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LETTERS TO MY UNBORN SON - BOOKS TO READ

Manlighet/ManlinessPosted by Maziyar Khallagi 19 Dec, 2011 10:00

My son, I have caught a cold today and will mostly rest today. However I wanted to recommend three books that will change your life. Remember, that the book you don´t read will not help you.

Roman emperors are remembered for many things but not usually for their philosophical insights. The exception was Marcus Aurelius whose thoughts have come down to us in the shape of his Meditations. These reflect the influence of the ancient philosophical tradition known as Stoicism and of the Greek philosopher Epictetus in particular. A Stoic believed that the wise man was indifferent to the external world. Virtue rather than health or wealth or power was the great good in life and the attainment of virtue was a matter of the individual will. A man could be virtuous when sick, virtuous when poor, virtuous even under the threat of death. What he needed to do was to cultivate the reason, to recognise the inevitable realities of the world and to turn his back to the destructive power of irrationality and the emotions.

The message of this book is that we forget what we think we know about reality. There is a different order of reality hidden behind the everyday world we usually inhabit and those with courage can reach it. A separate reality can be experienced only if we are prepared to rid ourselves of our egotism and self-important belief that we are at the centre of things. We are like horses with blinkers but our blinkers can be removed.

Joseph Campbell wrote in his seminal work: "There are of course differences between the numerous mythologies and religions of mankind, but this is a book about similarities; and once they are understood the differences will be found to be much less great than is popularly supposed."

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