Book review – Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

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Written by Nicola

When the Dalia Lama was asked what the most important meditation we can do right now he said

‘Critical thinking followed by action. Discern what your world is. Know the plot, the scenario of this human drama. And the figure out where your talents might fit in to make a better world.’

 

This book covers ‘discern what your world is, know the plot, the scenario of this human drama’ brilliantly.

Daniel has a really accessible way of writing. Written in the style of an interview between a man and a gorilla, the book takes us on a joinery of understanding the real story behind mankind, and what we call ‘civilisation’. He explains how ‘civilisation’ came about, and what its fundamental flaws are. Flaws which have been re-enacted by humans for the last 10,000 years bringing us to the present day, where ultimately we can see a glimpse in the not-to-distant future of complete collapse.

He explains the story that we have been told, through the history books, through our education, through our very culture. Its a story we believe as children, and then some of us start to question as it doesn’t fit with what we feel. We know that somethings not right with the story, and so we seek, we explore, and this book sums up the old story, and the need to create a new story, wonderfully.

Daniel brings in evolution, natural selection and the natural laws of life, alongside passages from Genesis in the bible, Adam and Eve, and Cain and Able. He explains how humans have thought themselves to be masters of the world, and until just a few decades ago it would have been unthinkable that we wouldn’t create paradise on Earth.

He reflects that mans conquest of the world has devastated the world but he does not end there. He offers a glimmer of hope, that our survival rests in the notion that we need to create a new story, we need to be inventive, and we need to follow the natural laws of life, and start remembering who we really are, and what it is to be human.

Its a truly brilliant book, and comes with a hearty recommendation, along with Beyond Civilisation which I will write a review on soon.