The world moves by the wisdom of gurus and sages who lived years of yore. They may be no more but their words keep on inspiring generations. The best action that these people and those who lived during their time did, was to immortalise their words in books. Modern wisdom is also encapsulated in books. In essence, books contain knowledge and information that can transform the way you live.
The following five books will change your world in terms of your worldview and conduct:
The Denial of Death, Ernest Becker
This book won the 1974 Pulitzer Price for non-fiction. Becker based his writings on the literature of Sigmund Freud, Soren Kierkegarrd and Otto Rank. Becker intends to inculcate reason in his readers. The title of the book encapsulates the thesis. We are so much afraid of death that we deny its existence.
To Becker, human beings are fearful, finite creatures who are nothing without another person affirming what the former believe. When we receive constant affirmation, we begin to understand who we really are. Having realised ourselves, we overcome our beliefs of insignificance. According to Becker, we set out on an immortality project; believing that we are inherent components of something that will last forever. He forces us to face reality and become heroes in a manner that infuses our lives with meaning and significance as opposed to living under the shadow of death.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche
One of the most provocative books ever written is Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche. This famous German thinker considered this the best book in as far as capturing the facts that underlie the life of man. He believes that he has given the world a precious present that will bridge centuries of knowledge. Nietzsche attempts to turn the soul of man inside out. His rationale is that the soul can be transformed by accepting the ‘facts’ he is propagating.
He is bold enough to go against the grain and proclaim the death of God. This prose-poetry text is told by Zarathustra, the embodiment of Zoroaster, the Persian prophet. Nietzsche is of the idea that independence and the ability to overcome are hard to attain but without them, culture and individuals are vulnerable and in danger. Insecurity leads to conformist tendencies and people go to great length to preserve herd mentality.
The Nature of the Soul, Bill Plotkin
This book by Bill Plotkin will help you to understand yourself as a human being. He opines that self-doubt is as dangerous as self-inflation. The challenge for every human being is to live up to their potentials and bravely bringing out the inimical talents that lie hidden within them. Here you will learn about the eight Eco-centric or Soul-centric phase of human development.
You will realise that all of us go through The Innocent in the Nest, The Explorer and in the Garden and The Thespian in the Oasis stages as part of initial human development. Find out also why many people fail to advance beyond these three phases and why such people never really become adults or authentic elders. Each of the other five stages has unique characteristics, but those who go through them successfully become better human beings.
Finite and Infinite Games, James, P. Carse
In this book Carse opines that the only way for human beings to become free and have greater ability to achieve their dreams is to realise that they are limited, not by what they see, but by their ability to see. This writer presents a brilliant and incisive analysis of the human condition by subjecting human beings to game theory.
Here we find two opposing players– the Infinite versus the Finite Player. Opposition is defined by existing frontiers. Your life depends on how you view your boundaries. If you are a Finite Player, you always play inside frontiers and you don’t want to venture outside. On the other hand, Infinite players love to operate with boundaries. The former is after power while the latter plays using power. The Infinite Player continues within the game forever because this is the game of life.
The Rebel, Albert Camus
If you have never appreciated rebels or the idea of going against the grain, you need to read this book. Camus appeared to have been writing an essay, but ended up creating a book. This writer creates a picture of a human being who has revolted against society. His work is based on the works of other eccentric scholars and writers such as Georg Wilhelm, Nietzsche and Dostoyevsky, to name a few.
Camus believes that people rebel when they realise that society is parochial and outdated in the execution of fairness. They would like to find meaning in their actions, but the world they look up to is meaningless. Camus, however, warns that the rebel is in danger of being carried away and failing to live by the real intentions of his or her revolt. Are you looking for revolutionary education? Read this book.
Your Grace Guru