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This Möbius Strip of Ifs Paperback – February 15, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Wheatmark (February 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604947233
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604947236
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,956,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Freese is a fascinating writer who clearly has a creative philosophical mind unafraid of exploring through fiction and essays any question that matters to a free thinker. He's refreshing in his honesty about the struggles of a writer and speculative thinker but his resolute brain keeps him going and he draws you into his dedication to bold truth thinking. indomitable
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Format: Kindle Edition
Reviewing: This Mobius Strip of Ifs by Mathias Freese.
This is a little difficult for me being an old Casino person who is used to speaking it language of: dis dat and da udder and that dirty mudder. I am definitely not a word smith like the other reviewers. So please excuse my language and punctuation.
I will first say that I enjoyed the book and many of his thoughts even though I did not agree with some of them. I totally agree with him that we are a product of our environment whether it is family, school, religion or even our peers. I also agree that we need to break these chains to become free.
This book is about his thoughts on life and also a lot of his life and the stresses that molded him into the man that he is.
I like a lot of his parables like the fly that through its efforts turned milk into cheese. Another one was about our school system which I totally agree and I will only give you the ending lines. "You leave school as a fixture of society, one more 100 watt bulb screwed into a subway ceiling". The truth of the matter is that the school system brainwashes our children into the mindless drones of society which I call Sheeple as does Mathias call "Sheep" in his book. He does look up the Thomas Jefferson and his beliefs which all Americans should. Even if this Socialist in the White House doesn't (my political views). He looks up to Freud and other existential authors. He chronicles many of his experiences in life and the sadness that they have brought to him. He emphasizes that you should know who you are.
I do disagree with him on our religion but not on his feeling on other religions. He also speaks on the movies and the effects on him and his enjoyment and none of the movies are really current (Thank God).
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Format: Paperback
It's not an easy task to review a book composed of essays, especially when they are as deeply personal as these are. However, I do want to share some of the thoughts I had.
First of all, there is no doubt Mr. Freese is a writer at heart, and soul, and everywhere that's important. His words, his phrases, are organic, the kind that seem so simple yet really are not. They have layers of meanings that deserve many consequent readings. Sure, there are a few moments where I found myself wishing he'd whittled some down to their bare bones, so that the truth in what he was trying to say could come through unencumbered, but these moments were few and far between.
As far as content, the essays cover everything from Freese's favorite movies to his views on philosophy. His thoughts on education, in particular, struck me. It was surprising to read, from a former teacher, all the faults many of us see in the educational system. I found myself nodding violently at the manner he describes his struggles with a society (a world, really) that abhors creativity and that finds anyone who doesn't fit into their molds threatening. The candid manner in which he shares with the reader about his daughter's illness and consequent death is heartbreaking in the way only truthful prose can be.
This is not an essay collection for everyone. If you are looking for some quick reading that will entertain you for a few hours, then this is not it. This collection will make you think about everything around you until your head hurts and you have to put the book down. I enjoyed it very much, so I will recommend it to all of you out there who want something refreshingly, intelligently different.
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Format: Paperback
Mathematician and physicist Clifford A. Pickover has called the Möbius strip "a metaphor for change, strangeness, looping and rejuvenation." Like the surface of a Möbius strip, the thirty-six essays folded into "This Möbius Strip of Ifs" ultimately have no front or back or beginning or end because Mathias B. Freese views his life, his work and his world as a continuous and open-ended process of awareness without the conventional limitations of meaning or dogma.

In "Untidy Lives, I Say to Myself," Freese writes "That awareness of the moment or the one after that is about all this old man wants at this point in his life. I am working--by not working--on being `spot on'--love that phrase. A pastrami sandwich and a good pickle and Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda is an epiphany for me if I am aware of it."

Like the other eighteen essays in Part I, Knowledge is Death growing out of Freese's experiences as a writer, teacher and psychotherapist, "Untidy Lives" explores the raw awareness and infinite potentialities open to individuals who risk true autonomy. The "risk," as Jane Holt Freese suggests in her introduction, is that "to know who we are requires that we `die' to many ideas we have about ourselves. Paradoxically, this `death' quickens awareness, makes us more alive and sensitive."

In "Teachers Have No Chance to Give Their Best" and "The Unheard Scream," Freese--who taught for twenty-two years before becoming a therapist--decries the fact that school systems don't provide environments conducive to learning. We have regimentation and conformity with energy being "siphoned off into empty rituals" in a system that conditions students and teachers to accept rote truths rather than to explore oneself without boundaries.
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