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Book Review of: Sacred Selfishness
We recommend Sacred Selfishness.
List Price: $23.95
Sacred Selfishness, by Bud Harris, PhD
Reviewer: Mark Lamendola
Our whole lives, we are taught to play by the rules that others make. We are also bombarded with messages designed to make us want to buy things or join organizations. Many of our activities--including work and play--are at odds with who we really are. We make the wrong educational choices, career choices, and leisure choices. And we may feel frustrated, restless, unfulfilled, or even despondent due to this.
So, what's the answer? Harris believes the answer lies in valuing ourselves as individual human beings and finding out who we really are. In Sacred Selfishness, Harris draws lessons from the classic quest stories--such as those involving the Greek and Roman gods, Biblical heroes, and other icons of our culture. He demonstrates how to question the very assumptions that we have taken for granted--assumptions that have formed a sort of glass cage from which many of us never escape. This questioning, and the journey it takes us on, leads to discoveries of our own potential.
Self-knowledge provides a basis for strength in ourselves and an understanding of others--thus we enjoy life more and love more fully.
In addition to being philosophical, the book is practical. Harris demonstrates the techniques of journaling and dialoguing, plus presents some other tools for those seeking self-knowledge. Harris provides case histories, and gives insight into the kinds of issues a person should consider delving into.
Be warned, though. This book contains no simple recipe, cute formulas, or six step process for transforming yourself into a superhuman. It does provide a solid foundation for the thinking person who wants to develop more fully and realize her or her own potential. With a bit of work and this book as a guide, you can expect a rewarding journey of self-discovery.
About these reviews
You may be wondering why the reviews here are any different from the hundreds of "reviews" posted online. Notice the quotation marks?
I've been reviewing books for sites like Amazon for many years now, and it dismays me that Amazon found it necessary to post a minimum word count for reviews. It further dismays me that it's only 20 words. If that's all you have to say about a book, why bother?
And why waste everyone else's time with such drivel? As a reader of such reviews, I feel like I am being told that I do not matter. The flippancy of people who write these terse "reviews" is insulting to the authors also, I would suspect.
This sound bite blathering taking the place of any actual communication is increasingly a problem in our mindless, blog-posting Webosphere. Sadly, Google rewards such pointlessness as "content" so we just get more if this inanity.
My reviews, contrary to current (non) standards, actually tell you about the book. I always got an "A" on a book review I did as a kid (that's how I remember it anyhow, and it's my story so I'm sticking to it). A book review contains certain elements and has a logical structure. It informs the reader about the book.
A book review may also tell the reader whether the reviewer liked it, but revealing a reviewer's personal taste is not necessary for an informative book review.
About your reviewer
About reading style
No, I do not "speed read" through these. That said, I do read at a fast rate. But, in contrast to speed reading, I read everything when I read a book for review.
Speed reading is a specialized type of reading that requires skipping text as you go. Using this technique, I've been able to consistently "max out" a speed reading machine at 2080 words per minute with 80% comprehension. This method is great if you are out to show how fast you can read. But I didn't use it in graduate school and I don't use it now. I think it takes the joy out of reading, and that pleasure is a big part of why I read.