"Conversations with God" by Neale Donald Walsch
How does a person act, once realizing that his life is going downhill: work does not bring satisfaction, his personal life has fallen apart, and health is poor? Just like millions of others: in a state of semi-anger, half-hope one turns his gaze to Heaven. We turn to the Almighty in the face of unbearable problems: we beg, ask, blame, insist, persuade, promise, try to grasp the signs from above, touch the sacrament, earn revelation... It was under these circumstances that Neale Walsch embarked on a spiritual journey in search of his own life mission. Thus began a dialogue that over the years has grown into the top three bestsellers: “Conversations with God”, “Friendship with God”, “Communion with God”.
Constantly answering tormenting questions about life, love, death and destiny, Neale unobtrusively leads the reader to wise gratitude, reveals to him the endless possibilities of friendship with God. He, as it turns out, speaks to us always and everywhere – you just need to listen. Walsh does not pretend to know the truth in the last resort, but only leads the reader along a conceived route, deftly coping with human disbelief and fear, sometimes disguised in the most sophisticated way. He is not afraid of barriers, for he carries with him something that can heal, soothe and quench the thirst for truth, and therefore priceless... Masterfully honing a new (for the inexperienced reader, but familiar to theologians and mystics from time immemorial) form of relationship with God, he calls after him to an endlessly fascinating path - sometimes dangerous, although entailing with its deceptive simplicity. This path is open to all, it has no constipation or fences – after all, the old landscapes are destroyed, and a new building is being built right before our eyes.
“Man, the Manipulator” by Everett L. Shostrom
In pursuit of material wealth, man learned to make fire and tame rivers, plow the land and extract treasures from its bowels, build houses, ships and world empires... However, all these achievements had to be paid at a high price: losing himself, his humanity. It’s nothing strange if from time to time the present homo sapiens urgently needs something, abandoning hateful manipulations, returning to his natural self, again hear the beat of his own heart. And he eagerly reaches for information sources that can interpret his condition, give answers and advice. Such a source for an avid manipulator, eager to develop an actualizer, is the work of the American psychologist and psychotherapist Everett Shostrom, a student of the humanist Abraham Maslow, aptly entitled “The Manipulator”. The bestseller of Shostrom in the Russian translation came out first in an abridged form, entitled "Anti-Carnegie." And by no means just for the sake of advertising: throughout the book, the psychologist tries to protect the reader from the syndrome of "conquest and subjugation" of those around him, taught by well-known treatises, and teaches to be honest with others and with oneself – to be, in his terminology, not a manipulator, but an actualizer. Calling manipulation the plague of our time, Shostrom talks about alternative patterns of behavior, how to re-learn how to feel satisfaction from living here and now. Having equipped the reader with a theoretical base, the author on many examples compares the behavior characteristic of the manipulator and the actualizer. He invites us on a thorny path through distrust, love and uncertainty, strewn with thorns of doubt and broken illusions – in order to win at the end, perhaps the main victory in this life: to learn the sincere manifestation of one’s emotions and impulses. We should also pay tribute to the author that he remains tactful to the last page and, without stinting on quotes from Fromm, does not cease to delicately remind the reader that there are no “clean” manipulators and actualizers, and thus there is no ground for conflict between the two camps.
“Being Ecological” by Timothy Morton
When the ecological mainstream reached its climax, it became clear that a philosophical approach was needed to comprehend it. Having stopped opposing ourselves to the world around us, we must take a fresh look at the very concept of nature. "Romantic ecologist" Timothy Morton moved away from the classical ideas of the harmonious coexistence of man and nature and heralded the advent of the era of hyperobjects. At different times, humanity has already accepted and "digested" loud statements about the end of history, God, man... Now Morton also joins them, arguing that "nature is just an ideological move, making sense where there is no meaning." The author dedicates the book “Becoming Environmentally Friendly” to everyone who does not read books on ecology.
As he writes, "it is not the preaching of the eco-congregation": in it there is no scientific evidence of any shocking revelations, no political or ethical advice. Appealing to Kant and Heidegger, the thinker consistently expounds his own philosophical system, helping the reader to find a starting point, to understand the information discord. The era of global warming and mass pollution posed many questions for humanity. Morton calls for a conscious attitude to environmental information, offering obvious guidelines and giving the most profound clue: "All the problems of civilization will turn out to be environmental, because they are our fate".
“Quantum Warrior: The Future of the Mind” by John Kehoe
Transformation of energy from one form to another could be universal principle of the universe, which we learned at physics lessons. "The starry sky above us and the moral law within us" urgently require an understanding of objective laws, information about our past, present and future.
You and I, intelligent beings who have found shelter on the edge of one of the arms of a giant cosmic vortex, are involuntary witnesses to the chaotic, but at the same time verified quantum leaps of both energy and consciousness. Cosmic images cherished by collective memory help us on the difficult path of ascension from the basic level to global scientific discoveries. John Kehoe, best-selling author on the human mind and subconscious mind (readers are familiar with his “Practical Course of Happiness”, “The Subconscious Mind Can Do Anything!”, “The Power of the Mind for Children”, “Money, Success and You”, “Gaining Power and Glory” and other books), very tactfully immerses us in quantum reality, inviting us to take advantage of the laws of the Universe (isn't that their purpose?) and take a walk through the labyrinths of the subconscious. He calls the information received about the world “an inventory of knowledge” and asserts: only our interpretation of the events experienced and lessons learned makes us who we are.
In the book "Quantum Warrior. The Future of the Mind” John Kehoe teaches us to control unconscious processes by listening to the voice of consciousness. Having overcome increased anxiety and having learned to take our connection with space for granted, we rise to a new energy stage of the universal web. The knowledge of the laws of the universe tempers human arrogance and pride, but instead opens up dizzying horizons before us, immeasurably expanding the range of our capabilities.
“Homo Deus.A Brief History of Tomorrow” by Yuval Noah Harari
Questions you cannot answer are usually far better for you than answers you cannot question
No matter how far humanity has advanced in the field of innovative technologies, the solution of ethical issues remains a stumbling block. So the Israeli futurologist Yuval Noah Harari, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, raises problems that make us shake up, mired in an endless race for far-fetched benefits. The existential crisis, the depletion of philosophical resources prompts the scientist to alarm: once artificial intelligence, raised to the rank of the center of all things and attaining immortality, decides that humanity has exhausted its role on Earth and henceforth only super creatures – biotechnological hybrids, or Homo Deus, will gain the right to exist… Faced with hunger, disease and natural disasters throughout their history, people still managed to overcome all troubles and survive. But is a reasonable person able to withstand artificial intelligence? The answer to this question depends on whether we have tomorrow. The book “Homo Deus. A Brief History of the Future” logically continues another book by the same author – “Sapiens. A Brief History of Humankind”. A conceptual rethinking of the world is not easy, but it is necessary if the future of humanity is at stake. If today’s smart algorithms track and analyze our lives, thoughts and habits, they will definitely decide instead of us no matter what! To be saved, to defend our place in the world, we must get ahead of digital technology in an attempt to understand what our human mind is. Despite warnings and some gloomy predictions, the scientist is generally quite optimistic. We are not doomed and can win using the universal antidote: global cooperation.
“The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are” by Alan Watts
The state of enlightenment is inexpressible, but attainable
We all need one day, distracted from the daily hustle and bustle, to clear at least a small space around us and try to let living knowledge of the nature of the universe into our world. Theoretically, we accept our life as a single source of all suffering and joys, ebbs and flows, ups and downs, which, transforming us, itself remains essentially unchanged. But is it always possible to maintain a long sense of harmony, orderliness of the universe by a higher mind? To resolve the contradictions that are tearing us apart, we turn to masters who, in their reasoning, go far beyond conceptual thinking, abandoning attempts to rationally interpret fundamental phenomena. Alan Watts, a student and follower of the Japanese philosopher Daisetsu Suzuki, a popularizer of Zen Buddhism, shows a very tolerant approach to issues that seem to have become familiar and even sore. In contrast to the philosophers, dubbed existential neurosis throwing intelligent, he does not call to abandon such essential qualities as the ability to wonder and to express their feelings. In “The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are”, he presents the reader with models of being in vivid, representative forms, without imposing any of them. An adapted version of the ancient Indian philosophy of Vedanta allows you to structure chaotic ideas about the universe, helping in the search for personal identity. Salvation is only in a new awareness of what it means to be oneself.
“A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
Did the universe have a beginning? And if there was, then what happened before it? Such thoughts about the universe can plunge into awe. The founder of quantum cosmology, Stephen Hawking, posed dozens of similar questions and gave reasonable answers to them. Chained for life to a wheelchair, he managed to make unimaginable journeys through the back streets of the universe, overcoming cosmic distances in a single instant, sometimes delving into impassable jungle of science, jokingly making his way from the beginning of the Universe – the Big Bang – to the present day...
In the world of difficult to comprehend mathematical calculations and abstract physical models, he managed to find the harmoniously pulsating vein of the Universe, and here is the result: his books on cosmology became a worldwide bestseller, conquered the minds of millions of readers in different countries. “A Briefer History of Time” replenished the army of Stephen Hawking fans, appearing as an answer to numerous requests to state “more clearly and leisurely” the main ideas of the “Brief History of Time” written in 1988.
After 17 years, the scientist in collaboration with Leonard Mlodinow tried to structure the knowledge, data from numerous studies and discoveries accumulated over the years. “What is happening around us?” He asks, offering a huge number of hypotheses as an answer. What to do – science does not always know the final answers, and more than once he had to abandon some of his views, recognizing them as erroneous. But his incredible ability to make such specific material captivating (besides seasoning it with a bit of humor) in order to convey to the reader the fundamental laws of nature in a public language, dispensing with formulas and complicated calculations, allowed him, in his own words, “sell more books about physics, than Madonna – about sex.” He spent years searching for the initial conditions of cosmological equations leading to a complete model of the world, and trying to predict the future of the universe. One on one with the boundless cold abyss, peering into its mysterious void, trying to unravel its secrets and, even if only bit by bit, knowing it... Such was the life purpose of this strange man who managed, despite his physical weakness, to go to zero gravity, to live 76 years, despite the doctors who had once given him two years, deprived of simple human joys, but who firmly believed in the omnipotence of reason.
Text by Nigar Maharramova