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.

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Book Review: The Healing Power Of Touch – The Many Ways Physical Contact Can Cure by Karin Sullivan

healingpoweroftouch

BreakawayConsciousness
Zy Marquiez
December 12, 2016

The Healing Power Of Touch – The Many Ways Physical Contact Can Cure by Karin Sullivan is an encyclopedia – albeit a small one – outlining the various ways that healing can be brought about through touch.

Sullivan begins by examining data which shows how powerful human touch can be.

From there the book is essentially split into two parts.

The first part of the book examines the vast array of touch therapies available to individuals.  Granted, given the wide-array of therapies discussed, the author gives each therapy a very cursory but reasonable overview.  Within these therapies discussed, some of the ones mentioned are: acupressure, reflexology, reiki, shiatsu, chiropractic, ayurvedic massage, aromatherapy massage, applied kinesiology, myofascial release, and much more.

From there on, the second part of the book focuses on specific conditions.  These conditions, which number at least 50 in the book, include many major diseases.  Each of these lists various of the therapies which were known at the time to work.  Some of these conditions included diabetes, depression, insomnia, headaches, hypertension, colitis, cancer, burns, bronchitis, bone spurs, sinusitis, shoulder pain, sciatica, pregnancy discomfort, Parkinson’s disease, nausea and vomiting, cancer, asthma, arthritis, and more.

One thing to keep in mind is that the information provided within the book was published in 1998.  Since then there has been increasing evidence and studies that showcase the many benefits of many of the alternative therapies mentioned in the book.  How many studies have been conducted really depends on which therapy is covered, but the fact remains that the benefits have helped many.

Alternative therapies have been growing immensely over the years and it is now a multibillion dollar industry.  This goes to show people are attempting to get away, and rightly so, from regular for-every-ill-there-is-a-pill mindset of BigPharma.  Books like this one help show what’s available for individuals, even if the book is slightly dated.

Regardless, the book can serve as a small encyclopedia, or as a jump-off point from where the individual may research further any of these topics.  Given that there are no side-effects for these therapies, they should at minimum be considered, if not downright researched thoroughly for individuals who have disease, or wish to stay in a health state of being.

[Review] Recommended Book – The Third Way By Dr. Farrell

thethirdway

BreawayConsciousness
Zy Marquiez
December 15, 2015

[Editor’s Note]
This review was posted on Amazon a few months back by me upon reading the book.  Thought it would be prudent to share given how vital Dr. Farrell’s work is to understanding our current paradigm and much of what goes on behind the scenes.

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As a preamble, have had the pleasure myself of reading 20 of Dr. Farrell’s books in the past, and they have all been as thought-provoking as they have been deep in scope. Not only do his books dovetail with each other rather smoothly, but they each bring a different [yet much needed!] flavor to alternative research, and his work is starting to get recognized by independent researchers and individuals that are searching for answers to questions in our paradigm/s that the mainstream culture [and even alternative media as well] is not covering, and sometimes downright suppressing.

Mr. Farrell’s new magnum opus, ‘The Third Way – The Nazi International, European Union And Corporate Fascism’, picks up where his previous work, ‘The Nazi International’ left off. In usual Farrell fashion, he interweaves a variety of different facts, documentation and theories to solidify the fact that Nazism 2.0 [modern day Nazis] are not an outgrowth of the preview generation, but a continuance of the Post-WW2 Nazi ideology that plagued humanity decades ago.

As a particular document that Mr. Farrell cites says, “For us” – The Nazi International “The war never stopped.” When taken in conjunction with the fact that no representatives from the Nazi party ever formally surrendered, you can catch a glimpse at the innerworkings of the mentality being showcased that would drive Nazism 2.0 to the 21st Century.

This particular books is extremely vital in understanding the current breath and latitude of some of the wider/dire issues that are affecting society today – mainly fascism/corporatism/Nazism – and how those have spawned the seeds of what is now the European Union, with Germany at the tip of the spear so to speak.

Trenchantly, Mr. Farrell covers how the Nazis were able to extend their sphere of influence throughout different countries/agencies/etc and how that not only lead to technological/currency cartels, with I.G. Farben’s ghost at the forefront and the BIS coupled along, but also to the creation of the cosmology cartel known as CERN.

Would love to expound more on the aforementioned subjects, but that would be doing a disservice to Dr. Farrell’s work.

If you have read any of his previous work, you will greatly enjoy this piece immensely. And if you haven’t, it’s not a bad place to start as this particular book, more so than any other, is vital to comprehending certain aspects of issues that are everpresent in our society today, and will continue to plague us until something is done about it.

Really hope that helps anyone on the fence that is pondering getting this book.

Analyzing Human Action – The Mirror Of Your Soul

“Imagination decides everything.”
– Blaise Pascal

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By: Zy Marquiez
December 7, 2015

As a powerful individual, your ability to choose – to carve out your own reality – is what made you who you are. Along the way, those endless choices have brought you upon an avenue chock full of possibilities that helped you mold yourself into who you chose to be come and what you ultimately stand for.

Through our personal roller-coaster journeys called life, we often find things/ideas/symbols/art pieces that echo our very soul through and through.

Hold that thought for a second.

Am sure someone has asked you to ponder upon the following for a moment. If nobody has, then take a minute to think, or as long as you need for you to narrow it down.

What is your personal song? The song that is you in every way shape and sound?

If you can’t narrow it down for whatever reason, consider the perfect book, the perfect verse, photograph, view, or moment shared with a significant other. Does that widen the breadth of options?

Now that you have the answer, what is it? Do you know this art piece like the back of your hand? Of course you do. That’s why is your favorite moment.

Why is this important?   Because we are going to undertake a mental exercise for a moment.

This song [or whatever you chose] will represent everything you think is perfect about life. This song is the upper echelon of existence, pure bliss, mellifluous rapture, the works. This song ultimately represents you and the perfect reality in your mind.  This song is the material representation of your very essence: your soul.

This song should be so powerful, that it should be able to fix all problems, mend all rifts, and heal all wounds. Everything.

In fact, am certain that for nigh everyone, these songs are so meaningful/powerful that they have helped us through some dire straits.

Now sit listening to it for quite a while. In fact, listen to it as long as you want. Could this song, really in all its infinite glory, be a synopsis of everything that is perfect in life for you? Could you listen to this song for the rest of your life and do nothing else?

A version of the previous idea was posed by Jon Rappoport [nomorefakenewscom] during an interview a while back. That is when his words/idea really resonated with me.

At first blush, the possibility seemed quite likely that in my case listening to the song, forever, might be possible. Had to ruminate quite a while about it however.

After some time, figured out that personally, even if it was the perfect song – in all its infinite glory – it would eventually get tiresome and it would bore me out of my skull.

Why is this? Because we know there is more out there. Having had experienced different ideas/escapes/latitudes that we consider perfect, we realize that life is about…variety. It’s about change. Is about breathtaking moments, which are the opposite side of the coin of the events that cause entropy/chaos.

The most perfect moment, the most perfect photograph, the most perfect kiss, is all bound upon the idea that is detachable from reality in away. In that way, carrying it around in your mental inbox heightens your life by having experiencing such personal perfection within your reality structure.

Yet, given the fact that life itself is beautiful because of the imperfections [one can’t appreciate the good without having experienced the bad], those personal and unique quintessential moments resound within our very soul since those are the exception.

That’s what makes perfect moments – a perfect song/photograph/verse/time shared – so special. Because it’s a symbol of who you are in a way. Or better said, it’s a symbol of what you believe one fragment of perfection is. It’s the brainchild of imagination, bliss and perfection exemplified.

The beauty of it all? There’s more.

There is always more.

There are more options. More songs. More books. More verses. More photographs. More moments.   More avenues/journeys which can guide you into new unknown wonders.

With so many untold possibilities and versions of what people hold as perfect, why are so many people eager to push their version of what they see as great/perfect onto others?   You would figure people would be eager to share [and not push], explore [and not shun] what can be found, or accomplished together even. Rare is the case it seems.

And no, the former is not about superficial material objects or anything of the like. It’s about ideas/moments that change people. Heck, that change the entire course of their lives.

We’re talking about monumental personal changes that in any way shifts your life/reality tectonically into a whole new continental landscape of possibilities.

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Now that you have a centerpiece for your dreambuilding operation, what you to do? Is it time to let that song/moment cycle through endlessly, for the rest of time? Or is it time to venture into the ceaseless unknown to see what other gems you may find?

Better yet: are you going to share your idea/knowledge with others? How about sharing it with those that lift you up? Those individuals would certainly know you best , and certainly appreciate you for who you are in your essence.

Either way, it’s a beautiful thing to have so many choices and to be able to choose, rather than to have anything – ideology/idea/religion – pushed onto you as if your freedoms are limited, or as if you have no other choice. As if your mind can’t make a choice on its own. As if you have no personal power as an individual. As if your wisdom is non-existent. As if life/reality must fit in a box, and anything that doesn’t fit within that particular type of box doesn’t belong there.

How about this: why not think of the most perfect of everything that you can think of, make sure you have that/those idea[s] solidly in your mind, and hold it there. Thence, do everything possible to think of something better, something greater, something vastly more interesting/boundless than what you just thought before. Now isn’t that stretching imagination a bit?

That’s better. That’s a lot better.

It’s like taking a photograph, and turning it into a universe.

Seeing a snippet of the latitude that imagination provides can do wonders. It truly can. Like a torpedo, it hones in and focuses on those things that drive you that separate free individuals from the pack.

If you’re a musician, this is the moment you write a new tune. If you’re an artists, this is where you can paint a boundless landscape on that blank canvas. If you’re a writer, this is where you put pen to paper, and get to work manifesting reality at the stroke of a pen.

What do all those examples have in common? Creation via your imagination.

The question isn’t why. The question is, why not?

The choice is yours.

Be mindful:

“Logic will get you from A to Z. Imagination will get you everywhere.”
– Albert Einstein