given that humanity keeps snowballing down a hill in a world where morality, common sense and virtues keep getting swept under the rug, such statements and their ramifications should be pondered at length.

Whether you love the book or you hate it, it will give you much to ponder about, especially if you value Freedom and Individuality in any way shape or form.

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Sources:

[1] Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, p. 710.
[2] Ibid., p. 711.
[3] Ibid., p. vii.  Written in the Author’s Introduction to the 1968 Edition.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and 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 and mirrors 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 other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: Origins of the Sphinx – Celestial Guardian Of Pre-Pharaonic Civilization by Robert M. Schoch Ph.D. and Robert Bauval | #SmartReads

OriginsOfTheSphinx
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 7, 2017

Written in a cogent, easy to follow, and yet daring manner, the renowned scholars, Shoch and Bauval, are at it again. In Origins of the Sphinx the authors challenge Egyptology at its core: at the Great Sphinx.

Methodically, the authors sift through a wide assortment of data, which seeks to ascertain a more precise dating of the ancient monument.

Split up into two parts, the first half of the book covers seven different topics, which includes an epilogue, while the latter half covers nine different appendixes that finalize the last half of the book.

Each of the initial seven parts is written solely by one of the two authors. At first this choice seemed odd, but it probably was best in order to differentiate who’s bringing about what particular commentary and argument.

Sampling a wide data set, the authors take a cursory glance at the architecture, which includes the Valley and Mortuary Temples, with multi-ton megalithic blocks, as well as more. A gander is also taken at a few of the visitors and researchers that excavated and sampled the sight, such as Colonel William Howard Vyse and Giovanni Battista Caviglia, who had a penchant for the mysticism, the occult, and more. But the authors don’t stop there. Also covered are issues with the fragments of the beard of the Sphinx, geophysical techniques to view below the surface of the Sphinx enclosure, considerations on water erosion on the Sphinx, as well as an in-depth analysis of the Sphinx’s possible construction date.

Regarding the date, Shoch, after some extended analysis in the chapter Sands Of Time, infers:

“…using a linear “conservative” calibration and assuming a date of 4,500 years ago for the western end (which in my assessment is a minimum date; it could be older), then the original core body of the Sphinx is minimally 2.7 times older than 4,500 years ago, giving a date after rounding of circa 10,000 BCE. All in all, I suspect that the proto-Sphinx was in existence prior to the end of the last ice age (that is, prior to 9700 BCE) and was contemporaneous with other structures, such as the oldest portions of Gobekli Tepe in southeastern Turkey. Put simply, the seismic data are compatible with an initial date of circa 10,000 BCE (or even a bit earlier) for the core body of the Sphinx. There is no doubt in my mind that the seismic data alone, independent of any other evidence – such as the surface weather and erosion, which I discuss in chapter 7 – strongly support the hypothesis that the origins of the Great Sphinx predate dynastic times by many millennia.”[pp.78-79]

Such an assertion will undoubtedly send shockwaves through the orthodox Egyptology communities. Then again, such a hypothesis will not surprise many of those exploring other avenues of research in the alternative research community.

Be that as it may, another salient component of this mystery discussed by Bauval is whether Khafre couples with the Sphinx as conventional Egyptology dictates, or whether some other theory might make more sense. Also discussed is what took place with the Dream Stela, the inscription of the Great Limestone Stela of Amenhotep II, the Edfu Temple Texts, and much more.

This book really features a lot more intriguing information than that mentioned. The authors are not only erudite in their research, but make the information accessible for the lay person. That also doesn’t even begin to delve into the nine appendices, which also give a deeper glance that’s a bit technical, but helps shed light onto the situation. Each of the appendices is essentially its own article, and yet couple to the rest of the book rather seamlessly.

If you’re looking for an open-minded foray into the mystery of the Sphinx, that’s meticulously researched while also offering the tools for incisive individuals to come to their own conclusions, hesitate no longer. The approach taken by the authors, although unorthodox, should be considered at length, for if what they say is true, then the history that we’ve been brought up with is drastically different than what we’re being told. Time will ultimately tell, but my bet’s that the authors are pulling on a thread that goes a lot deeper than merely the Sphinx.

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Footnotes:
[1] Robert M. Schoch Ph.D. and Robert Bauval, Origins of the Sphinx – Celestial Guardian Of Pre-Pharaonic Civilization, pp.78-79.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and 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 and mirrors 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 War Of Art – Break Through The Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

TheWarOfArt
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 11, 2017

The War Of Art – Break Through The Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield is a very innovative way to look at the resistance individuals face when attempting to walk the path of a creatively conscious life.

Because resistance is something that we all face in one way shape or form [i.e. procrastination], this book is a book that stands to help everyone in their own unique way.

Pressfield minces no words in his apt definition of what holds creative individuals back:  Resistance.

Resistance is what leaves most of us feeling like abject failures after we’ve lost multiple bouts with it.  The paradox of this conundrum is that Resistance isn’t as untouchable as it might seem at first blush.  Yes, Resistance is the paradise of procrastination on the creative path, it is the ultimate obstacle, the veritable Darth Vader.   As such, resistance is the epitome of self-sabotage.  But, therein lies the key to this curious conundrum: self.

Maraudering deep within our darkest realm, Resistance is the ultimate enemy which seeks to slay every one of our hopes, and cast limitations into each and every one of our dreams.

As Pressfield points out:

“Resistance is a bully.  Resistance has no strength of its own; it’s power derives entirely from our fear of it.  A bully will back down before the runtiest twerp who stands his ground.”[1]

In other words, if the percipient individual – guided by the self – is to overcome this ruthless opponent, they need to face it head on.  As the saying goes, fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.  Like the ego, it only grows when you feed it, so cutting Resistance of at the pass is crucial.  And this is where this book shines.

The War of Art is split into 3 parts.  In Part One, Pressfield shows a plethora of ways in which Resistance can be better understood.  Thereafter, Book Two features ways that the individual can tackle resistance in myriad ways, while Book Three goes beyond into deeper ruminations on invoking the ever-elusive Muse.  He also covers what separates amateurs from professionals, and an unorthodox – but refreshing – look at the artist and how the artist fits into the grand scheme of things.  The book yields more, but those are the core concepts.

As the author aptly notes, if Resistance couldn’t be overcome, the great works that humanity has wouldn’t be available these days.

If you are an individual who runs head on into Resistance daily – and who doesn’t? – or needs a healthy dose of inspiration, this book will definitely help you handle those in spades.  And if you seek to live a more creative life, whether by hobby or profession, then this is a must read.

Pressfield’s unorthodox approach to invoking the Muse is a breath of fresh air, and one that we can all relate too.  In his own words:

“When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication.  She approves.  We have earned favor in her sight.  When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings.  Ideas come.  Insights accrete.

“Just as Resistance has its seat in hell, so Creation has its home in heaven.  And it’s not just a witness, but an eager and creative ally.”[2]

After reading the book, my only regret was that the book was not longer.  That’s the sign of a good book.

If you want an active ally to accompany you in your personal battleground against Resistance and need a spark to light the tinder of action, get this book.
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Source:

[1] Steven Pressfield, The War Of Art, p. 99.
[2] Ibid., p. 108

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and 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 and mirrors 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 Elements Of Style [Classic Edition] By William Strunk Jr. & Edited by Richard De A’Morelli

EO
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 3, 2017

As a preamble, what follows is a cursory juxtaposition between The Elements Of Style Classic Edition, which is the main book discussed, and The Elements Of Style 4th Edition.  Having purchased both within the last month, I thought it prudent to comment on some of the differences between both books.

The Elements Of Style [Classic Edition] by William Strunk Jr. and edited by Richard De A’Morelli is meant as a tribute to the work Prof. Strunk undertook over 100 years ago in creating this book.

This particular book features a forward by Richard De A’Morelli titled “Grammar & Style For The 21st Century”, instead of the one written by Roger Angell in the 4th Edition.  The former is eight pages long, while the latter is only two pages long.  De A’Morelli’s foreword sets the stage better in this book than the previous book, even if it’s garrulous.

In contrast, the “Introductory” within the classic edition is subpar when compared to the one written by E.B. White in the 4th Edition, which actually was more informative and amiable and even offered very practical advice, even if short and sweet.  The one great part featured within the Classic Edition edited by De A’Morelli is that the introduction features suggestions on which books writers ought to consider, which can be quite useful.

Curiously, the Elements of Style Classic Edition by De A’Morelli removes a few writing rules without noting why.  Although, the book blurb does mention that there are some rules which are now obsolete, and there are editorial notes which focus on that, the actual reasons are still lacking.

One significant improvement in the Classic Edition is that after each Rule is mentioned and examples are shown, it’s much easier to discern which are the good examples and which ones are not.

In both books, the first six rules are exact, although worded differently in the newer “Classic Edition”.  Thereafter, beginning on the 7th Rule, it begins to differ.  The newer Classic Edition edits rule number 7, and begins slotting latter rules earlier.  In the 4th Edition, Rule #7 is:

“Use a colon after an independent clause to introduce a list of particulars, an appositive, amplification, or an illustrative quotation.”[1]

As a researcher and someone who writes often, this rule is quite useful and omitting it feels almost like the writer is being sold short.  A writer not knowing how to use a colon is akin to a soldier missing some of their equipment in the battlefield.  The Elements Of Style [4th Ed.] By William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White notes:

“A colon tells the reader that what follows is closely related to the preceding clause.  The colon has more effect than the comma, less power than the semicolon, and more formality than the dash.”[2]

The removal of that rule is almost akin to removing the comma or any other punctuation device.  Perhaps it’s not as trenchant, but it’s quite notable nonetheless because of the versatility the colon features.

Another rule omitted in the Classic Edition edited by De A’Morelli is the use of the dash.  Without writing a lengthy paragraph on this, the omission of this rule is almost as bad as the omission of the colon, and outright removes from the writer another tool they might employ in writing, a very useful one at that.

At least two more rules were removed, although can’t recall which ones they are.  The whole point of this is that there are at least two important rules that are missing, and that’s two too many.

My main issue with this book is that it removes certain rules and doesn’t even mention why.  The colon and dash by themselves are great tools for writing.  Omitting them with not even a mention is very glaring and leaves a lot to be desired.  Because of that, the rules from both books do not line up and cannot.

That said, De A’Morelli as an editor of the Classic edition of The Elements Of Style does an adequate job of staying above water and stating what Strunk Jr. had said different words, which could be useful to some.

Be that as it may, and even though the Classic Edition features a study guide, I still think the 4th Edition by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White is superior to the Classic Edition that is edited by De A’Morelli.  Don’t give me wrong, I am glad to own both, but I don’t feel like I gained much by the purchase of the latter book.  In fact, had I not know about the first book, I would be missing out on two vital rules, as shown above, that are crucial to the writing process, and which I employ almost in every piece.  That makes me wonder what else the editor might have overlooked.

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[1] William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White, The Elements Of Style [4th Ed.] pg. 7.
[2] Ibid., pp 7-8.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and 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 and mirrors 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 Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

BenjaminFranklinAutoBiography

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 14, 2017

Having John Taylor Gatto recommend this book in one of his interviews, it felt natural to want to avail myself of this historical information and its insights.

The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin is an overarching glance  at the inner ruminations and significant instances of Franklin’s life, but not all.

Although smaller in size than most hardcover books, the book still feels like a high quality book to boot.

Offering a map to most of the intriguing areas of Franklin’s life, though not all, this autobiography  offers anecdotes of all types within his life.  In one of these instances Franklin mentions how his father used to have guests over for dinner and conversation, and how that offered immense value to him.  As the following passage alludes:

“At his table he liked to have, as often as he could, some sensible friend or neighbor to converse with, and always took care to start some ingenious or useful topic for discourse, which might tend to improve the minds of his children.  By this means he turned our attention to what was good and just, and prudent in conduct of life…”[1]

Not only did Franklin learn in such a manner, but he also learned from watching others partake in their craft quite often.  Beyond that, Franklin also sought many a book to sharpen his mental faculties.

Fortuitously, during a discussion about writing with his father, Franklin was told by him that although Franklin was quite proficient in spelling and such, he still fell quite short in “elegance of expression”.  Realizing this to be true, the help his father gave allowed Franklin to become more attentive and polished in writing.

Soon thereafter, Franklin found a volume of Spectator which provided the impetus for Franklin to employ self-learning at a scale he had not undertaken before.  This in effect lead to Franklin creating a system of deliberate practice that allowed him to become proficient in writing.

To observe how precisely Franklin accomplish this, please note what Geoff Golvin stated in Talent Is Overrated – What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else:

“Significantly, he [Franklin] did not try to become a better essay writer by sitting down and writing essays.  Instead, like a top-ranked athlete or musician, he worked over and over on those specific aspects that needed improvement.  First came sentence structure which he attacked precisely in accord with deliberate practice principles.  His method of summarizing and reformulating Spectator sentences y one by one was designed ingeniously for that purpose.  He repeated that routine at high volume…and he got immediate feedback by comparing his sentences to the original.  When he decided to work on another element of performance, vocabulary, he again designed a brilliant practice structure, versification, with high volume and immediate feedback. “[2]

Following that, knowing that he lacked a wide-ranging vocabulary, Franklin showed is intellectual versatility  when he chose to employ poetry to increase his writing repertoire.

The fact that Franklin used self-teaching to achieve unparalleled self-sufficiency in this regard shouldn’t be glossed over because there’s much to glean from it !!!!! considering that that is a keen quality to have but which public schools and even Universities fail to teach.

Another intricate aspect of Franklin’s life was how he employed  persuasion.  In respect to this, Franklin delves into his insights in persuasion and argumentation, which  allowed him to speak to others in various disputes and conversations in a way that helped him foster sound judgment and more profitable interactions with other individuals.

Besides his youth, Franklin also covers his desire to master virtues of self-mastery  in order to increase his quality of consciousness, and even designed a small system of implementation for himself in order to bring it about.  And although Franklin continued growing as an individual, he still was savvy enough to realize he was still quite proud, and even then sought to attain more humility, even though it at times seemed paradoxical.

For instance:

“In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride.  Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history; for, even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”[3]

Such a passage will go show that although Franklin had much pride, he still sought to attain humility as much as possible, even if he might never quite attain it.

Even though Franklin covers some successes in life such as business, some of his philosophy, and even idea of individuals attaining freedom through the employment of handwork and wisdom, the book doesn’t extend into his life during the Revolution.  That was quite unfortunate for his ruminations on that would have been valuable.

Another point not covered by Franklin is his membership to the Freemasons.  This would have also been significant, but it’s also not surprising that he did not cover it.  That said, the book to a large extent covers what Franklin saw as valuable at the time at key junctures of his life.  Franklin’s insights into virtues and dealings with other individuals and his creation of a system of deliberate practice shows this best.  To some extent, the book almost reads like a self-help book, but not quite so.

Irrespective of all that, the book does have some bite to it, but it’s not the end-all be-all of Benjamin Franklin’s life.  As an introductory volume in understanding the man in his own words, it’s quite invaluable, if garrulous at times.

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Sources:

[1] Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin, p. 9.
[2] Geoff Golvin, in Talent Is Overrated – What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else, p. 107.
[3] Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin, p. 99.
___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and 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 and mirrors 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: UFOs For The 21st Century Mind by Richard Dolan

UFOs21CM
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 4, 2017

In UFOs & The National Security State: Chronology Of A Cover-up – Volume 1, Richard Dolan carried out his opening salvo into the field of UFOlogy.  Seeking a veritable encyclopedia  of verifiable UFO sightings and never finding one, Dolan wrote a book based upon all data he collated from all the previous research he had undertaken.  In essence, he wrote the book he was looking for in UFOlogy, but wasn’t available.

In UFO’s & The National Security State – Volume 2, Dolan further cemented himself as a genuine historian by buttressing his previous work with another landmark piece.  Like his other books, this book is sourced to the hilt, which is appreciated for those seeking to venture further into the abstruse.  Moreover, this book is also the book in which the term “Breakaway Civilization” was coined.  A notable point to be sure, because that idea has been used by others seeking truth within this field and others, and it’s helped shed light into darker areas in this field.  What’s more, the ‘encyclopedia’ that Dolan began in volume one continued.

Thence, in A.D. After Disclosure, Dolan and his author Bryce Zabel sought to examine how the day after “the Others” are announced might play out, and they carry out the examination in salient fashion.  This book features a very sober analysis to many of the probable scenarios that will play out in a post-disclosure worked.  Anyone seeking to understand the possibilities such a sobering day will bring should ruminate upon getting this book.

Now, in UFOs For The 21st Century Mind, Dolan wrote a book to grapple the mind of newer generations and readers, the unexposed minds, the interested minds that have long sought to dive into “the phenomenon” but didn’t know where to start.

Along this stream of thought, this book strikingly brings about a fresh new look at UFOs, with modern eyes, employing a much broader perspective and dataset than the average UFO book.  Dolan doesn’t simply stick to classic sightings, abductions and declassified documents, but goes beyond to ruminate upon the realm of consciousness, quantum entanglement and more.  This book really is an up-to-date assessment of the situation from a multiplicity of angles.

Dolan begins the book by examining what UFOs could be by guiding the reader closer to the subject thoughtful and yet trenchant manner.  This helps the reader familiarize themselves with the subject and come to realize that there are a variety of explanations for UFO phenomena, many of which do not get considered   at length, if at all.  Additionally, this is also crucial because many individuals still continue to experience the phenomena in a variety of ways, and yet there aren’t any official channels to seek help from.

In Dolan’s own words:

“Whether or not you consider UFOs to be nonsense or of great importance, people are seeing things that are affecting them deeply.  Because there are no institutional structures for them to report or discuss what they see, they often keep silent, and try to forget or only secretly cherish one of the most incredible experiences of their lives.”[1]

Dolan, however, doesn’t shy away from the fact that this is a very serious issue.  While ruminating deeply upon it, he ponders reasons both pro and con that will help bring lucidity to a situation often bathed in shadows.  In fact, implications in the fields of economy, politics, religion, culture and science are given a cursory overview early on, and then are covered at length later in the book.  Dolan doesn’t merely stop there, though.

Journeying back in time, Dolan goes on to explore this phenomenon all the way back into ancient times and attempts to separate the wheat from the chaff.  This is important because it shows UFOs aren’t merely a modern phenomena.   In addition, salient subjects such as pyramids, lost civilizations, and ancient images goes to show that there probably is more than meets the eye within this field.

Interestingly, we know that some pyramids contain astronomical data.  This is particularly interesting because when this information is taken in conjunction with much of the lore and myths that abound those structures, and the fact that there’s hundreds of pyramids around the globe, and the fact that many of the core of the myths echoes nigh carbon copy traditions,  it should bring one pause.  Granted, it’s not proof, but very suggestive evidence nonetheless.

What’s more, some ancient writings seem to have what could be descriptions of ancient technology, such as the passage from Ezekiel, from the Bible, which Josef Blumrich, former NASA employee, sought to debunk.

Ironically, in the book The Spaceships of Ezekiel:

“Blumrich presented technical specifications of the spacecraft that he argued, fit Ezekiel’s description perfectly.  Of course, we should remember that Ezekiel presumably was describing something well beyond his experience for his time 2,500 years ago.  If he did see a descending spacecraft, he would have lacked the language or technological understanding to describe it in any way other than he did.”[2]

Later in the book, Dolan brings the reader up to more modern times when he examines a distinct array of sightings  and issues from the time.  These include ghost rockets, the Airship mysteries, which are rather fascinating in fact, the Minot case, the Malmstrom case, airspace violations and more.  Subsequent to that that, Dolan grapples with the issue of pervasive secrecy which he ruminates upon at length, and all that that entailed.  Many of the classics – Kecksburg, Aztec, Roswell – are also given a cursory glance.

But it doesn’t stop there.  Other significant incidents of “High Strangeness” get examined, such as some famous sightings around the globe, encounters with these beings, abductions [i.e. Travis Walton & Betty & Barney Hill] and even some crash retrievals.  All of this coalesces to allow the reader to note that there’s more than ample evidence to show that the phenomena not only existed for many decades, but was taken extremely seriously by those in the upper echelons of society.

Dolan also makes sure to hone in on quite of few aspects of the early period within UFOlogy’s history.  Here he covers everything from the blatant cover that took place behind the scenes, FOIA requests, the penetration of UFO groups by intelligence agencies and even touches upon the need for more people to get involved in a more serious manner.

This call to arms isn’t to be taken lightly because, as Dolan intimates:

“…a proper study of UFOs is a revolutionary experience.  It shatters old belief systems and forces us to look at our world in a completely new way.  Everything is affected: history, politics, economics, science, religion, culture, and our ultimate vision of who and what we are as human beings.”[3]

This subject seeps into all aspects of life, which is why it should be taken seriously.  When all collated information Dolan has amassed is pondered at length and given a fair shot, it is impossible not see something is going on.  Deeper truths lie locked-up within the rabbit holes of the field.  Undoubtedly, whenever some of these truths arise they will change the face of the world over night.  Those that are researching this field will be ahead of the pack in understanding the phenomenon and much of the disinformation that will also come regarding it, in the future.  That is another point to consider why this book should be read.

This subject is too important to overlook, and if humanity is ever going to prepare itself to live in a post-disclosure era, it is important to know the history of this subject and its implications.  If you’ve never read a book on this subject in your life, make this your first one.  You will not regret it.  As someone whose read over three dozen books on the subject, nothing else comes close to be this comprehensive while also being sober and realistic. Simply stated, if you want a book that is accessible to lay person, but also stimulating enough to get your brain cells churning, get this book.

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Footnotes:

[1] Richard Dolan, UFOs For The 21st Century Mind, p. 9
[2] Ibid., p. 55.
[3] Ibid., p. 2.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and 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 and mirrors 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: On The Shoulders Of Hobbits by Louis Markos Ph.D.

OnShouldersOfHobbits

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
March 24, 2017

On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue With Tolkien & Lewis by Louis Markos Ph.D. is a book that seeks to rediscover virtues, as they were known to be in older times.  These virtues are exemplified through the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

Peter Kreeft Ph.D., author of book gems such as Socratic Logic, Philosophy 101, etc. opens up the book with an apt foreword, which is followed by a salient introduction by the author Markos.

In the introduction Louis Markos outlines the fact that society needs a revived awareness regarding lost virtues which were inherent to individuals once upon a time.  The author also covers why fantasy and stories, such as those by Tolkien and Lewis, are vital in showcasing these lost virtues.  Along with that the author also gives us some background information on the subject, as well as what his approach will be in the breakdown of the messages and morals that he later tackles.

Although the book covers both Tolkien and Lewis’ work, a more sizeable portion will be of Tolkien’s work.  In a rough guesstimate, the book is perhaps two thirds Tolkien to one third Lewis or so.  This does in no way take away from the meaning of the book, but it’s something that the reader perhaps might want to know.  At least for me, the book was still plenty valuable.

In addition, the reason the that the author has chosen to cover Tolkien and Lewis’ work is because “though Tolkien was not a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia, the fact remains that the two men shared the same premodern Christian understanding of good and evil, virtue and vice, beauty and ugliness.”[1][15]

Since both authors have such similar philosophies, drawing from each authors’ books is in fact a no brainer.

At the nascent stage of each chapter the author begins with a particular message and/or moral that has been overlooked by modern society, and then that particular theme is then analytically coupled to information from The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, or The Silmarillion, with the information further complemented with a passage from The Chronicles Of Narnia that helps buttress the theme further.

One neat part about each of these chapters, and lessons woven and analyzed therein is that there is a variety of ways one can learn from these given the information provided.  Given that the subjects of these books are so vital to healthy and robust human principles, having intriguing discussions regarding these themes should be something ruminated upon at length.  Families or friends could discuss the information bouncing it back and forth in thought, or it could even be covered in homeschooling or group discussion perhaps.  Heck, it would have been neat/awesome to have had a discussion about something like this in high school or college, instead other subjects that aren’t important to life.

In plain speak, what the author seeks to accomplish is help the individual learn why the works of Tolkien and Lewis are highly respected.

Each of the examples from the books of Lewis and Tolkien are quiet salient ones, and very meaningful.  In fact, some of the examples provided could arguably be some of the sagest lines written by each author, at least for this book’s purposes.

For what it’s worth, the book is split up into three sections.  In section one, the author’s main focus was the proverbial road – the individual journey – that each individually embarks upon which resonates with our deepest being.  Markos does a very remarkable job in showing how the quest that the characters in each of respective novels follows a specific journey, and in much the same way mirrors what individual people might go through in life.  Section two covers four classical virtues, while Section three breaks down three theological virtues, which contain also a fourth, which regard friendship, and was one of my favorite parts of the book.  Those latter stages really exemplify those virtues in the authors’ work in a way that helps the reader realize what society has lost, and how to help reboot the road to virtue.

At its closing stages, the book finishes with a very robust and enlightening Bibliographical Essay [Appendix A] regarding J.R.R. Tolkien and Middle Earth, which features substantial additional information regarding all things Tolkien.  A very notable addition for any serious fan, and will even prove useful for some casual fans that might not know where to start.  As someone who’s beginning to study Tolkien more and more, this part is absolutely invaluable.

The second bibliographical essay [Appendix B] touches upon C.S. Lewis and Narnia.  In similar fashion, the resources covering Lewis are discussed at length, and in rather salient fashion.  Markos does an exemplary job of really going above in beyond with both essays in supplanting a veritable truckload of information for individuals – enough to keep you busy for years surely!

All things considered, this book really gives the incisive and inquisitive mind much to ruminate upon, and for me it’s undoubtedly a great book, and a worthy book to have in any personal library.

In fact, considering the topic at hand – regarding society’s lost virtues – one could even make the bold argument that it’s even a great piece of modern literature.  Regarding that, perhaps Peter Kreeft said it best in the book’s foreword:

“That’s why reading great literature; next to meeting people is the single most effective way to learn not to flunk life.  Life is a story, therefore moral education happens first and foremost powerfully through stories, e.g., through books.”[2]

This book in particular, not only is educational, but helps readers sensibly reconnect with virtues that seem to be going by the way side.  And in an age where society’s values keep getting overlooked, a book like this is worth its weight in gold.  That alone is worth the price of this book.

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Footnotes:

[1] Louis Markos Ph.D., On The Shoulders Of Hobbits – The Road To Virtue With Tolkien & Lewis, p. 15.
[2] Ibid., Peter Kreeft, Foreword, On The Shoulders Of Hobbits, p. 8.
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Suggested Book Reviews and video:

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit by Corey Olsen Ph.D.
The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
How To Read J.R.R. Tolkien
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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.