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Life's Operating Manual: with the Fear and Truth Dialogues Paperback – May 5, 2014
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Instead of numbing himself to the emptiness with any of today's drug and alcoholic escapes, Shadyac decided to look inside himself. Following the advice he saw in the writings of those special savants down through the ages, everyone from Jesus to Ralph Waldo Emerson, and his friend, Morgan Freeman.
Chapter by chapter, with the wise sayings of our elder brothers and sister, Shadyac explores the idea that it's our world that's broken, not us. We are trapped in a world that goes against Nature, and therefore it goes against the laws of the Divine, which means that our worldly laws can only fail. And make us sick in the meanwhile.
Shadyac expounds on the idea that our news is filled with the darker side of life because it's actually foreign to our nature, something I hadn't really thought about before. We find it titillating because it's out of the norm and against our nature, just as we all slow down to see an accident on the road because it's out of the norm.
We certainly aren't amazed and ready to sit down to watch reports on the news of the traffic going perfectly and everyone doing the right thing, because it's what we expect.
According to what Shadyac learned through reading the works of the big thinkers, is that humans are hardwired to be kind and cooperate with each other because any organism in nature that doesn't work for the good of all, will soon kill the organism.
Think of how cancer is really just a few of your cells being greedy and taking more than they can use until they overrun and kill the body.
In another chapter Shadyac talks about is the idea that it was the advent of agriculture that started us down the road away from the divine laws of nature.
Suddenly we could stay in one place and start to accumulate more things then we could use ourselves. Civilization could begin, and the hunter gather society that we'd been living under for nearly 200,000 years could be set aside.
No longer would we have to cooperate to live. No longer would we have to honor the earth and her seasons and the animals that we hunted. With agriculture, we could store up food and stay in one place, laying claim to `our' piece of the earth.
Now we could fight for what was `ours' and raise armies and enslave each other to work more than then we could use just for ourselves. Fences went up to divide us from one another, and without the need for small tribes to interact with each other, different societies could grow more firm in their prejudices allowing for the killing of those who were `different' with no remorse.
I find it ironic that when we humans are given time off from our work, we tend to go back out to nature to hunt, and fish, and live in tents, as if we had only temporally taken up the trappings of a civilization.
This idea has always been a favorite of mine, though I didn't know that someone had written a book on it.
Shadyac's life was completely turned around by the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, which is the idea that our culture(from the root word cult) has seduced us. The idea that someone else has implanted ideas in our head that we claim as our own like in the movie Inception.
Anyone who's spent some time in junior high and high school, will identify with the insane way that kids emulate one another, sometimes down the long road to destruction, no matter what they've been taught differently at home.
At the end of each chapter, after putting forth his idea, Shadyac then has a back and forth question and answer between `Fear' and Truth'. I have to say that fear has been present in my head more often then not.
It's easy to see how we're tricked into thinking less of ourselves by fear which paralyses us into doing what we're told rather than what our heart tells us.
This is a wonderful book that gives a clear message about what life's really about. It truly is life's operation manual.
This book rings true on a level of awareness so hard to convey but so simple to experience. It presents paradoxical concepts in a way that brings them all together with uniformity and clarity. Tom confronts fear in a wonderfully harmonious tone that inspires and unites with the reader. For me, this book exemplifies the quest for answers that so many of us look for in religious, philosophical and scientific circles. But rather than pit one way of thinking against the other, Tom finds a thread that holds them all together and reminds us that we are not separate in our quests for connection to source or God.
Happiness in accordance to natural laws is so confounding to modern life and our egos that even my own willingness to see the truth was met with my own "yeah, buts" and fearful internal dialogue of scarcity and self importance. "Happiness is an indication of systems working." as a definition explains why so many today are not happy in spite of profound abundance. We truly are doing it wrong.
The dialogues with fear are so close to my own internal chatter, that I sometimes felt violated seeing my own issues on the printed page. This book isn't about a doctrine, dogma, wavering methods or soon to be forgotten intentions. This book is about what we all know but are most afraid to face... our true nature and divine potential. Primal fear does a great job of keeping us all asleep. I am reminded of George Carlin's quote. "We are just out of the cave, man." Tom talking to fear is fun to watch!
I tend to read these type of books with a practical focus on my self. How will this benefit me? How can I use this to my benefit? What can I do to turn this knowledge into money? How does this make me a better person, father, lover, business person, designer, leader? I see after this book and a few others that it is fine to want to be a better (fill in the blank). But if that focus doesn't serve others with values and take into account natural laws for life on this earth, happiness and contentment will stay pursued and never realized.
This book is a great read with many awesome references to the materials and sources that Tom has called upon to make his films and live his amazing life. This book is communing and communicating with a self that most of us are not even aware of possessing and that is a divine being of unbound potential for love. That's us! So read it with an open heart and a clear conscience for all you think you may have come to know about the world and your life.
Thank you so much Tom Shadyac for this book. This is the first thing I have ever reviewed on Amazon but I had to add to the "ringing" a bit. You brought many things full circle for me and brought me ever closer to who I am. Thank you. Thank you Thank you!
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I would have given it a lower grade but I feel for the author.