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The Art of Failure: The Anti Self-Help Guide Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
And what is the problem? The problem, as the Buddha expressed it some twenty-five hundred years ago, is that life as it is usually lived is unsatisfactory. Consequently Burton's title is doubly ironic. First, what is called failure is in fact success, and what is "anti self-help" really is self-help.
What I especially like about the way Burton writes is his ability to make his case using evidence and rationale from academic or clinical psychology and from philosophic and religious traditions.
Let's begin with one of the most important ideas in the book:
"As human beings we have a tendency to think of our personhood as something concrete and tangible, something that exists in the `real world' and that extends through time. However, it is possible that our personhood is in fact nothing more than a product of our minds, merely a convenient concept of schema that enables us to relate our present self with our past, future, and conditionals selves, and so to lend to our life a sense of coherence and meaning. This concept or schema amounts to our sense of self, which is the very basis of our ego, and which is, therefore, tantamount to one gigantic ego defence, or the sum total of all our ego defences." (pp.Read more ›
The previous reviewer is correct that the author draws from (primarily though not exclusively Western) philosophy and psychology, but The Art of Failure is in no way a summary or a survey of either of these. The author ties together relevant and interesting philosophical and social theories in a tight arc that clearly leads to a realization of the fuller possibilities attendant to being human, as well as how one can achieve these personally. The examples from psychology and philosophy are not only engrossing for their own sakes but are often remarkably novel repackagings of material from the the intellectually sensitive minds of the past in different and unusual forms. I found that the results not only elucidated the ideas of those psychologists and philosophers but gave them dimensions I had not before realized. On this account alone the book would be worth reading.
By far the book's most important impact is that it speaks to that voice inside that wonders at the end of the day how it has gotten here and whether it needs to be here at all. It rang true for me on this deep level usually reserved for literature and art; if I can implement only some of the conclusions in my life, I will be better for it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Order came as described in a timely fashion. Appreciates the book!Published 22 months ago by A Prescott
Fantastic book, absolutely recommended read for anyone who is ready to 'examine their life'!Published 23 months ago by Joseph Tandl
Really interesting, Burton brings philosophy to life. I read it in a day, great book for the laundry mat. I am considering reading more by him.Published on October 13, 2013 by Bianca